SAYA youth have played an exciting role in New York City Council’s Participatory Budgeting this year. Participatory budgeting is a democratic process in which community members directly decide how to spend part of a public budget. It enables residents above the age of 14 to have a voice in community improvement projects. It gives real power to people who have never before been involved in the political process.
On Thursday, March 31, our fifth graders at PS 230 encouraged parents and community members to vote at mobile voting stations at the end of the school day and after an evening talent show. It was an extremely successful community engagement effort with great turnout, especially among women. Our fifth graders at PS 230 in Brooklyn learned about participatory budgeting earlier this year with the help of staff from NYC Council Member Brad Lander’s office, in whose district PS 230 is located.
Youth attending SAYA’s co-ed ARISE leadership programming canvassed in the community and encouraged people to vote in Forest Hills, Queens on Saturday, April 2. High school freshman and sophomores in ARISE focus on civic engagement and advocacy. Youth had learned about the participatory budgeting process through a visit from a staff member from NYC Council Member Karen Koslowitz’ office.