The New York City Progressive Caucus is committed to fighting for a budget that ensures vital City services are adequately funded and supports programs that protect and empower marginalized communities. While the federal government continues to cut funding for vital social programs and pass laws that threaten the existence of marginalized New Yorkers, it is imperative that we increase our efforts to help protect our residents and adequately fund social programming, including salaries and indirect costs of services.
This Fiscal Year, Caucus members identified priority investments, using our policy framework to guide our budgetary goals for this cycle. Due to the critical partnership and leadership of Speaker Corey Johnson and Finance Committee Chairperson Daniel Dromm, many of these priorities and other priority investments were advocated for in the Council Response to the Mayor’s Preliminary Budget.
The Council’s Budget Response to the Mayor included many of the budget items and policies prioritized by the Progressive Caucus for the FY20 Budget Cycle, including:
Universal Right to Counsel for Immigrants facing Deportation: $16.5 million to support the New York Immigrant Family Unity Project to provide legal counsel for all immigrants facing deportation who cannot afford a lawyer.
Bus Turnaround: Increase investment in New York City’s bus-based transit system to make it safer by adding enforced bus lanes and transit signal priority. Also redesign bus routes to increase bus service to low income areas that lack sufficient public transit.
Human Services Contract: $250 million in funding to close the gap between providers indirect costs and the contract reimbursement rate.
Salary Parity: Increase funding for community-based organizations (CBOs) that provide early childhood education programs, and ensure these educators, who are primarily women of color, are paid equitably.
Language Interpreter Bank: $2 million to create a pilot worker-cooperative program that provides language translation services to immigrants with limited English proficiency.
Now that the Mayor’s Executive Budget is released and as we begin the City Council’s Executive Budget hearings, we will continue to advocate for the Administration to fully fund the Caucus priorities listed above. The Caucus also supports the Speaker’s call for $40 million towards Census outreach efforts rather than the $22 million offered by the Mayor’s Executive Budget.