Speaker Adams and Council leaders urged Mayor to increase strategic funding for education and youth programs, physical and mental health care, benefit programs, and opportunity-based services in FY 2023 budget to make City safer and healthier

City Hall, NY – Today, Speaker Adrienne E. Adams, the Council’s Budget Negotiating Team and committee chairs highlighted the legislative body’s priority investments into communities to advance public safety in New York City. The legislative leaders’ announcement on the steps of City Hall preceded the Tuesday release of Mayor Eric Adams’ Fiscal Year 2023 Executive Budget.

The Council called for prioritizing key youth, health, and opportunity program investments as critical to improving public safety. For New York City youth, the Council specifically focused on career-building and enrichment programs, as well as essential support for students with specialized needs to access success. In the areas of health care, lawmakers sought increased investments for mental health care in response to the current crisis, while calling for expanded medical care for communities lacking basic access. The safety priorities, part of the Council’s Preliminary Budget Response, also included ensuring the adequate availability of vital benefit and opportunity programs that are key to helping New Yorkers access stability and economic mobility. 

“The Council’s budget vision prioritizes key investments in communities that promote health, safety, and opportunity for all New Yorkers,” said Speaker Adrienne Adams. “It recognizes that when we invest in programs and resources for people to be healthy and access opportunity and well-being, we can make our communities and city safer. Our city government has a responsibility to ensure the families and communities of this city have access to the resources and services that allow us to not only recover, but to thrive. We must see increasing vital programs and services for our young people, prioritizing mental and physical health care, and expanding access to essential services and opportunity as investments in our safety.”

“No neighborhood can be left behind in New York City’s recovery,” said Council Member Justin Brannan, Chair of the Council’s Finance Committee. “Hardworking New Yorkers from Soundview to SoHo, from Dyckman Street to Dyker Heights want to know the neighbors they elected to represent them are not just listening but delivering. They want to know we are investing to make our communities safer, healthier, and cleaner. Working families, seniors, and students want to know we are doing everything in our power to make their lives just a little bit easier during these challenging times. And they want to know the investments we make will ensure the most vulnerable among us don’t slip through the cracks. The City Council has heard the clarion call. We know an equitable recovery requires meaningful investments that strengthen our communities and deliver opportunities for all New Yorkers. We know the safest and the healthiest communities are the ones with the most resources. Our promise is that we will not rest until every neighborhood has what it needs to come back stronger, safer, cleaner, and healthier than ever so New Yorkers can truly thrive and not just survive.”

The priority health and safety investments highlighted by the Council included:

Creating a Path to Success for Our City’s Children & Youth 

Expanding Youth Employment and Development Programs 

Over the past few years, the Council has been a strong advocate for youth opportunity, securing additional slots for the Summer Youth Employment Program (SYEP) and making the program the largest it has ever been. However, the proposed budget for Fiscal 2023 leaves programs for youth underfunded. The Council calls upon the Administration to expand year-round youth employment programs, including Work, Learn and Grow (WLG), Advance & Earn, and other programs, to more closely match the Summer Youth Employment Program with an investment of over $57 million. These programs help young people build work skills through diverse opportunities and exposure to paid workforce programs. The Council urges that WLG should be funded to cover at least 12,000 slots for Fiscal Year 2023, above the baseline of 2,200, and going forward. It should ultimately be funded to support approximately 30% of SYEP participants. $43.2 million supports the total of 12,000 WLG job slots. The additional funding of $13.9 million for Advance & Earn will assist approximately 1,000 disconnected young adults who are currently not working nor in school to find year-round jobs.

Expansion of Saturday Night Lights Program

The Fiscal 2022 budget included an investment of $7 million that expanded the Saturday Night Lights (SNL) program. The Department of Youth and Community Development (DYCD) in partnership with multiple City agencies and community-based organizations provide free, recreational programming to youth in communities that are disproportionately impacted by the criminal justice system. Programming includes organized sports, dancing, music, and special guest lectures that typically occur during out-of-school hours to keep youth engaged in constructive activities. Services are provided in all five boroughs on Saturday nights for youth ages 11-18. The goal of the program is to offer engaging activities in safe spaces during the hours when risk of youth-involved violence is at its highest. The Council urges the administration to further the investment with additional funding of $5 million annually to support the program.

Expand Summer Rising + Support for DYCD Programs

The Council is pleased to learn that the Mayor intends to expand the Summer Rising program for Summer 2022 to accommodate 110,000 slots, which will be welcomed by the community.

We are aware that there is the possibility of an increase in the price per participant reimbursement rate for Summer Rising, and we support this idea wholeheartedly. However, we have concerns regarding the price per participant reimbursement rate for other DYCD programs. Hence, the Council calls upon the Administration to increase the price for participant rate for Beacons, Cornerstones, Community Centers, COMPASS, and other program contracts at DYCD to guarantee equity between different youth-serving programs. The Council also urges the Administration to work with providers to ensure capacity, proper reimbursement and address the issues and concerns of providers that existed before this expansion.

Increasing Career and Technical Education and Apprenticeship Programs 

Providing opportunities for young people to acquire adequate skills creates a pathway to success in the job market.  Currently, the New York City Department of Education (DOE) allocates $10.3 million for career and technical education (CTE) programming to high schools across the City. This funding in Fiscal 2022 supported 83 schools, and the Council proposes to double the current investment and add another $10.3 million in CTE programs for Fiscal 2023 to make CTE programming available in over 160 schools.    

Expanding Mental Health, Counseling and Citywide Restorative Justice in Schools 

The Council calls on the Administration to invest $14.1 million to hire social workers and guidance counselors at 100 schools in Fiscal Year 2023, with a plan to reach all District 79 schools by Fiscal Year 2026.  Additionally, the Council calls on DOE to expand career counseling within these programs to ensure graduation and job placement. District 79 schools work with some of our most vulnerable student populations, including, but not limited to, education for 17-21 year-olds, adult education, young adult borough centers, Pathways to Graduation, and court involved youth. With over 422 programs in District 79, the Council believes it is of the utmost importance for DOE to have dedicated social workers and guidance counselors at these schools.

With a school population that mirrors the rich diversity of New York City, we must dismantle the school to prison pipeline and ensure our students receive holistic services and support they need to succeed in their academic careers into post-graduation.  Restorative justice practices have demonstrated success in schools across New York City and around the country.   Research shows improvement of academic outcomes, a shift in school climate, and overall positive impact on school staff.  For this reason, the Council calls on the Administration to expand restorative justice practicum in 250 schools in Fiscal 2023, growing to 500 schools by Fiscal 2024. The Council calls for a $59 million investment in restorative justice coordinators in 250 schools next fiscal year, as well as funding restorative justice training for all staff and school community members. 

Fund & Hire Additional Staff for the Office of Foster Care Students

In Fall 2021, after years of advocacy, DOE committed to hiring the first-ever team to focus on the educational needs of students in foster care; students who have the lowest graduation rate of any student group at only 34 percent. Unfortunately, only three of the seven positions in this team have been posted on DOE’s website, with the other four positions held up due to the hiring freeze. We call on the Administration to lift the hiring freeze and use existing resources to post for the remaining four positions.

Meeting the Needs of Special Education Pre-K 

The 2019 pay parity agreement for Early Childhood Education providers fell short of including teachers at all Early Childhood Education by excluding Special-Education Pre-K centers. The Council is urging the Administration to commit $30 million to meet the needs of Special Education Pre-K students and provide pay parity for workers. The $30 million investment in pay parity would help stabilize the Special-Education Pre-K system and retain staff. In order for our working families to return to the office, all Early Childhood Education centers need to be fully staffed.

Increase Community Coordinator Support Staff for Unhoused Students

The Council also urges the Administration to allocate $12 million in funding to add 100 shelter-based DOE Community Coordinators to help students who are unhoused get to school every day and receive needed educational support, and hire 10 regional managers and two regional support directors to oversee this coordination. In the 2020-2021 school year, more than 101,000 city students experienced homelessness, of which 28,000 spent time in shelters.  Of these students, only 52 percent graduated on time, and 60 percent were chronically absent.  Advocates, community members, and other school stakeholders have emphasized the importance of DOE hiring dedicated staff to work with this student population and their families in shelters. 

Provide Additional Supports to English Language Learners

English Language Learners (ELL) mirror the rich diversity of New York City, and many of the identities the Council itself represents, and it remains a Council priority to provide ELLs with the appropriate support they need to succeed academically. It is concerning that in 2019, only nine percent of ELLs were proficient in reading and 19 percent of ELLs were proficient in math. We urge the Administration to invest $12 million in Fiscal 2023 to support the hiring of 120 ELL Instructional Specialists at DOE schools with high ELL populations.

Fair Futures Up to Age 26 and for Justice-Involved Youth 

Fair Futures is a nation-leading comprehensive support system for foster youth, which includes wrap-around support and life coaches.  Adding $10 million in funding for Fair Futures, lifting the total to $35 million, will ensure that all foster youth up to age 26 receive wrap-around supports and life coaches – and expand the program into Administration for Children’s Services’ juvenile justice continuum.  Together, these investments will help achieve the Mayor’s goals of reducing youth gun crime and recidivism.   

Empower Youth Held in Juvenile Justice Facilities 

Innovative, skill-building programming is lacking in secure detention facilities.  New investments will help make youth heard and see the impact they can make in the community.  An additional $5 million would allow youth to receive structured, facilitated guidance on how to engage their peers, neighbors, local police precincts, and/or schools, plan discussions and organize meetings, and lead change on issues that matter most to the youth themselves. 

Improving Access to Health, Mental Health & Safety 

Providing Effective 911 Mental Health Responses 

The City’s Behavioral Health Emergency Assistance Response Division (B-HEARD) program dispatches mental health specialists and paramedics for certain mental health-related emergency calls. The Mayor’s Preliminary Budget provided no additional funding for the program, despite it being outlined for expansion in his Blueprint to End Gun Violence. The Council calls on the Administration to expand “B-Heard” funding to $61 million in order to make more of an impact in preventing mental health crises. The increase would allow the program to expand to between 3 and 5 new precincts, recruit the social workers needed, and evolve to be responsive to a higher portion of mental –health-related calls within its catchment areas. The Administration should also perform an analysis to show the impact the program is having on the precincts where it currently operates, including comparisons to other jurisdictions and areas for improvement, and the cost to continue expansion around the City.  

Increase Mental Health Supports and Outreach Services for Unhoused Individuals 

The Fiscal 2023 Preliminary Budget includes $11.5 million in funding for the Street Health Outreach and Wellness (SHOW) units for Fiscal 2022.  The Council calls on the Administration to baseline $11.5 million for SHOW services for unsheltered individuals.  The Council calls for H+H to continue building on the success of the program.  Considering recent incidents involving unsheltered homeless individuals, there should be an increased investment in SHOW to provide mental health services, physical health services, and housing outreach services for unsheltered individuals.  There are currently six vans in operation and three more are being on-boarded.  The Council also urges the Administration to expand services to include health services for unhoused LGBTQIA+ individuals, such as Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP), post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP), and condom distribution, as well as referrals to H+H’s LGBTQIA+ outreach workers. 

Expand Mental Health Care to Communities Hardest Hit by COVID-19 

The pandemic and the resulting economic distress have negatively affected many New Yorkers’ mental health and created new barriers for the efforts of COVID-19 response and recovery. In fact, communities from the hardest hit areas by COVID-19 continue to struggle with mental and emotional distress. The Council urges the Administration to include $3 million to expand direct mental health services within the 33 communities hardest hit communities by COVID-19. To better serve these communities, the Council recommends that the program be available mainly to places of worship, community centers and public spaces. 

Geriatric Mental Health throughout the Older Adult Network 

The Council also urges the Administration to invest in the New York City Department for the Aging (DFTA)’s Geriatric Mental Health Program (DGMH), which embeds mental health clinicians in community-based older adult centers. The Council is calling to expand clinicians into all 108 sites that are currently able to support clinicians and double the supply of hours so that more seniors are able to access counseling. The Council is recommending an allocation of $8.7 million. 

24-Hour Overdose Prevention in Every Borough 

New York City launched the first two Overdose Prevention Centers (OPCs) in the Country in December 2021. The OPCs prevent and reverse overdoses, saving lives. In addition, they reduce and remove drug paraphernalia and waste from public spaces. The OPCs also act as a hub for other necessary services, such as mental health evaluations and referrals, group counseling, syringe exchange and other amenities.  The Administration should build off this success through a $10 million investment of City or private funding to expand overdose prevention efforts in every borough.

Invest in Preventative Services

New York City is still feeling the impacts of COVID-19, but the amount of federal funding and state funding is decreasing. To support public health and prevent comorbidities that lead to more severe cases of COVID-19, the City has launched the Public Health Corps, funded at only $50 million. The Public Health Corps focuses on expanding the public health workforce, strengthening community health infrastructure, and promoting health equity for the communities hit hardest by the COVID-19 pandemic. The Administration should use federal funding and double this funding to $100 million to ensure that all the communities hardest hit by COVID-19 have adequate support services.

Creating a Hospital Fund 

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a devastating impact on the health care system, but especially hospitals. Many of New York City’s small hospitals are struggling to fund the upfront costs to pay for the increase in services incurred during this pandemic. The City, with the help of Goldman Sachs created a $45 million Hospital Stabilization Fund to grant hospitals some relief to buy supplies and to pay their workforce. However, this amount of funding is not enough to assist all the hospitals in New York City. The Council calls on the Administration to include an additional $45 million to create a fund that supports hospitals in geographically isolated communities and for Health + Hospitals (H+H) facilities with high patient volumes. 

Creating New Healthcare Centers in Underserved Communities

The Council calls on the Administration to establish H+H health care and ambulatory centers in communities lacking insufficient access to healthcare facilities, estimating $50 million per facility. These would include four new centers, in addition to a Far Rockaway health care facility with a trauma unit that remains the subject of discussion, for a total of $250 million in capital funds. The Council is proposing one center each in Southeast Queens and the Bronx, and two in Brooklyn. These are also in addition to the recently opened H+H full-service ambulatory care centers in East Tremont, Jackson Heights, and Bushwick.

Creating New York State’s First Trauma Recovery Centers (TRCs) for Underserved Crime Victims 

The Council is proposing to establish New York State’s first trauma recovery centers to serve underserved victims of violence in communities that experience violence the most. $8.4 million in City funding would help create at least one center in each of the five boroughs, and likely more with additional federal and state funding. Trauma recovery centers (TRCs) are an innovative model of victim services that reach underserved victims and communities to provide health, recovery, and stability to heal communities and interrupt cycles of violence. They specifically target victims and families, who are often not reached by traditional victim services – victims of community and gun violence – providing trauma-informed clinical case management, evidence-based individual/group/family therapy, crisis intervention, and legal advocacy and assistance in filing police reports and accessing victim services. Clients of a TRC are 71% more likely to use mental health services, 56% more likely to return to employment, and 44% more likely to cooperate with the legal system to solve crimes and close cases.  

Create Community-Based Solutions for Violence Interruption 

The City has been beset by tragedies stemming from increased violence which is part of a trend in cities across the nation.  While the Administration and the Council have increased funding for the Crisis Management System (CMS) and the Domestic Violence and Empowerment Initiative, more attention must be given to organizations operating outside of CMS that are doing critical youth intervention work in neighborhoods impacted by violence to improve safety.  An investment of $3 million would support community organizations that work alongside precincts across the City and supplement CMS in targeted Council Districts with the highest rates of violence, providing services for longer term solutions and more direct community engagement. 

Support Communities Affected by Hate Crimes 

In 2019 the Council passed Local Law 46, creating the Mayor’s Office for the Prevention of Hate Crimes (OPHC) and provided a budget of $730,000. The scourge of hate crimes has continued in the City, particularly affecting Jewish and AAPI communities. The Council budgeted resources to these communities through the Hate Crime Prevention Initiative and the Asian American Pacific Islander Community Support initiatives. The Council calls on further action to support the prevention and response to hate crimes, and increased engagement and support for affected communities. To demonstrate our unity and to protect our City’s invaluable diversity, the Administration should commit additional funds of $5 million to OPHC and community organizations. 

Increasing Equitable Access to Programs & Opportunity for All New Yorkers 

Ensuring Access to Public Benefits and Food Assistance 

There are many City residents who are eligible for public benefit programs that are not currently enrolled, which has become even more problematic since the onset of the pandemic and the ensuing increased need for assistance. The City should increase access to public benefits such as Supplemental Nutrition Assistance (SNAP), cash assistance, Medicaid, and tax credit programs by adding $10 million to HRA’s baseline to engage community-based organizations to do outreach and education, to increase staff at HRA to process applications and assist clients, to improve inter-agency coordination, and to streamline the benefits application process.  

Seamless Meal Transition for Older Adults Using GetFood Recovery Meals  

Supporting older adults with nutritious meals has been critical during the pandemic. The GetFood Recovery Meals program, which serves approximately 10,000 older adults, expires in Fiscal 2022. While DFTA estimates that about 3,000 older adults currently receiving a recovery meal could transition over to DFTA’s Home-Delivered Meals (HDM) program, the remaining 7,000 older adults are still in need of meal services. The Administration should add $30 million in funding to ensure every older adult who needs a meal next year has one. 

Fund Home-Delivered Meals Expansion and Weekend and Holiday Meals for Older Adults 

For our older adults, the Council calls for the City to provide $9.7 million in support of the continued growth in demand for the home-delivered meal program, and $3 million to support weekend and holiday home-delivered meals not provided by current contract, for a total of $12.7 million.  

Investing in Wage Equity for Human Service Providers  

The City’s human services workforce are among the lowest paid workers in the City and have not received a Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA) since Fiscal 2020, leaving frontline workers without a COLA in the middle of a pandemic.  As a first step toward the goal of wage equity, the Council calls on the Administration to baseline a four percent COLA, or $60 million increase for human service workers. Anticipating regular wage increases to keep up with cost-of-living increases in the budget is standard practice for City workers, the City should do the same for its contracted public sector workforce. 

Ensuring Opportunity through Adult Education  

Currently, there are more than 2.2 million adults in New York City without English language proficiency or a high school diploma.  The Council calls on the Administration to include $13.5 million to increase the baselined funding to $27 million.  This will allow the City to double the level of investment per student in the upcoming DYCD RFP. The City’s Adult Literacy Programs have provided immigrants with the tools to achieve higher levels of literacy – which are associated with greater health knowledge, use of healthcare services, and the ability to manage chronic health conditions and communicate with healthcare providers.  

Expand Language Access  

New York City is home to the most linguistic diversity of any city in the world, and there are nearly 2 million residents who are limited English proficiency. City agencies still woefully lack the staff needed to communicate in the multiple languages spoken in the New York metro area. The pandemic has exposed how crucial language access remains for those who are English Limited proficiency. Accessibility to City services such as health and mental health remains challenging due to a lack of appropriate language translation and interpretation. The Council is urging the Administration to include $5 million to increase access to language services in City agencies, improving the quality of translations, and developing worker owned co-ops in order to provide job opportunities to immigrant communities. As the immigrant population continues to rise, so does the need for access to skilled language professionals.  

CUNY Reconnect 

The Council calls upon the Administration to invest $23 million to fund a program that focuses on bringing the 700,000 working-age New Yorkers who left CUNY with some college credits but no degree (approx. 1 in 5 Black and Latino working-age New Yorkers fall into this category and approx. 1 in 3 Black and Latino women) back into the system to earn a credential that helps them advance their careers. It would provide the key supports necessary – last dollar financial aid/scholarship funding for this population of students, childcare, pre-enrollment counseling resources, and flexible scheduling to power the city’s economic recovery and increase equity. 

Parks and Library Investments & Maintenance

The Council calls on the Administration to fund New York City Department of Parks and Recreation (DPR) bathrooms and comfort stations in all five boroughs at $50 million per borough for a total of $250 million in capital funding. 

The Fiscal 2023 Preliminary Plan does not include more than $42 million funding for The Department of Parks and Recreation (Parks) City Cleanup Corps (CCC) program made possible by federal stimulus funding in Fiscal 2022. In addition, $10 million for 150 park maintenance workers is also missing from the Fiscal 2023 Preliminary Budget. These maintenance and summer workforce employees are vital components of the Department’s core program, picking up litter, maintaining gardens, wiping away graffiti, maintaining parks and playgrounds, and offering a fixed-post presence in parks citywide. The Council calls on the Administration to include $52 million in the Fiscal 2023 Executive Budget for the Parks Maintenance program to ensure an adequate workforce to keep the City’s greenspaces clean and safe.  

The Council also urges the Administration to add $163 million in capital dollars in Fiscal 2023 for library repair and maintenance to bridge the current gap in capital funding for the system’s ongoing infrastructure needs. Public libraries are helping New Yorkers rebuild their lives and reconnect to their communities as we come out of the pandemic and need to have fully functioning infrastructure to do so.

“The pandemic clearly demonstrated the urgent need to address our city’s pressing mental health crisis,” said Majority Leader Keith Powers. “I’m proud to join Speaker Adams and my colleagues in calling for significant investments into these essential services. For New York to truly recover, we must confront this health and public safety issue by uplifting and supporting our most vulnerable neighbors in their time of need.”

“For far too long, black and brown individuals have faced barriers to accessing affordable, safe healthcare in their communities, many of which were shuttered following the Berger Commission Report,” said Majority Whip Selvena N. Brooks-Powers. “Funding critical healthcare services allows all communities to flourish, and the creation of ambulatory centers in underserved neighborhoods, Trauma Recovery Centers, and the Hospital Fund will start to level the playing field for communities across New York City. Access to local trauma centers, especially in communities like the one I represent, will ensure vulnerable communities get these invaluable resources at their fingertips.”

“New Yorkers are asking us to invest directly in our communities and fund an equitable recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic to make our city safer,” said Council Member Crystal Hudson, Chair of the Council’s Aging Committee. “It is our responsibility to heed their calls and create a budget that reflects those needs and priorities. In our response, the City Council has done just that. With more than $1 billion in our response for programs to address housing insecurity and homelessness, the expansion of city-wide mental health services, the development of children and youth programming, and the preservation of vital resources for older New Yorkers, we are making our stance clear: invest in programs that will strengthen our City. These are essential investments that the Mayor should include in his Executive Budget and need to be in our final city budget.”

“New Yorkers deserve a budget that prioritizes the needs of working families, and the Council’s budget vision does exactly that,” said Council Member Rita Joseph, Chair of the Council’s Education Committee. “The things that New Yorkers want are not complicated: strong schools, quality hospitals, and safe and clean streets, just to name some of the issues my neighbors talk to me the most about. We know that when we invest in the programs and resources that allow for people to be healthy and educated, the end result is a city that is safer. I thank Speaker Adrienne Adams for her leadership of the Council as we work to ensure that the upcoming budget is one that works for the many, not the few.”

“The Council’s budget vision prioritizes key and necessary investments in the well-being of all New Yorkers,” said Council Member Shekar Krishnan, Chair of the Council’s Parks and Recreation Committee. “It recognizes that our parks are essential community spaces for our public health and mental health — and that they require the level of vital maintenance services that ensure everyone has access to quality green spaces. This Council budget makes clear that the best way to support our communities and make our city safer is to invest in its people.”

“New York City is at a critical juncture in our recovery, and we need to invest resources in building strong, safe, and healthy communities — not impose austerity and budget cuts,” said Council Member Carlina Rivera, Chair of the Committee on Criminal Justice. “I am proud to join my colleagues in calling on the Mayor to make these vital investments across the five boroughs. Most critically, we must increase investment in youth at risk of involvement with the criminal legal system instead of expanding carceral institutions. Adding $10 million for Fair Futures and $5 million for programming and services in juvenile justice facilities will provide the crucial support and opportunities that our young people need to thrive.”

“We are experiencing the biggest healthcare crisis of our lifetimes,” said Council Member Lynn Schulman, Chair of the Council’s Health Committee. “Tragically, the coronavirus pandemic exacerbated the already glaring inequities in our city’s healthcare system and exposed the deep vulnerabilities of our communities.  As the city emerges from the pandemic, the City Council’s budget vision priorities are focused on neighborhood investments that will ensure a healthcare infrastructure that is accessible, affordable and equitable. As we recover from COVID-19, the Council is committed to making comprehensive investments in preventive and primary care services to enhance the health, safety and well-being of all New Yorkers.”

“The last two years of the pandemic exacerbated New York City’s long-standing mental health crisis,” said Council Member Linda Lee, Chair of the Council’s Mental Health, Disabilities, and Addictions Committee. “This crisis is not only under-discussed and over-stigmatized, but also disproportionate in its impact on the most vulnerable amongst us. People with disabilities or struggling with mental health or addiction have been left behind throughout the pandemic, and we can no longer treat these conditions as an afterthought because they affect each and every one of our lives. Our City budget must reflect NYC’s commitment to placing mental health, disabilities, and addiction front and center in our recovery, and I stand with Speaker Adrienne Adams and my colleagues in the Council in calling for just such an investment.”

“Care work and human services have been deeply undervalued by our city government and are often accessible only to those who speak English,” said Council Member Julie Won, Chair of the Council’s Contracts Committee. “We must fully invest in the people who do the work that transforms lives and give everyone in our city access to these services regardless of their language. This budget is our opportunity to transform how our city supports our people and which people are allowed to get that support.”

“In government, how and where we invest our dollars speaks volumes about our morals as legislators,” said Council Member Amanda Farías, Chair of the Council’s Economic Development Committee. “That is why I am proud to support my colleagues today as we outline our priorities for the FY23 budget. The importance of this year’s budget cannot be understated. This City has suffered greatly over the past two years, and as we look towards recovery from the pandemic we must make meaningful investments in our residents who have been impacted the most, particularly our Black and brown outer borough communities. As Chair of the Committee on Economic Development, I am focused on the Council’s calls for increased investments in our employment programs for youth and adults alike. I am also proud of how my colleagues and I have advocated for the expansion of transit funding and sanitation services. I would like to thank Speaker Adams and the members of the Budget Negotiating Team for all their hard work and I look forward to working with the Mayor to pass a budget that will bring much needed resources to our communities.”

“The Council’s priorities for investment must come from what New Yorkers need,” said Council Member Eric Dinowitz. “We are here to ensure that the solutions to our communities’ concerns are in the Executive Budget and to highlight the importance of access to mental health resources, public benefits, food assistance, clean and safe streets, and education opportunities for both children and adults. We are urging the Administration to refocus their investment to be inclusive, expanded, and equitable so as elected officials, we can effectively respond to what our constituents need.”

“This City Council under the leadership of Speaker Adams has a clear objective of creating a more equitable society within New York City, and that begins with fully funding our public spaces,” said Council Member Marjorie Velázquez. “New York City is home to some of the greatest parks and library infrastructure in the world, but make the needed improvements and continued maintenance we need to invest more in these spaces.  My community and other neighborhoods that previously have been forgotten, will be benefiting from this investment, including the new library coming to Westchester Square in The Bronx.”

“I’m proud to join my colleagues in calling on the Mayor to fund these vital priorities that will make our city safer, healthier, and more dignified for all,” said Council Member Tiffany Cabán. “I’m particularly glad to see that this agenda includes a 24-hour overdose prevention center in each of the five boroughs, which has been a key priority of mine since Day 1. If we don’t make these investments, if we instead accept an austerity budget that defunds critical public services and community-based resources, it will be impossible to cultivate vibrant communities, healthy families, and true public safety. New Yorkers deserve so much better – we deserve every single one of these proposed community investments.”