Progressive Caucus co-chair Melissa Mark-Viverito (D- Manhattan/Bronx) waves a dollar bill to illustrate a point about big corporations and banks not paying their fair share

In all parts of the world, and in all eras of history, economic policies based on greed have failed to generate prosperity. Yet those kinds of policies are what we’re likely to see this Friday when Mayor Bloomberg releases his executive budget. Members of the Progressive Caucus of the New York City Council joined a coalition of dozens of New York’s leading unions, com­munity groups, non-profits and advocacy orga­nizations who gathered on the steps of City Hall today to say: “Enough is Enough.”

“This budget is a budget that this city cannot afford,” said Progressive Caucus Member Danny Dromm (D – Queens). “The toll this budget is going to take on New Yorkers is too much for this city to bear.”

The big banks crashed our economy, destroyed jobs and resulted in the foreclosure of millions of homes, wrecking cities and states budgets across the country. But the New York City budget is going to be balanced on the backs of people who have been hurt the most by this crisis, not by the people who caused it. If this upcoming budget is about choices and priorities, then we’re making the wrong choices. We’re giving tax breaks to the rich while cutting vital lifelines to the poor and working class.

Progressive Caucus co-chair Brad Lander (D – Brooklyn) said, “We’re just asking millionaires and billionaires to pay their fair share, nothing more and nothing less.”

Progressive Caucus Member Jumaane Williams (D – Brooklyn) remarked that the disparity was “obscene.”

“This is the fairest budget I’ve ever seen,” Williams said as he brandished a copy of the budget proposal, compiled by the progressive umbrella May 12 Coalition.

This budget fight has been long, but it’s not over. We hope to see you On May 12 when thousands of New Yorkers will come to call on Mayor Bloomberg to support an agenda that supports middle and lower income residents, such as fair taxation and rent protections. We cannot continue to balance the budget through mass layoffs and slashing of social services.


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