SUNNYSIDE, N.Y. – City Council Majority leader Jimmy Van Bramer began the first of a series of participatory budget hearings on September 14 at the Community Services building in Sunnyside.
The hearing was attended by local businesspersons and agency representatives alike. Van Bramer was particularly happy that young people representing their schools were in attendance as well.
Together with fellow Councilman Costas Constantinides, Van Bramer launched significant initiatives for road safety and general quality of life in Astoria and Long Island City, two Queens districts with particularly large Greek-American populations in both residential and business capacities.
Van Bramer, who last year allocated over $1.5 million on various social projects, exceeding the budgeted amount of $1 million, told TNH that he was happy with the interest the community showed in the participatory hearings. “We are thrilled to be here kicking off the second year of participatory budgeting in my district, the 26th District that includes Sunnyside, Woodside, Long Island City, and South Astoria.”
He called the hearings format “an innovation, which ensures participatory government. For the second year we give the people of my district the opportunity to make proposals for improvement in their neighborhoods. We vet these proposals and allocate funds totaling $1 million to implement the most popular projects.”
Van Bremer invited his constituents to participate in the rest of the hearings, to be held will in various district neighborhoods over the next month.