Update on a PB victory by Rachael Fauss, District Committee Member in Council District 39
Community advocates know that change is often a slow process, and victories are sometimes elusive or only result in half a loaf. But with participatory budgeting (PB), we have the opportunity to seek change in a way that involves the entire community through a public vote, amplifying and legitimizing our voice.
Residents in Council District 39 recently saw an important victory through participatory budgeting. At last year’s PB vote, we as a community voted to put $200,000 of our public dollars toward pedestrian safety upgrades at a dangerous intersection – Church Avenue and Ocean Parkway.
Though the voters approved the project, we continued to need to fight together for the project to be approved by the New York State Department of Transportation (NYS DOT). We were saddened as a community to see one of our neighbors, Ngozi Agbim, tragically lose her life in June at this very intersection. Her family’s inspiring advocacy helped to ensure the safety of pedestrians going forward. After petitions, community meetings and much hard work, last month the NYS DOT finally approved the community’s proposal for safety improvements.