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Tell your councilwoman how to spend city dollars

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Councilwoman Margaret Chin is — for the first time — participating in participatory budgeting (say that five times fast), where ordinary citizens like you and me can propose projects in the district. I’ve observed this before in a couple Bronx districts; it’s a TON of work for the staff of the council offices, which is why, I assume, Chin avoided it till now. But in the years since they started it, they have made it a lot more user friendly. Here’s how it works:

> Go to the citywide site — click here to this map.

> Set a pin by clicking “submit an idea,” then slide it around to your location.

> Describe your project and what it will do for the neighborhood. (For example, I just set a pin for a hedge maze in the southwest corner of Washington Market Park, a project that Richie Haughland, the park’s longtime gardener, came up with and that the Friends has been talking about for a couple years.) You have to include your name; your email will be recorded for staff use.

After you submit your idea on this Idea Collection Map, it will be given to community volunteers, called budget delegates, who will turn the ideas into real proposals. The proposals will then be run by the city agencies and if they pass muster, will be added to a ballot. Then there will be a community-wide vote in the spring. You see what I am talking about with the work… More info here if you need it.

Add some ideas! There’s $1 million to spend.



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