Every year, the Progressive Caucus works to ensure a fair budget that maintains a commitment to strong core City services while supporting programs that protect the most vulnerable. With these goals in mind, Caucus members identified priority investments that were secured today with the approved New York City Budget.
Members appreciate the critical partnership and leadership of Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito and Finance Committee Chairwoman Julissa Ferreras-Copeland whose negotiations with Mayor de Balsio made these achievements possible.
Youth Jobs: $38.5 million for Summer Youth Employment Program (SYEP) for a total of 60,000 jobs with 1,000 of these jobs targeted to vulnerable and at-risk youth. $16 million for 6,000 year-round jobs. Creation of a joint taskforce on youth job programs to assess current needs and program effectiveness.
Libraries: $43 million in baselined expense funding for the three public library systems that sustains investments to expand branch library hours and preserve services for the most underserved New Yorkers through job training, literacy skills, immigration services, youth education programs, etc.
Alternative to Incarceration: $22 million in baselined funding for District Attorneys, including the creation of an Alternatives to Incarceration Unit and resources to reduce gun-related and other violent crimes.
Adult Literacy: $12 million in funding to provide programming for literacy development, English for non-native speakers, and Graduate Equivalent Degree classes for adults with limited literacy proficiency and new Americans.
Park Maintenance: $9.5 million to support additional maintenance capacity within the Department of Parks and Recreation including 50 additional gardeners and 100 City Park workers for neighborhood parks citywide
Crisis Management System: $8 million enhanced funding to expand anti-gun violence initiatives for high-need precincts and organizations providing violence interruption and violence prevention to individuals, families, and communities at risk.
Food Security: $4.9 million for the Emergency Food Assistance Program, which will provide funding for the purchase of food by over 40 percent to support the increased demand at 450 food pantries and community kitchens for a total of $16 million.
Vision Zero: $2.5 million to support education and outreach for Vision Zero and help increase public awareness of the City’s initiative to prevent pedestrian fatalities and increase street safety.
Cultural School Programs: $11.2 million in funding for cultural programs and institutions that provides arts enrichment to students through after-school programs.
Anti-Eviction Resources: $5.6 million supports education and referral services at the City’s housing courts and various anti-eviction legal services groups that provide counseling and/or full legal representation for tenants seeking assistance in Housing Court.
Legal Services for Low-Income New Yorkers: $5 million supports direct client representation, in legal areas including, but not limited to: unemployment insurance, supplemental security income, consumer/finance, education, employment, family, juvenile, health, housing, income maintenance, individual rights, and miscellaneous benefits.
Housing Preservation: $3.6 million supports neighborhood-based strategies that respond to various threats to affordable housing; and funding for general support and assistance to individuals seeking housing information, advice and referral services.
Naturally Occurring Retirement Communities: $3.8 million for DFTA’s operations of NORCs for seniors living in areas populated by large numbers of New Yorkers over the age of 60, require particular access to health, transportation and medical services.
Youth Literacy: $2.7 million for City’s First Readers, a coalition of nonprofit organizations that foster literacy development through direct programming, book distribution, parent engagement and in-home training for children ages 0 to 5.
Worker Cooperatives: $2.2 million will support worker cooperatives businesses by coordinating education and training resources and by providing technical, legal and financial assistance along with a citywide effort to promote this democratic business model with more equitably practices that distribute work, wages and other forms of compensation fairly amongst worker-owners.
Day Laborers: $570,000 for the expansion and development of day laborer centers which provide dignified physical space for day laborers to meet, referrals to jobs and support services, legal services to address issues such as wage theft, as well as workforce training and development.