PARTICIPATORY BUDGETING BRINGING IMPROVEMENTS TO ASTORIA PARK
Improvements are coming to Astoria Park as a result of Councilman Costa Constantinides’s 2016 Participatory Budgeting Process. Participatory Budgeting, introduced in 2015 by the New York City council, has been called “grassroots democracy at its best.” It lets local residents decide how their tax dollars are spent, by proposing projects, attending public meetings, and voting on which proposals should be funding. This year, Constantinides brought the voting process in Council District 22 to even more people. The Old Astoria Neighborhood Association was especially proud that he chose to set up a pop-up balloting location at our March meeting.
The most popular project on the 2016 participatory budget ballot was allocating $500,000 towards new water fountains in Astoria Park, with 709 votes. 704 people voted to spend $250,000 on gaming and picnic tables for Astoria Park. In a statement, Constantinides said,” Astoria Park is the jewel of our community, and it will become an even better space for families throughout the neighborhood with these additional amenities… We will continue to work with city agencies and community stakeholders as these capital projects are implemented.”