New York CIty Council Member Ben Kallos

Thank you for voting in participatory budgeting! Over the course of 10 days, 2,140 of you turned out to vote a total for a total of 6,963 votes. I am pleased to announce the top vote getters for the $1,000,000 were green roofs for PS/IS 217 and PS 151. Both projects will cost more than the $500,000 that each won this year and are likely to be back on the ballot next year or until they are fully funded.

So that you can learn more and better organize for next year, we are releasing the total votes for each project as well as paper ballot results by project and poll site. Wherever a project was tied to a physical location, we did our best to bring at least one poll site to that location. You can see the more detailed results below or download the Excel Spreadsheet or the Open Document Format Spreadsheet which can be viewed and edited for free using LibreOffice.

Learn more about Participatory Budgeting and if you are interested in becoming a Participatory Budgeting Delegate next year or simply becoming more engaged in the process, please contact 212-860-1950 or

Congratulations to the winners and all who participated. Profiles of our winners--and how they successfully mobilized the community--are below:


PS/IS 217

PS/IS 217, a unique international school on Roosevelt Island serving pre-k through eighth grade, wanted additional outdoor space and an educational green roof for their 543 students. Roosevelt Island is a tight-knit and highly-engaged community, so they mobilized together. 

The PS/IS 217 PTA, Girl Scouts troops 3001 and 3244, Roosevelt Island Garden Club, Roosevelt Island Parents' Network and Sharon Bermon from the NYPL Roosevelt Island Branch were just a few of the community members who came together to support the students.

Principal Mandana Beckman acknowledged the community efforts, saying " It truly does take a village and we have a great one here on Roosevelt Island.The Principal explained:

"Our PTA co-presidents used the 217 PTA website parent blog to deliver frequent messages about the project and the voting process.  Flyers, memos, even bookmarks were printed as reminders and sources of information.  The Main Street Wire and the Roosevelt Islander blog, featured several articles on the Green Roof and voting information. RI Residents Association (RIRA) discussed the process and the project in their regular news Wire column.  Nearly every business, club, group or organization, participated in spreading the word about the project and the opportunity to vote.  Flyers were also published and distributed on the Upper East Side and Midtown East to explain and support this project on New York’s other Island.  RI’s Earth Day Celebration drew in a large voting crowd on one of the ballot days. City Council Member Ben Kallos and his teams came out to the Island to meet with the community to talk about the project and encourage voters to participate."

"217PTA was thrilled to have the opportunity to engage our parents and students in Council member Ben Kallos’ Participatory Budget process," said PTA co-presidents Olga Shchuchinov and Natalia Starkova.

"The green roof will serve as a great educational resource for the community." Ali Schwayri, President of the Roosevelt Island Garden Club, said, "We believe in the benefits of the Green Roof for our community, and I speak for secretary, Julia Ferguson, and the entire membership, when I say we all look forward to sharing our expertise and passion."

Eva Bosbach, the Founder of the Roosevelt Island Parents' Network, and Jeff Escobar, President of the Roosevelt Island Residents Association both also noted how excited they were to support the projects. Community member Sharon Bermon said, "Dozens of individuals and organizations worked together to increase awareness of the Participatory Balloting process and to convince people to take the time to vote."

Local girl scouts on the Island also poured their energy into the project. Their troop leaders, Janine Schaefer of troup 3244 and Aiesha Eleusizov, leader of troup 3001, said:

"Girl Scout Troops 3001 and 3244 dedicated countless hours at the subway, in front of the school, at our community's Earth Day event and simply walking down the street passing out bookmarks about the community projects, meeting with constituents at our local Expo, drawing pictures about the Green Roof, making and posting on social media a YouTube video to encourage voting, and simply spreading the word to encourage Roosevelt Island residents to exercise their right to vote for the Green Roof project at PS/IS 217...This has been an excellent opportunity for our youth to learn first hand the power of the vote, the community and working hard to achieve your dreams."

Council Member Kallos did multiple mobile sessions on Roosevelt Island, as he did at dozens of locations across the district.

Congratulations, PS/IS 217!


PS 151

PS 151, or the Yorkville Community School, is a K-5 school that opened its doors in 2009 and now has around 500 students. The children were crunched for space to play, move, and enjoy the outdoors. Parent leaders, along with Principal Samantha Kaplan, became involved in the participatory budgeting process to gain the funds for the school green roof.

PTA Co-Presidents Nesli Ciner and Michael Rawlings, along with other parent leaders, got involved.

Council Member Kallos' office offered mobile sites to all locations with projects on the ballot--and PS 151 scheduled one. This mobile voting location was the most well-attended of all the mobile sites, thanks to the hard work of community activists, volunteers and students who peppered their

neighbors' doors with material advertising the vote.

Principal Samantha Kaplan said:

"This multi-step process began with me presenting my YCS roof top recreational space project plan to Council Member Kallos, as well as the PTA Executive Board. From there, three members of the Exec. board took the reigns and ensured that our school's project plan was present at all Participatory Budget Expos, as well as sharing with the larger community through varied messaging. This team effort helped to educate our community in regards to the specific needs this project would fulfill for our school and how their voice mattered through the process. The Participatory Budget allocation will now be combined with Capital funding we have received in the past, to begin planning for our new educational/recreational roof top space."

She stated that the school was extremely excited to have participatory budgeting through a strong show of neighborhood support.

"Yorkville Community School is ecstatic to have won the Participatory Budget Vote. Thanks to the  community support, ourstudents will now be able to enjoy a much needed outdoor play space and educational garden. I would also like to thank Council Member Kallos for providing the opportunity to engage in this community centered process."

Both green roof winners acknowledged that this was the beginning of a multi-year funding process that they were excited to embark upon. Council Member Kallos' office looks forward to working with them to make the green roofs a reality.



Download the Excel Spreadsheet or the Open Document Format Spreadsheet which can be viewed and edited for free using LibreOffice.

Digital and Paper Ballots

Ballot #Paper VotesDigital VotesTotal VotesProject Name
1354127481Cool Reading
214395238Bright Minds
3364377741Study of Sight and Sound
4618136754Rooftop Recreation for PS 151
5453392845Green Roof for PS/IS 217
6348124472School Stage for Eleanor Roosevelt High
7231118349School's Cool for PS198/PS 77
8256140396STEM Education for High School
9182101283Security Cameras for Holmes Towers
10378106484Security Cameras for Lexington Houses
11195107302Community Garden for Lexington Houses
1215287239Full Court Press
13215121336Irrigate the Esplanade
14311160471Esplanade Greenway
1511897215Fun Fountain at St. Catherine's Park
16247110357Bus Bulbs on E86th St
Total Votes4,5652,3986,963 
Total Ballots1,4207202,140 

Paper Ballots by Poll Site

Ballot ItemsDOCarl Schurz ParkEleanor Roosevelt
John Jay ParkLenox HillLexington Houses67th Street NYPLPS 151PS/IS 217R.I. NYPLR.I. Senior CenterR.I. Visitor CenterR.I.St. Cath. ParkStanley IsaacsWebster NYPL 
169392174 8751121068 2174Cool Reading
2295453114327 9274318Bright Minds
32195331 2151121066057 510Study of Sight and Sound
476571173 33531221561523226Rooftop Recreation for PS 151
52912642 43378131026684299Green Roof for PS/IS 217
6475113191 6286 14 631235School Stage for Eleanor Roosevelt High
791158942 327212794229School's Cool for PS198/PS 77
86027147513409222171031621STEM Education for High School
9411881147346210129 1317Security Cameras for Holmes Towers
10723915251413212473 6925Security Cameras for Lexington Houses
11531691531413255523411Community Garden for Lexington Houses
124510692 729417234619Full Court Press
13633074 18235 741121833Irrigate the Esplanade
14864615522952711511721735Esplanade Greenway
15266722 714617849812Fun Fountain at St. Catherine's Park
1656151232136071114623728Bus Bulbs on E86th St
Total Votes864 39527978441784999  22043356217244  39322382 
Total Ballots231 94137199418367 7916112698697598 
Votes Per Ballot3. 

Additional funding decisions will be made by July, and you are encouraged to check back then.

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