Over the last month, the RHI Participatory Budgeting (PB) Youth Delegates have been hard at work narrowing down the list of project ideas from the community and developing project proposals to send to city agencies. If you missed their last update, you can take a look at it here! Our delegates each worked on different project proposals with committees of community members – right now they are waiting to get approval from the city agencies. Here is what they had to say about the process of working on the proposals for a Multimedia Room for the Red Hook Library, free WiFi for the Red Hook Houses, a Skate Park, and a parking lot for the new Red Hook Senior Center.
The past couple of weeks we have been attending Participatory Budgeting meetings. At most of the meetings, we have been trying to figure out what’s best for the community. There has been great input at all of the meetings. Most of the meetings we had at RHI were the blueprint for us to actually figure out how to make all of the things work with the budgeting. We have worked on making a multimedia room and another group from RHI is trying to get a skate park for the youth as well.
We have also met with some of the locals that are attending the meetings at the library. They are interested in bringing new computers to the schools. They are also committed to trying to bring in SmartBoards as well. We have seen the dedication and hunger in their eyes to help the community. I think most of the proposals are great – we had to narrow the choices down and made sure it met the quota. Other committees are actually working as hard as we are but we look at it as we all are working to achieve a goal, which is to make our community a better place.
- John Reid, Youth Delegate, Education & Technology Committee
The time that I spent working on the multimedia room proposal has been a journey for me. When we first saw the room in the back of the library, I thought to myself, “What will we be able to do with this space and what kind of technology can be added?”. After we checked out the empty space in the library room my committee members and I brainstormed about things that will help benefit the people in the community. It took us about two days to get all the items listed and priced. The process of finding all of the items we could add took me a really long time – there was a time when I was trying to find an item and it took me almost an hour to find the exact piece I was looking for. This little moment stuck with me once I finished the list of items because I felt that it showed my commitment to my community. We all agreed that having Apple computers, a smart board, projectors, the latest media software and many more items will encourage more people to come visit the Red Hook library.
- Naheem Morris, Youth Delegate, Education & Technology Committee
The free WIFI project on NYCHA housing was originally created by the Digital Stewards. Tony Schloss and the Digital Stewards at RHI already manage WIFI in select areas around Red Hook, so this project is basically extending the WIFI we provide already into Red Hook public housing. This project is important because we’re living in the digital era and everything is online – even stores now want an online application for jobs. By doing this we are going to be bringing a connection to a lot of people that don’t have it but need it. Within this project is the solution to people not being able to keep in contact with other people. Coming up with the proposal wasn’t hard – we know that this is a very helpful project that everybody in Red Hook would enjoy and benefit from if it wins!
- Jesus Benitez, Youth Delegate, Education & Technology Committee
Last week we had a meeting in Sunset Park where we finalized the proposal for the skate park, so I guess you could say it was the most important meeting out of all the meetings! We talked about the location, the cost and how it would look when it’s finished. We also discussed how it would benefit people and more importantly what the purpose of it is and why it deserves to be built. The idea of the skate park is to satisfy the youth and overall everyone else. The idea is to have people not be bored all the time and to have something to do. We also think that it will decrease the crime rate among the youth because now people will have more things to do instead of being negatively influenced. So I think the skate park is a wonderful idea and it will serve a great purpose!
- Quincy Phillips, Youth Delegate, Parks & Environment Committee
My proposal is to make a parking lot for the new Senior Center at 110 West 9th Street in the back of the building or in front of it. When we had the meeting about the Senior Center, many of the seniors were asking where they will be able to park their cars because the new center is a distance from where they live. West 9th Street between Clinton Street and Henry Street is a very busy block. There are several industrial businesses and a lot of traffic during day as well. With the parking lot, they will have a designated parking space for an ambulance if an emergency happens. We were thinking it could have 8 to 10 handicap parking spaces. This would help the seniors feel safe and be safe on a very busy block.
- Sandy Serrano, Delegate, Health & Safety Committee
In the coming months, our delegates will be out in the community doing outreach and getting the word out about their amazing proposals. None of these projects will happen unless the whole Red Hook community comes out to vote April 11-19th!