As Participatory Budgeting has been adopted here in New York City over the last few years, residents of each participating district can now vote on how to allocate a minimum of $1 million of the city budget to the local improvement efforts they they care most about. In North Brooklyn, the budgetary contenders chosen by neighbors include projects in schools, parks, playgrounds, transportation, and public housing. (Sorry, Lower East Side and East Village– you’re left out again this year.)
“I’ve got the easiest pitch in the city,’” District 34 City Council hopeful Antonio Reynoso said at a fundraiser earlier this year: “Hi, I don’t sexually harass my staff, will you vote for me?”
Media coverage of 30-year-old Reynoso’s campaign to win tomorrow’s Democratic primary has overwhelmingly focused on the bad behavior of his opponent, former State Assemblyman Vito Lopez. Lopez, who is 72, resigned from the State Assembly last May when several female staffers accused him of sexual harassment. Soon after, Lopez began raising money for a City Council run in District 34, which encompasses Williamsburg, Bushwick and part of Ridgewood, Queens.
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