Media Room

The NYC Civic Engagement Commission (CEC), Taskforce on Racial Inclusion and Equity (TRIE), and Young Men's Initiative (YMI) Release Citywide Participatory Budgeting Vote Results

For Immediate Release
Contact: publicaffairs@civicengagement.nyc.gov

Over 29,000 New Yorkers Decided On Winning Proposals

New York, NY, February 17, 2022–The People's Money is a participatory budgeting process that is giving New Yorkers a say in which projects should get city government funding to support 33 neighborhoods hit hardest by COVID-19. New Yorkers voted from December 6, 2021-January 31, 2022. 

These investments total $1.3 million and will support a more fair recovery in our City.  Community organizations proposed 99 ideas to meet urgent needs such as mental health, hunger, youth programs, and reducing gun violence. Winning projects will be implemented from March-June.  To see the full vote results by neighborhood, borough, and issue areas, visit the NYC Participate platform, TRIE PB results page.

City agency partners worked to reach low-income New Yorkers, immigrants and people of color, using canvassers, multilingual community and ethnic print media, social media and radio ads, bus shelter and LinkNYC kiosks ads, and leveraging the TRIE Neighborhood Initiative made up of local community-based organizations in the targeted 33 neighborhoods.

In the final stretch of the vote period, neighborhood coalitions and the CEC co-hosted 18 Get Out the Vote (GOTV) events across all five boroughs to inform residents about the participatory budgeting process and help them access multi-modal ways to vote for projects in their neighborhood. In conjunction with neighborhood community based organizations, and volunteers, the CEC canvassed with paper ballots that were translated into 15 languages. Of the 18 events, 4 were held in the Bronx (Kingsbridge, Belmont, Parkchester, Morrisania), 7 in Brooklyn (East Flatbush, Bedford Stuyvesant, Brownsville, Bushwick, Sunset Park, Flatbush, East New York), 5 in Queens (Richmond Hill, Queensbridge, Jamaica, Queens Village, Woodhaven), 1 in Manhattan (Central

Harlem), and 1 in Staten Island (St. George). Co-hosts included branches of  the NY State Conference of NAACP, Commonpoint Queens, Project Hospitality, El Puente, the African Life Center, and others.Photos from neighborhood canvassing events may be accessed here.  New Yorkers were also able to vote online and by phone.This participatory budgeting process is part of the TRIE Neighborhood Initiative (TNI) that aims to strengthen grassroots coalitions across all 33 neighborhoods. The TNI is run in partnership with Bridge Philanthropic Consulting, which serves as the Project Manager.

" The Civic Engagement Commission is committed to the values of collaboration and manifesting community power.  Participatory budgeting is one pathway for engagement that enables communities to move their voice into action on decisions that impact their lives.  We believe that by working together with people affected by policies, we can identify and solve our collective challenges and build the interdependence required for a healthy and resilient democracy, said Dr. Sarah Sayeed, Chair and Executive Director, Civic Engagement Commission.

"The Taskforce on Racial Inclusion & Equity (TRIE) is dedicated to bridging the gap between communities and the City. New Yorkers know first-hand what their communities need, and through The People's Money, are directing City resources to projects that reflect local priorities," said Sideya Sherman, Executive Director, Taskforce on Racial Inclusion & Equity and EVP, Community Engagement & Partnerships, NYCHA. "We commend the TRIE neighborhood coalitions for their tireless work engaging community members in local decision-making and crafting solutions to everyday challenges. We look forward to seeing the successful implementation of these projects, which will catalyze future participatory budgeting in our city."

"When community residents have a voice in the decision-making process for issues and opportunities that affect their community, they are empowered and own the outcomes of their choices," said CEO of Bridge Philanthropic Consulting Dwayne Ashely. "We are extremely proud of the work the BPC Team along with their respective TREI Neighborhood Coordinators (TNCs) exhibited to ensure a tremendous turnout for this PB process.  The BPC/TRIE delivery system is an effective and viable mechanism for serving New Yorkers."

"Since the start of the pandemic, the NYC Young Men's Initiative has funded various initiatives and has been an active partner in the TRIE coalition to support communities throughout the city that have been hit hardest by COVID-19. The People's Money provides an essential tool for these communities to have a direct impact on the capital budgeting process. YMI supports methods like participatory budgeting in which New Yorkers are encouraged to participate and make decisions on changes that affect them. Expanding the practice of participatory budgeting in TRIE neighborhoods showcases coalition building and allows New Yorkers to have a voice in how funds are allocated and spent within their community," said Nathifa Forde, Deputy Executive Director, Young Men's Initiative.

Speaking on theSeniors in Tech winning proposal, Fadia Mohama, Senior Director of Strategy and Workforce Partnership for Commonpoint Queens said, "the Hub is a one-stop social service center where individuals can attain self-sufficiency, through programs in health, financial stability, education and community engagement. This pandemic has had so much strain on our seniors, leaving them feeling isolated, depressed and missing the connection they had with their family, friends and community. We have done a few virtual town halls to bring resources to our seniors, helping them feel connected and one of our most recent  town hall Let's Talk to Seniors and Teens. This dynamic discussion was a fun way for two different generations to share their experiences and knowledge, while each participating member has the chance to teach, grow, and encourage each other,"  Now, we are so excited to bring 100 New Ipads to 100 Seniors. We are excited to start a program to teach them how to use the Ipads to stay connected with their family, friends, and community. How to use technology to bring some physical, mental and emotional healthy habits to their lives.  We value all contributions from our community, and we absolutely love bringing people together!" 

"El Puente is proud to partner with our Bushwick Community  and the Racial Inclusion and Equity Task Force to support in bridging the gap in accessing resources, and ensuring that youth and their families have a voice in demanding and creating  a healthier community. Despite all the challenges COVID 19 has presented all of us with, Steadfast  Bushwick has come together to affirm our collective  commitment to critical human services integrated with activism and community empowerment.  Mental Health is essential to Bushwick's well-being and El Puente is  committed to making the project chosen by our neighbors as holistic, culturally relevant, engaging and far-reaching as the time and resources will allow.  El Puente thanks all the Bushwick residents that supported this process with their votes, from our youth to our elders.  We are  happy to work with the 33 TRIE neighborhoods around the City to amplify and address our community needs," said Asenhat Gomez, Deputy Director of Programs, El Puente

"The people of Highbridge/Grand Concourse have spoken, and they are saying that they are fed-up with gun violence in our community. We committed to identifying and engaging in activities and processes to address and abate - if not resolve this problem," says Dr. Abdus Salaam-Musa, Project Manager, TRIE Highbridge Coalition. "A community that fails to address the root causes of the social ills that plague its children and neighbors. Is doom to failure for not removing them."

"The Muslim Women's Institute for Research and Development as the lead CBO of the Highbridge TRIE Coalition is encouraged to further and strengthen existing collaborations with other CBOs like Bridge Builders and the Highbridge Community Church, and to facilitate and direct resources of NYC government to this plague of Gun Violence in the Highbridge/Grand Concourse community – whose residents declare a community crisis." Dr. Nurah Amatullah, MWIRD Executive Director, stated.

Project Outreach worker and Highbridge Community Youth leader Ezequiel Mendoza said, "we look forward to and embrace the challenges ahead with this project. We understand that in uniting our experiences and our efforts with resources afforded us through the NYC TRIE Coalition with support from the CEC we can bring our proposed project to fruition and have meaningful and transformative impact in 10452 – Highbridge/Concourse communities."

"Staten Island plunged full speed ahead discussing, debating, and understanding what our communities need.  Mental health was the highest need, from the stress people felt in fear of COVID, the isolation impact of COVID for our children and our elders, the grief of COVID as we buried neighbors, family, and friends. Parents struggle with the pressure of doing school differently, children at home, limited childcare, becoming a parent-teacher while cooking, cleaning and trying to get out the door for work.  Staten Island spoke for the neighbors camped out at bus stops and ferry terminal benches camped out in the supermarket or deli doorway, seriously mentally ill, maybe even homeless. People living on the street, young students, and more than a hundred on the North Shore, read the survey and asked how this would help my fellow classmates, my family.  Most of those students were raised in homes where English was not the primary language.  No one walked away from this vote.  Their circle, check, X, spoke volumes with one word:  Get the word out about mental health services; point the way, and speak to me about mental health in a language I understand. People want to be a part of the solution," said Rev. Dr. Terry Troia, coordinator of the SI Racial Inclusion and Equity Task Force.

Getting the young adults to vote for a project meant a lot, educating them to understand the power of community engagement. They were committed and calling on their peers to vote. For the first time, the youth have campaigned and got community members to vote for the soccer game as their first choice but also, for them voting is a tool to increase their participation in civic activities. Alongside their involvement in getting the vaccine, they now understand the intricacies of participatory budgeting and the benefits it offers to the public. Our focus now is on mental health intervention and wellness. As one of the youth leaders explained, "A significant number of African youth are battling with mental health. They need help, " said Ramatu Ahmed, Executive Director, African Life Center.

"At the onset of COVID-19 in 2020 we quickly learned that food access was one of the greatest issues facing low to moderate income residents of the Lower East Side. Since then we have built out food delivery programs at our local NYCHA campuses and are excited at the opportunity to bring additional programming into our local schools through the winning proposal which is to bring community fridges with youth gardens and programming to 5 local schools. Giving our community the opportunity to decide how they want money invested in their community is powerful and being able to include our youth from the beginning of the voting process and through the program itself will be very impactful. During this process we're able to not only provide what our neighborhood needs, but to also share lessons about community that will last much longer," stated GOLES.

Background on City Partners

The New York City Civic Engagement Commission (CEC) was created in 2018 through a ballot referendum to enhance civic participation, promote civic trust, and strengthen democracy in New York City.   The Commission's core programmatic mandates include: participatory budgeting, providing training and technical support to community boards, increasing voter registration and participation for all New Yorkers, and serving language interpretation needs of limited English proficient residents  in designated languages at select poll sites.

The Taskforce on Racial Inclusion and Equity (TRIE) works to address deeply rooted racial and economic disparities that have been exacerbated during this crisis by applying an equity-based approach to the response and recovery efforts of City agencies across the Administration. Programs and services are designed to address the specific challenges of New Yorkers in communities of color hardest-hit by COVID-19. The City solicited feedback from hundreds of community members, and this helped to inform the issue areas of the Taskforce's work.

NYC Young Men's Initiative (YMI) is a mayoral office that is focused on addressing the increasing disparities among youth of color between the ages of 16 and 24 in education, employment, health, and justice. The YMI mission is to develop and champion policies, programs, and partnerships that holistically support the success of young men of color throughout NYC. YMI accomplishes its mission through broad policy recommendations, changes, and agency reforms. In addition to co-creating programming with agency partners and building the capacity of agencies to address racial disparities to improve the quality of marginalized young people and lead them to a more successful future.