Main Street WIRE Ben Kallos Lets You Decide Where Your Money Goes by David Stone
Ben Kallos Lets You Decide Where Your Money Goes
23 March 2016
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In the next few days, Roosevelt Islanders get a rare opportunity to make their wishes known as to how their city tax dollars are spent.
Under Council Member Ben Kallos’s leadership, residents are invited to cast ballots in favor of funding specific community projects with discretionary money from the city budget. Kallos is a pioneer in the innovative process of participatory budgeting. Less than half of Council Members allow their constituents to actively decide what gets funded.
As explained on Kallos’s website:
“Participatory budgeting (PB) is a democratic process in which community members directly decide how to spend part of a public budget. In other words, the people who pay taxes decide how tax dollars get spent. Participatory budgeting is grassroots democracy at its best. It helps make budget decisions clear and accessible. It gives real power to people who have never before been involved in the political process. And it results in better budget decisions — because who better knows the needs of our community than the people who live there?”
These important community projects for Roosevelt Island are:
STEM Green Roof for P.S./I.S. 217
Finalize funding to build a STEM Green Roof atop P.S./I.S. 217. Transform 6,750 square feet of unused P.S./I.S. 217 school roof into an outdoor learning hub for science, math, nutrition and the arts.
645 Main Street, Roosevelt Island
“Imagine 6,750 square feet of underutilized riverfront school roof transformed into a Green STEM learning hub…”
Computer Carts for 10 Schools
32 computers per cart for: P.S. 77, P.S. 198, P.S. 290, P.S./I.S. 217, M. 25, Eleanor Roosevelt, Urban Academy, Vanguard, Manhattan International, and Life Sciences, serving over 5,000 students.
NYC Schools (District wide)
Where and when do I vote?
Anyone who is fourteen years or older is eligible to vote for these projects. You needn’t be a registered voter or even an America citizen.
Roosevelt Islanders have four opportunities to vote. It’s important to make sure our voices are heard:
- Saturday, March 26 from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., during the Easter Egg Hunt at 20 River Road in Manhattan Park.
- Tuesday, March 29 from 4:00 to 7:00 p.m. at the Subway Station on Roosevelt Island.
- Wednesday, March 30 from 4:00 to 7:00 p.m. at the Tramway Plaza at 59th Street in Manhattan.
- Thursday, March 31 from 7:30 to 10:30 a.m. at PS/IS 217, 645 Main Street.
You can also vote at Ben Kallos’s District Office, 244 East 93rd Street.