NEW YORK – Council Member Chin issued the following statement on the passage of the FY21 budget:
“My biggest priorities entering this year’s budget negotiations were simple: I wanted to fight to correct the wrongs in the Mayor’s proposed budget, protect as many social safety net programs on the chopping block as possible, and divert significant funds from the NYPD budget – which at the point of budget proposal was virtually unscathed while critical initiatives and programs focused on COVID-19 relief bore the brunt of cuts.
I carried that commitment with me throughout this process, in the face of a Mayor that refused to see us eye-to-eye on the urgency to keep these critical programs whole.
Thanks to the work of Speaker Johnson and the Budget Negotiating Team, the Council was able to pass a balanced budget that focuses on minimizing harm to our social safety net, restores what was a zeroed-out summer youth services budget, and scales back NYPD expenses by $1 billion.
This is a pandemic budget, and by no means a perfect budget. To the advocates who have emailed, made calls, and rallied to get us to this moment, I hear you. Our work is far from over. We need to continue to re-think public safety in schools and our entire approach to policing.
I believe this budget raises the bar for the type of lasting change our City wants to continue seeing, while making sure that funding for seniors, education, health services, and food pantry programs get to the communities who can’t afford to wait for relief. They need these services now. We must keep this momentum going.”
The adopted budget includes restorations to:
SENIOR SERVICES – Seniors are at the epicenter of the pandemic, comprising the majority of COVID-19 cases and deaths, and have become more and more isolated since the brink of this crisis. As Chair of the Committee on Aging, Council Member Chin fought to restore $6.5 million for NORCs and on-site nurses, $8.4 million for senior centers, $4 million for Holocaust survivors, and $1 million for case management programs.
SUMMER YOUTH – At the beginning of the budget process, the Summer Youth Employment Program; Work, Learn, Grow; and Compass, Beacon, Cornerstone and SONYC summer programs were in danger of being cut. The Council was able to successfully restore funding at $115.8 million.
CUNY STUDENTS – The CUNY Accelerated Study in Associate program (CUNY ASAP), which helps 25,000 students graduate and achieve success, was restored at $34.3 million.
DOMESTIC VIOLENCE SERVICES – With advocates sounding the alarm to save domestic violence programs, especially as cases were expected to hike under the PAUSE order, the Council fought for a full $12.2 million restoration.
EMERGENCY FOOD PROGRAMS – The budget will include over $30 million in food pantry programs to address the ongoing need to combat food insecurity heightened by the pandemic.