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Participatory Budgeting Coming to Jamaica and Forest Hills

By Ewa Kern-Jedrychowska | June 12, 2014 11:50am
 The first info-session about participatory budgeting in Jamaica is scheduled for June 12.
The first info-session about participatory budgeting in Jamaica is scheduled for June 12.
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Councilman Daneek Miller's office

QUEENS — Jamaica residents will soon get a chance to decide how to spend $1 million on projects they consider important in their neighborhood. The same opportunity is also planned for the neighborhoods of Forest Hills and Rego Park.

Councilman Daneek Miller, who represents District 27, which includes Jamaica, St. Albans, Hollis, Cambria Heights and Queens Village, is introducing participatory budgeting to the area, a process in which residents decide how to spend a portion of the councilman's discretionary capital funds.

The first info-session about participatory budgeting in the district is scheduled for June 12.

“The greatest asset of participatory budgeting is its transparency and this is why we have opted to conduct it here,” Miller said in an email.

Miller’s office said that local parks and community centers were among numerous projects that residents already expressed interests in funding.

Residents as young as 14-years-old as welcome to participate.

“The process will engage the community — professionals, seniors, and youth alike in our district will be able to vote on how to spend this $1 million,” Miller said.

Karen Koslowitz, who represents District 29, which includes Forest Hills, Rego Park, Kew Gardens and Richmond Hills, said Wednesday that she is also planning to introduce participatory budgeting to her district.

Among city councilmembers who have already introduced participatory budgeting in their districts are Eric Ulrich, who represents Rockaway Beach, Richmond Hill, Ozone Park and Woodhaven, and Stephen Levin, whose district includes Greenpoint and Williamsburg.

The first info session about participatory budgeting in Council District 27 will take place on Thursday, June 12 from 7-9 p.m. at Maranatha Baptist Church: C.W. Mixon Center at 112-50 Springfield Blvd. in Queens Village. For more information, call 718-776-3700.