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Community Group Demands a Say in Central Brooklyn Budget Process

 The group demanded Bed-Stuy and Crown Heights council members enact participatory budgeting.
Community Group Demands Participatory Budgeting in Central Brooklyn
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BROOKLYN — A group of central Brooklyn community activists is demanding their neighborhoods get a "piece of the pie" from Bed-Stuy and Crown Heights city council members.

The Central Brooklyn Participatory Budgeting Coalition, made up of education advocates and members of local nonprofit the Brooklyn Movement Center, called on Councilwoman Darlene Mealy and newly-elected Councilman Robert E. Cornegy, Jr. to declare their support for participatory budgeting in central Brooklyn.

The group this week launched an online petition that as of Wednesday night had 73 signatures.

"With Participatory Budgeting, we, the people, get to vote on how to improve Central Brooklyn with $1 million of our own taxpayer money," read an email from the group. "Let's tell our lawmakers how much we want to cut our own piece of the pie."

Between 14 and 22 members of the city council are expected to back participatory budgeting in 2014, according to reports. The group said newly-elected Fort Greene and Clinton Hill Councilwoman Laurie Cumbo has already confirmed her participation.

Cornegy, who in August said he would enact participatory budgeting in the community, said he was willing to meet with the group.

"I'm definitely going to sit and talk with those groups that are interested," Cornegy said. "Look at the merits, and make it a process that opens it up for everybody."

A spokeswoman for Mealy declined comment.