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 and advocated for several priority investments earlier this year, many of which were secured yesterday with the Mayor and City Council’s early agreement on a balanced FY2018 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 Blasio made these achievements possible. As this is the last budget cycle for both Speaker Mark-Viverito and Chairwoman Ferreras-Copeland in their respective positions, Caucus members would especially like to thank them for their service – the crucial and historic investments made in innovative public services over the last few years would not be possible without them.
Emergency Food Assistance Program: $18.4 million expansion of the Emergency Food Assistance Programs to meet the basic needs of all food pantries and soup kitchens in the EFAP network across the City, and provide food relief for hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers.
Free School Lunch $12.5 million expansion of the Free School Breakfast and Lunch programs to increase participation and ensure more students eat a healthy lunch in school.
Youth Jobs: $19 million in additional funding to the Work, Learn, Grow Year Round Youth Jobs Program, amounting to an extra job openings for city young people
Adult Literacy: $12 million in allocations for Adult Literacy initiatives that provide programming for basic literacy, English for Speakers of Other Languages, and Graduate Equivalent Degree classes for adults who cannot read, write, and speak English, along with support services such as counseling and case management.
New York Immigrant Family Unity Project (NYIFUP): $10 million in funds to support the defense of the City’s immigrant families in deportation proceedings.
Human Rights Commission: $2.67 million to expand the law enforcement division of the Human Rights Commission to allow for a quicker investigation and processing of complaints of discrimination, harassment and bias-based profiling in a timely and efficient manner.
Increase for Human Service Contracts: Support for frontline social service providers by increasing the rate for Human Service Contracts by 10% over 5 years, for a total of $70 million.
Anti-Eviction Legal Services: support for access to free legal services including counseling and/or full legal representation for tenants facing eviction in Housing Court.
NYCHA Repairs: robust investments in NYCHA repairs to improve housing, health, and safety for public housing residents.