The deadline to submit Participatory Budgeting ideas in the 6th Council District passed on Sunday, January 23; now that the ideas on how to spend up to $1 million within the district have been collected, the budgeting process moves on to phase two.
Between now and February 11, the proposed projects will be vetted by District Committees, Council Offices, and relevant city agencies on metrics of need, equity, and cost. Throughout February and March, projects will be further vetted and publicly presented before culminating in “vote week” from April 2-10, so get ready to advocate for your favorite proposals!
You can view all 68 ideas that residents of the Upper West Side have submitted, endorse the ones you like, leave comments, and start becoming acquainted with your potential April ballot.
Proposal categories range from the arts, community sanitation, public transit and thoroughfares, to a wide variety of other improvements and suggestions – including a memorial for beloved former Central Park resident Barry the Barred Owl (though Gale Brewer’s office notes that eligible projects are “…focused on capital funding—infrastructure projects that benefit the public, cost at least $50,000, and have a lifespan of at least 5 years).”
One proposal aims to reopen the shuttered West Side Arts Coalition building, which was closed first by COVID-19 and then by physical disrepair. The small Beaux-Arts building sits in the middle of Broadway on West 96th Street, and participatory budgeting funds would ideally restore it as a small hub for the arts.
However, as of writing, the most-endorsed and commented-upon proposal – by far – is for the addition of pickleball courts in Central Park’s North Meadow Recreation Center. Readers can see for themselves what the fuss is all about on the proposal’s page.