The mayor’s austerity budget cuts funding for or underfunds education, health and hospitals, and other vitally necessary services that New Yorkers need, all while maintaining or increasing funds for institutions that criminalize and destabilize communities of color, like the NYPD and the jails system.
I am proud to have signed onto The People’s Plan response and together we agree that Mayor Adams’ budget is a terrible austerity budget that must be wholly rejected at a foundational level by the entire Council explicitly. I am pleased that The People’s Plan overlaps with multiple points of my H.A.R.L.E.M policy
While we have a surplus right now, the Mayor insisted on budget cuts across the board for all agencies with the exception of the NYPD. We must increase funding and support solutions outside of the ineffectual policing on the people of New York.
Here are some specifics on the People’s Plan response to the FR2023 budget:
Housing: The budget has no investments in housing for working class NYer’s. We need increased resources to the Anti-Harassment Tenant Protection Program to protect NY’ers from unlawful evictions. We must reform CityFHEPS and immediately house people. Our first priority should be to find ways to house people who need it, instead of criminalizing homelessness.
Education: Under Mayor Adam’s plan, funding to public schools will be cut by over $200 million. This is not how we support our children. The Mayor also proposed a hiring freeze and will cut over 3,600 vacant positions at DOE. Despite these cuts, Adams still made room in the budget with the intent to hire 1000 more school safety agents, prioritizing policing over student learning and wellbeing.
Safety: The City is cutting the parks capital funding by 94 percent and the housing capital budget by 43 percent. Yet there are plans to triple the capital budget for city jails, and increase the police capital budget by 35%. There must be more focus on reducing people’s access to police and jails, instead of an increase of criminalization.
Economic Justice: In the fight for Economic Justice, Human Service workers will again be left behind. We are calling for an increase of hourly wages to at least $22 and a Cost of Living Adjustment. Pandemic food support is still a high need for the community, and yet we can expect cuts to the Recovery Meals Program. There are also cuts of $1.36 million in funding for the Geriatric Mental Health Program, which is critical particularly during a time of social isolation for seniors.
Health: There has been an influx of chronic illness worsened by the pandemic. The city must fund community based organizations that deal with health disparities in Black and Brown communities. The City must also allocate more funding to support adequate prenatal and postpartum health care. There is also a need to strengthen coordination between hospitals and community based services.
Transit: While we have previously called on Mayor Adams to fully fund Fair Fares, the need has not fully been met. An increases in the budget will allow more NYers to qualify. The MTA and Community Service Society expressed a desire to double the income cutoff. If the cutoff is doubled, families of four earning $50,000 annually would be able to qualify for the half fair discount.
Climate: Sanitation has suffered greatly over the course of the pandemic. Increasing the sanitation budget would allow for greener composting options, and would help the city combat the increasing rodent crisis. Consistent funding in sanitation is essential for New York to reach its zero waste goals.
You can learn more about The People’s Plan NYC here