Friday, March 24, 2017


Every year, New York City Councilmember Brad Lander sponsors Participatory Budgeting (PB), a process that allows residents of his city council district to vote on projects to benefit the community. This year, P.S. 130--a racially, ethnically, linguistically, and socioeconomically diverse Title I elementary school in Windsor Terrace/Kensington, Brooklyn--is on the ballot for an urgently needed renovation of its lower school yard.

The yard's pavement and concrete are cracked and uneven, with poor drainage, creating a slippery and icy surface through the winter and huge puddles during the rest of the year. These poor conditions have caused injuries to students and staff and frequently make it impossible for the lower school's nearly 500 Pre-K to 2nd grade students to play outside. The yard is the school's only gym and recess area.

This year's Participatory Budgeting vote could provide the school with $500,000 to remove the existing surface, re-pitch it properly and add drainage, and resurface the entire yard, creating a usable and safe play space for the children at P.S. 130 Lower School.

There are ten Capital Projects on the ballot this year, and people can vote for up to five projects. All District 39 residents age 14 and up can vote, regardless of immigration status or whether they are previously-registered voters.

Voting will take place from March 25th through April 2nd online at Councilmember Lander's website and in person at any PB voting site. The sites are listed on the PB voting website, along with more information about the PB process and other projects.

These photos will give you an idea of what the children and the staff have to deal with.