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Amalgamated Bank Joins Movement for Participatory Budgeting By Using Branches As Community Voting Sites
March 24, 2016

Amalgamated Bank Joins Movement for Participatory Budgeting By Using Branches As Community Voting Sites

We are thrilled to help connect City Councilmembers with their constituents and to help those constituents have a say about how their budget is spent.

Keith Mestrich, President & CEO, Amalgamated Bank

NEW YORK – Starting Saturday, March 26 and running through Sunday April 4, select Amalgamated Bank branches around New York City will act as participatory budget voting sites for the New York City Council. In total, seven city council districts will be able to vote at an Amalgamated Bank branch. A full list of locations can be found below.

In 2015, more than 50,000 New Yorkers cast ballots in local participatory budgeting measures, in which neighborhood residents are able to help select projects for city funding. Amalgamated’s participation in this growing experiment in direct democracy is in line with their continued commitment to community engagement. 

“As a union-owned bank, Amalgamated understands the importance of individual participation in the democratic process. When people come together and have a say, progress is made,” said Keith Mestrich, President and CEO of Amalgamated Bank.  “Participatory budgeting has funded parks, school repairs, services for seniors – all the things that matter to strong communities. We are thrilled to help connect City Councilmembers with their constituents and to help those constituents have a say about how their budget is spent.”

“With 28 districts participating and over $32 million on the ballot, this is New York City’s most expansive and democratic participatory budgeting process yet,” said Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito. “Participatory budgeting puts power right into the hands of the people, enabling New Yorkers to brainstorm, develop, and vote on capital projects that will make a difference in their communities. By removing traditional barriers to civic engagement – including youth, immigration status, and language ability – this process enfranchises and embraces the full diversity of our city. I encourage New Yorkers across the city to find their nearest PB poll site and vote – because this is what democracy is all about.”

A complete list of participating branches includes:

275 Seventh Ave., Manhattan (CM Johnson’s district) 
1745 Broadway, Manhattan (CM Rosenthal’s district)
564 West 125th St., Harlem (CM Levine’s district)
619 Main St., Roosevelt Island (CM Kallos’ district)
619 Main St., Queens (CM Van Bramer’s district)
1212 Fulton St., Brooklyn (CM Cornegy’s district)
4502 5th Ave., Sunset Park (CM Menchaca’s district)

Amalgamated Bank has previously taken stands to promote voter participation and civic engagement. In 2014, Amalgamated worked in tandem with Rock The Vote and provided voter registration forms to customers in their branches.

About Amalgamated Bank

For nearly a century, Amalgamated Bank has been a financial institution with a purpose: affordable and accessible banking for all. Offering customers nationwide the products and services of a major financial institution, Amalgamated is committed to the values on which it was founded. We proudly advocate for workers’ rights and promote the highest standards of environmental, social and corporate governance practices, which is why we are the first choice of progressive organizations and people­ from presidential campaigns and labor unions to individuals who want a bank that believes everyone should be able to participate fully in our economy. We serve our communities with the core principle that the real currency of banking isn’t dollars—it’s trust.