Saturday, June 28, 2014

News From Council Member Andrew Cohen

The following comes from Councilman Andrew Cohen

Council Member Cohen Touts Funding to Combat Mental Illness in City Budget

“This budget is progressive, fiscally responsible and most importantly it helps all New Yorkers.  I thank Speaker Mark-Viverito for ensuring an inclusive process that was not only open and transparent but substantive as well.

“As the Chair of the Committee on Mental Health, Developmental Disabilities, Alcoholism, Drug Abuse and Disability Services, I am especially proud that we were able to secure $33 million to combat violence and mental illness on Rikers Island.  I am also pleased that we have secured a $200,000 enhancement for the Children Under Five Initiative and $50,000 for the Young Adult Initiative.  Mental health is a serious issue and this funding shows that the City is serious about fighting this epidemic on behalf of these vulnerable populations,” said Council Member Andrew Cohen.

Council Member Cohen to Bring Participatory Budgeting to District 11 and the Bronx
Groundbreaking program allows community residents to determine how taxpayer money is spent

Council Member Andrew Cohen has announced that he is instituting Participatory Budgeting in the 11th Council district for Fiscal Year 2016.  Participatory Budgeting is a groundbreaking program which allows community residents to vote on how a portion of their tax dollars are spent.  Council Member Cohen is the first Bronx Council Member to establish this program in the borough and he will allocate a minimum of $1million of his discretionary funds to the process.

The participatory budgeting process involves a series of meetings that feed into the City’s annual budget cycle.  Starting in the fall, community members will brainstorm spending ideas at budget assemblies. Volunteers will turn these ideas into full proposals, and the public will also be able to submit, review, and discuss project ideas online.  In April 2015 residents will vote on which proposals to fund.

“I am excited to bring Participatory Budgeting to my district and let our community have a voice in how their tax dollars are spent.  It is my hope that through this process we will have residents from all over the district engage one another and work together to develop and support various projects that will benefit everyone.  I am looking forward to working with my neighbors on establishing this program in the Bronx and ensuring its success,” said Council Member Andrew Cohen.

This summer, the Council Member and his staff will be hosting information sessions throughout the district to let residents know more about participatory budgeting and how they can get involved. The confirmed information sessions are listed below and they will all begin at 7:00pm.  Additional information sessions will be confirmed shortly.

Monday, July 7th at Community Board 7 Office, 229A East 204th Street
Thursday, July 10th at Williamsbridge Oval Recreation Center, 3225 Reservoir Oval East
Tuesday, July 15th at the Emerald Isle Immigration Center, 4275 Katonah Avenue
Thursday, July 17th at the Riverdale Y-MWHA, 5625 Arlington Avenue

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