It has been a great week in District 8, with hundreds of community members coming out to vote for projects that they believe in.If you haven’t had a chance to vote yet, there’s still time – check out the list of voting sites and times on our PB site, www.mmviverito.com/pbnyc. To conclude the weeklong voting process, the Second Annual Participatory Budgeting Celebration,unveiling the winning projects, will be held on Monday, April 8th from 6:30 PM to 8:30 PM at the Johnson Community Center (1833 Lexington Avenue).
We are very excited to announce that our Second Annual Participatory Budgeting Celebration will feature a very special guest, San Juan’s Mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz Soto. As you may remember, Melissa had the honor to deliver the keynote at her inauguration. Mayor Carmen Yulín has pledged to implement a PB process in San Juan and is coming to see how the process works in our district.
“It is an incredible honor for me to welcome such an incredible woman and inspiring leader to our city for the first time since being elected Mayor of San Juan,” said Council Member Mark-Viverito. “Mayor Carmen Yulín is bringing a new style of democracy to San Juan. I am truly excited that she has committed to roll out a PB process in the city, which will help bring transparency and direct public input in how the government allocates resources. I look forward to continued collaboration with the Mayor’s administration in continuing to strengthen ties between our two cities and across the Puerto Rican diaspora.”
For the past three years, The Participatory Budgeting Project (PBP)has empowered us in NYC and other cities across the United States and Canada to directly decide how their tax dollars are spent. This vibrant movement has grown and is now currently engaging 20,000 people in deciding how to spend almost $20 million dollars of capital funds in their own communities. And it’s growing – almost every week, an organization or official asks for PBP’s help to bring PB into their city. As exciting as the expansion of PB is, it is also expensive for PBP, who is just a small non-profit organization. This leads us to PB2 which is “PB for PB.”
PB2 is PBP’s first fundraising drive with a participatory budgeting twist. Half of the money that PBP raises will be set aside for you to decide and vote on what they should do with it. There are currently six priority projects that you can vote for (everyone gets two votes). At the end of 2012, PBP will tally the votes and the money donated. PBP will get to implement the projects with the most votes, just like the PB process in our community, until the money donated and allocated runs out. That means that the more we give, the more projects will be completed.