Photo by: William Alatriste – NYC Council
New York, NY—The New York City Council Progressive Caucus applauds Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, Finance Chairwoman Julissa Ferreras-Copeland and Mayor Bill de Blasio for proposing and adopting a fiscally responsible and socially inclusive budget for the upcoming year.
We were proud to have been active partners in ensuring that the city can provide opportunities to not only support but advance residents in an significant way. Transparency and collaboration were evident at every stage of negotiations and we’d like to highlight a series of member-driven outcomes that were successfully achieved.
- Baselined Priorities: We are grateful that the Administration responded to our many calls for action to address affordable housing, poverty, and quality of life issues. Agencies including the Office of Special Enforcement, Commission on Human Rights, the Housing and Preservation Department and Human Resources Administration saw increases in funding to combat discrimination adversely effecting low-income and vulnerable populations. Additional Caucus priorities that were integrated into the final budget include NYCHA repairs, Anti-Gun Violence programs, free middle school lunch, breakfast in the classroom, community schools, and expanding school athletics.
- New Initiatives: Caucus members spearheaded innovative programs that foster youth and immigrant groups as well as the economic fabric of our city. Home owners can now seek relief of unexpected repairs through the HPD Home Loan Program. The manufacturing industry will receive marketing tools through the Made In NYC initiative. Access Health and the Senior Centers for Immigrant Populations programs will bridge marginalized New Yorkers with culturally-competent, community-based resources. Our student-aged constituents will experience benefits through initiatives including; NYC Youth Council, Ghetto Film School, Student Voter Registration, LGBTQ Youth Mental Health Initiative and Children and Families in NYC Homeless System. All these initiatives will improve the civic, social and financial circumstance of communities throughout the city.
- Critical Investments: The budget also included a series of enhancements to underfunded areas in our purview. We were thrilled to see a $43M restoration to library expense costs creating universal six day service in our city. Our small parks will receive $1.6M, or more than double last year’s allocation through the Parks Equity Initiative. Other increased programs include Big Brother Big Sister, Cultural Immigrant Initiative and Court Involved Youth Mental Health Initiative. Areas of growth we will continue to champion are: extending living wage standards beyond the initial 30,000 city contract workers, robust sustainability workforce development similar to the Council’s Green Jobs Corps & Greener NYC initiatives and expanding this year’s $34M in funding for youth employment in order to reach the estimated 130,000 young adults that currently apply.
We thank the City Council leadership and Mayor de Blasio for continued advocacy of our shared progressive values. We join you in celebrating all the accomplishments of this year’s budget cycle. Full Release