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Queens Chronicle

Residents to vote on city spending

Participatory back for a second year in districts 19, 23 and 32

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Posted: Thursday, March 28, 2013 10:30 am | Updated: 10:11 am, Thu Apr 4, 2013.

Classroom improvements, such as computers and smartboards, are up against curb installations, security cameras, park facilities, library upgrades and a new roof and windows for the Queens County Farm Museum.

Through Participatory Budgeting, residents of City Council districts 19, 23 and 32 can each vote to decide how to spend one million dollars from the city budget. Each resident can select five items from a pre-vetted list of projects and the winners will be included in next year’s city budget.

“Participatory Budgeting gives the community an unprecedented opportunity to make decisions on how city dollars get spent in our community,” said Councilman Mark Weprin (D-Oakland Gardens).

Weprin held a series of neighborhood assemblies last fall, at which local residents brainstormed ways to spend the million dollars. Community members then volunteered to serve as budget delegates and worked in committees for three months to turn the project ideas into full proposals that were vetted by the relevant city agencies.

This year eight districts are using Participatory Budgeting.

Voting will take place April 1-7 at multiple locations in eastern Queens. Anyone who is at least 16 years old can vote. Residents can obtain absentee ballots by contacting Mark Weprin or Councilman Dan Halloran’s (R-Whitestone) offices.

District 19 residents can vote at Community Board 11, the College Point Volunteer Ambulance Corps, Maggie Moo’s on Bell Boulevard, the Community Church of Douglaston, Chabad of North East Queens and Temple Beth Shalom.

District 23 residents can vote at Weprin’s district office, Community Board 13, the Fresh Meadows Library, Community Board 8, the Bellerose Library, the Cross Island Y, the Samuel Field Y, the Bayside Senior Center, and the SNAP Senior Center.

Voting locations for District 32 are to be determined.

— Laura Shepard

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