New Yorkers have the opportunity to vote on proposed infrastructure projects for their neighborhood, whichever they prefer. This as part of the participatory budget week, in which community members decide how part of the money allocated to their district is invested.
Ana Salgado, Coordinator of the Mental Health Program, Mixteca states:
“It is the way of telling the city that we want it to invest in projects that are a necessity for the community. So, if we want there to be more educational spaces, more spaces for mental health, more cultural spaces.”
“And whoever decides how this money should be invested is the community,” he says.
La Mixteca, a Brooklyn community organization, is one of the venues where residents can come to be part of this process.
Everyone can vote, regardless of immigration status, and not just adults; Children ages 11 and up have a say in the matter.
As part of the participatory budget, each City Council district would have up to $1 million for infrastructure projects, such as improvements to schools, parks, libraries, and streets.
Thus, the residents of Queens, Brooklyn, Manhattan and The Bronx will decide how some 30 million dollars of capital funds are invested for the fiscal year 2024.
“This is something very important, everyone is a neighbor in this community and they have a voice and we want to raise that voice through this process, so immigration status does not matter, we represent the city council, regardless of their status,” explains Rob Aguilar, District Director
“Mainly more for the elderly because sometimes there aren’t as many opportunities for them,” says Guadalupe Flores.
Arturo Reyes, a voter, expressed in his Mixteco language, about the importance of participating so that indigenous communities also have support.
Likewise, Councilwoman Alexa Avilés, who represents several Brooklyn neighborhoods, including Sunset Park and Red Hook, commented that this district has organized participatory budgeting sessions since they began in 2011 and that she is proud to maintain this tradition.
You can come to vote at the Mixteca from Monday to Saturday until April 2, from 10 am to 6 pm. There are voting locations in 29 participating wards across the city and to find a location near you you can contact your Councilor or visit the website: www.vote.pbnyc.org