“The budget vision put forward by the Administration to cut funding for CUNY, libraries, social services, early childhood education, and other essential services for New Yorkers is one this Council cannot support. The city is facing multiple crises that require smart investments, and the approach in the November Plan only undermines the health, safety, and recovery of our city. We also reject the false choice in this budget modification of having to choose between cuts to city agencies or cuts to non-profit organizations providing services on the frontlines in our communities to underserved and vulnerable New Yorkers. Over $17 million in funding for non-profits is on the line – including funds that expand services for community safety and crime victims, increase direct access to abortion care for those who cannot afford it, and provide mental health care, workforce opportunities, and student support services. For this reason, we will not vote on the budget modification with an understanding of the negative consequences in all potential options – we will not reject our own support for vital services to New Yorkers. This decision is intentional, and does not accept the vision put forward in the Mayor’s November Plan.

“The Council is focused on investing in the services that our communities rely on to be safe and healthy. The City must address the root causes of our greatest challenges, not create a harmful cycle by cutting essential services. The understaffing and underfunding of city agencies have left New Yorkers without access to basic benefits, like federal food assistance. These are not outcomes we can or should accept. They increasingly leave New Yorkers more reliant on our non-profit partners, who become stretched by shouldering more work in caring for New Yorkers. We should find ways to safeguard our essential services, instead of decreasing them.

“The Administration must take a different approach in its Preliminary Budget being released today, and the entire budget process, to have a constructive partnership with this Council. We will not allow our city to be damaged by the undermining of city agencies and services that meet the essential needs of all New Yorkers. We are committed to delivering for New Yorkers, and we are prepared to fight to realize our vision in this year’s budget.”