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Participatory Budgeting': Check out NYC's newest fiscal policy

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(AP Photo)

This week, residents across New York City will be headed to the polls in various city council districts to vote in "participatory budgeting" -- a democratic process by which residents decide how a slice of their council members' discretionary budget should be spent.

Here's how it works: Last October, residents in each district proposed various projects. Since then, they've added research and run them by city agencies. This week, voters will finish choosing which of the proposals will move forward. (Think of it like a big grant competition.) Here's an example of one of the proposals -- renovations to a community garden in City Council District 8 (Manhattan/Bronx):

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