Sunday, October 9, 2011

Councilman Brad Lander Calling Citizens to Get Involved

Brad Lander and fellow councilmembers Jumaane Williams (D-Brooklyn), Eric Ulrich (R-Queens), and Melissa Mark-Viverito (D-Manhattan) are excited over an initiative which will give residents real power to say how they want their tax money spent in their districts.
Brad Lander

It is called “Participatory Budgeting,” and Lander explains why he is so enthusiastic about the initiative:

"This is a time when faith in government is weakened; but for those of us who believe democracy is at its best when we work together as a community to solve problems, this is an opportunity to take part," explained Lander. "

The plan was first announced in September. In the next few weeks Lander’s 39th district will hold assemblies to get people involved. The first such assembly will be held in Park Slope this coming Wednesday, October 5th, at the Old First Reformed Church at 729 Carroll Street. A second assembly is planned for October 20th, at PS 58 in Carroll Gardens, both for 6:30pm.

"The idea is so novel; it's something people won't want to miss. If this works, we'll be part of something as pioneers," said Maria Pagano, Carroll Gardens resident and the President of the Carroll Gardens Neighborhood Association.

Lander is hoping a large contingent from his district will participate, involving Brooklynites from Cobble Hill, Carroll Gardens, Columbia Waterfront, Gowanus, Park Slope, Windsor Terrace, Boro Park, and Kensington.