NEW YORK (PIX11) — New York City Civic Engagement Commission will launch its first-ever citywide participatory budgeting process, called “The People’s Money.” This will give all New Yorkers ages 11 and up, regardless of citizenship or incarceration status, a say in how to spend Mayor Eric Adams’ $5 million expense funding to address local community needs.

Although this will be the first time a participatory budgeting process will be used citywide, it is not the first time it has been used in the city.

Almost a decade ago, four New York City Council Members, Brad Lander, Melissa Mark-Viverito, Eric Ulrich, and Jumaane D. Williams, launched a PB process to allow residents in their district to allot part of their capital funds. This process resulted in a total of over $200 million being spent on projects voted on by residents in the past decade.

The People’s Money will go exclusively to expense projects, programs and services that directly help residents in their day-to-day lives.

How it works

Phase 1 – Generating ideas

From Sept. 19 – Nov. 9, there will be community meetings where residents can brainstorm ideas and recruit Budget Delegates for that budget cycle, according to the CEC. The first kickoff event was held Wednesday at Roberto Clemente Plaza, where 86 organizations helping with the initiative started generating ideas. If you missed the kickoff event, you can submit ideas here on the CEC’s website.

Phase 2 – Vetting and development

Starting Nov. 10 until April 21, 2023, the ideas will be looked at by the Borough Advisory Committees selected in phase 1. A standard was developed to ensure equity, need and feasibility are met, according to the CEC’s website. The committees will collaborate to determine which projects meet the criteria and will be developed into proposals for implementation. An open call will invite organizations to apply to implement projects, and then ballots will be created in several languages.

Phase 3 – Citywide voting

On April 22, 2023, residents (age 11 or older regardless of immigration status) can start voting; online, by paper ballot, or even by phone.

Phase 4 – Announcing winners

Voting will close on June 4, 2023, and votes will be counted. The winning projects will be announced and funded at the end of June. The CEC said they’re going to meet on a regular basis with all of the organizations chosen to implement the winning projects to ensure the projects get done on time with effective results.

What happens next?

You can view all the proposals on the CEC’s website, along with all the community partners, ideas, and events around The People’s Money.