Majority Leader Van Bramer with teachers from P4@Skillman, whose project to build a special needs playground received the most votes. City Council Majority Leader Jimmy Van Bramer unveiled on April 18th the winning Participatory Budgeting projects for the 26th Council District, which encompasses Sunnyside, Woodside, Long Island City, Dutch Kills, and Astoria. Over 3,600 people voted on projects to improve their neighborhoods. The top six projects add up to a total cost of $1.85 million.

The winning projects are:

1.Special needs playground for P4 @ Skillman (1,437 votes; $250,000)

2.Playground upgrades for PS 112 (1,169 votes; $500,000)

3.Basketball court renovations for Ravenswood (891 votes; $350,000)

4.Basketball court renovation for Queensbridge Houses (891 votes; $350,000)

5.Dutch Kills pedestrian safety (installation of bus bulbs on 31st St. at 36th Ave and 39th Ave.; 888 votes; $300,000)

Majority Leader Van Bramer with delegates who represented the winning projects. 6.Bathroom repairs for PS 111 (886 votes; $100,000)

Residents came together and said loud and clear how they wanted to spend our citys money, and every project they chose is a fantastic investment in our community, said Van Bramer. Because so many people made their voices heard, Ive decided to allocate an additional $800,000 over the $1 million promised so that residents can see these community improvements come to fruition. From school playgrounds and new basketball courts, to bathroom upgrades and pedestrian safety, Im sure these projects will make our community a better and more vibrant place to live.


Budgeting is a democratic process by which community members decide how to spend City Council capital funds. The process began in the fall, when community members gathered at neighborhood assemblies to brainstorm capital improvements. Then, volunteer budget delegates winnowed down the list of hundreds of ideas into a smaller number of real, implementable projects that made it onto the ballot. Residents of the 26th District aged 14 or over were able to vote for their favorite projects during the first week of April. The winning projects, announced last Monday, will be funded.

Thousands of residents, business owners, youth, and community leaders took part in this years Participatory Budgeting process. Neighborhood Assemblies and public meetings were held in Astoria, Dutch Kills, Sunnyside, Woodside, Long Island City, the Woodside Houses, the Queensbridge Houses, and the Big Six Towers. Fifty residents acted as budget delegates and worked with city agencies and the Majority Leaders office to turn ideas into project proposals. Over 75 people attended a project expo at Sunnyside Community Services, and more than 3,600 residents voted for their favorite projects.