New York City Council, LinkNYC, DoITT Launch Participatory Budgeting on Link Kiosks

New Yorkers in Participating Districts Decide How to Spend $1 Million in their Community

NEW YORK –  The New York City Council, the New York City Department of Information Technology and Telecommunications (DoITT) and LinkNYC announced that Participatory Budgeting has launched on Link kiosks citywide. Through Participatory Budgeting, New Yorkers in participating City Council districts will decide how to spend $1,000,000 of the public budget. Community members propose and vote on projects like improvements to schools, parks, libraries, public housing, and other public or community spaces. Voting for Participatory Budgeting is open April 7th through Sunday April 15th and is available on all Links for the full voting period. 

“LinkNYC once again demonstrates that technology is a powerful tool for public good,” said Samir Saini, Commissioner of the Department of Information Technology and Telecommunications. “We're honored to work with the Council to put democracy at New Yorkers' fingertips. This year, more than 1,500 Link kiosks present that many more opportunities for residents to vote for the neighborhood projects that matter the most to them. I look forward to introducing New Yorkers to even more ways the Link platform can be used to foster civic innovation within our great city.”

“With Participatory Budgeting, Link is helping to bring the democratic process to the streets,” said Jen Hensley, President of Link. “We always envisioned Link as a platform for civic engagement and are thrilled to support the City Council’s Participatory Budgeting efforts this year, providing another way for New Yorkers to vote for projects that will directly improve their quality of life.”

Anyone who lives in a participating district can approach a Link in any neighborhood and vote directly on the Link tablet. The vote will be submitted to Participatory Budgeting, and then the information will be deleted from the Link tablet after every session. There will also be advertising on the 55-inch digital displays on the sides of each Link to alert New Yorkers to this partnership and direct them to vote on the tablet.

LinkNYC is the first-of-its-kind communications network replacing the city’s payphones to build the world’s fastest and largest free public Wi-Fi network. Since Mayor Bill de Blasio announced the public launch of LinkNYC in early 2016, more than 1,700 Links are installed across all five boroughs, with thousands more set to be deployed over the next few years.

More than 3.6 million people – more than the populations of the cities of Chicago, Phoenix, Philadelphia, Dallas, or San Diego – have used the free gigabit Wi-Fi service, with tens of thousands of new users joining the network each week. LinkNYC Wi-Fi subscribers have used more than 3,625,000 GB of data, the equivalent of streaming 580 million songs and 3 million video hours, sending 36 billion emails and 123 billion messages.

In addition to free Wi-Fi, each Link offers free phone calls, device charging, and a tablet to access maps, 311, the social services platform Aunt Bertha, and access to 911. All of Link’s services are 100% free for users and come at no cost to taxpayers. For more information and to find Link locations, visit link.nyc.

About the Department of Information Technology and Telecommunications (DoITT)

DoITT is the technology core of New York City government, working with over 100 city agencies and entities to deliver the tech they need to serve and empower New Yorkers. DoITT’s technology solutions help keep the five boroughs safe, strong, and vibrant. For more information, visit nyc.gov/DoITT or visit us on Facebook or Twitter