flatbush haitian community
Shoppers stroll down Flatbush Avenue, a main thoroughfare in District 40, one of 14 City Council districts partaking in participatory budgeting. Photo by Sam Bojarski

BROOKLYN — One idea is for a community food kitchen at Newkirk and Coney Island avenues. Another calls for a subway mural to be painted at the Parkside Avenue Q train station. A third calls for stormwater infrastructure, to build flood resilience. 

In all, more than 45 proposals for infrastructure improvements have been submitted by Council District 40 residents through participatory budgeting, a process by which community members directly decide how to spend part of a public budget. Each participating council member receives $1 million to allocate to infrastructure projects, costing at least $50,000 and that will last five years or more. 

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Sam is a reporter for The Haitian Times and a 2020 Report for America corps member. He has covered Haiti and its diaspora since 2018. His work has also appeared in USA Today, the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review and Haiti Liberte. Sam can be reached at sam@haitiantimes.com or on Twitter @sambojarski.