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Residents of the 39th District of New York City — which includes Gowanus, as well as parts of Cobble Hill, Carroll Gardens, Columbia Waterfront, Park Slope, Windsor Terrace, Kensington and Borough Park — are eligible to take part in a very unique exercise in public governance this week. Participatory Budgeting, which is now available in eight NYC districts, allows all taxpayers 16 years of age and older to vote on specific public works projects nominated by fellow residents in your neighborhood throughout the past year. For example, last year we voted for an expansion of the composting facilities at the Salt Lot on 2nd Ave that ultimately proved popular enough to win funding!

Participatory Budgeting in District 39 has been spearheaded by our Councilman, Brad Lander, and this year’s slate of projects has been winnowed down from hundreds of proposals. Now it’s your turn to vote to determine which projects end up getting funded. This year’s slate of options include renovations to neighborhood schools, planting trees to reduce runoff on Third Avenue, adding bus clocks at bus stations throughout the district, improvements to parks, and many more. There are 24 total options, of which you are entitled to vote for 5.

Voting takes place this Saturday and Sunday! For information about whether you reside in the 39th District (or any of the seven other eligible districts with Participatory Budgeting) and the voting location closest to you, visit this website. Check out a list of the projects that are up for voting this year in the 39th District by viewing this sample ballot.