Greenfield wants your input in this year’s budget

Councilmember David Greenfield wants to know how you want your tax dollars spent.

He is inviting his constituents to attend a participatory budgeting information session on Tuesday, August 14, to learn how the process works.

Participatory budgeting allows those in the community to brainstorm, nominate and vote on capital projects they would like to see in their neighborhood. The money can be invested in things such as parks, schools and public works.

“Residents know the types of projects that are needed most in their neighborhood, and participatory budgeting gives them a real voice in determining how their tax dollars are spent,” Greenfield explained. “I hope that people from every part of the district will get involved and make their opinions heard.”

Greenfield said he will allocate $1 million in discretionary funds from the upcoming 2014 New York City budget to fund whatever project the community decides to invest in during these sessions. He is one of eight city council members offering participatory budgeting to their constituents.

Phyllis Micillo, a Bensonhurst resident living in Greenfield’s district, said that the sessions were good for the neighborhood. “It’s a wonderful idea. Everyone knows what they want in their own community,” she said, adding that she would like to see better paved streets, especially along Avenue P, and more supermarkets. “Our neighborhood is lacking in places where we can get fresh meats and produce. There isn’t one place that I can walk to where I can get a decent vegetable, piece of fish or meat. We want something like that.”

Participatory budgeting was inaugurated last year by four other councilmembers – Brad Lander and Jumaane Williams, both from Brooklyn, Melissa Mark-Viverito from Manhattan, and Eric Ulrich from Queens.

Last year, Lander’s constituents voted to put the $1 million from the city budget to improve student bathrooms at a local school.

Laurie Windsor, president of Community Education Council District 20, explained that the funds are used efficiently. “It’s not about prettiness, it’s about what we need,” she said at the CEC’s August meeting, noting that it should be used to fix things like school infrastructure, instead of installing air conditioning for students.

The meeting will be held at P.S. 205, located at 6701 20th Avenue, starting at 7 p.m. For more information, call Greenfield’s office at 718-853-2704 or visit

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.