You are reading

Three Queens Council Members Join Group Criticizing Cuts in Adams’ Proposed Budget

City lawmakers and community-based groups rallied against Mayor Eric Adams’ proposed cuts in his preliminary budget Wednesday (The People’s Plan NYC via Twitter)

March 17, 2022 By Allie Griffin

Nearly a dozen council members, including three from Queens, along with scores of community-based groups are pushing back against cuts proposed by the mayor in the preliminary budget he introduced last month.

The elected officials and groups said Mayor Eric Adams’ $98.5 billion budget cuts funding to important services like education, housing and healthcare, which will harm vulnerable New Yorkers.

“Mayor Adams has proposed a budget that would defund many of our most vital public safety and public health agencies and institutions,” Council Member Tiffany Cabán said at a Manhattan rally Wednesday organized by activists opposed to the mayor’s budget plan.

The proposed FY23 budget, which must be approved by the City Council, slashes $2.3 billion off the city’s current budget — a stark contrast to the de Blasio administration’s practice of increasing the budget each year.

“It would defund schools, it would defund sanitation, it would defund homeless services, it would defund our public hospital systems, it would defund the departments for youth and community development, it would defund the department of small business services,” Cabán said, counting the departments off on her hand while speaking at the rally. “I’ve run out of fingers, y’all.”

Adams’ plan involves cutting the Dept. of Education budget by $826 million; cuts to NYC Health + Hospitals by $390 million; a reduction in the Dept. of Health budget by $195 million; a cut to the Parks Dept. by $63 million; and a reduction of $60 million for sanitation. Meanwhile, the NYPD budget would remain flat, while the amount spent on the Dept. of Corrections would increase by $53 million.

Cabán along with 10 other council members and nearly 100 community organizations have signed onto a document they call “The People’s Response” in opposition to Adams’ proposed cuts. The group behind the document organized Wednesday’s rally.

Queens Council Members Shekar Krishnan and Nantasha Williams along with Brooklyn-Queens Council Member Jennifer Gutiérrez have signed on. Several Queens groups have also endorsed the The People’s Response, including Jackson Heights People for Public Schools, Make the Road New York and Woodside on the Move.

The signees are critical of the mayor’s budget saying that it cuts funding for vital services that vulnerable New Yorkers need, all while maintaining or increasing funds for institutions that criminalize and destabilize communities of color, like the NYPD and the jails system.

The mayor, according to The People’s Response, has proposed that the city spend $5.4 billion on the NYPD — a figure greater than the combined amount for Homeless Services, Youth and Community Development, Sanitation and Parks.

Adams said he is prioritizing investments in public safety in the FY23 budget while cutting spending to increase efficiency. His office stressed that “achieving savings and efficiency” will be hallmarks of his administration moving forward.

However, the legislators and progressive activists said the mayor should not be cutting funding to critical services when many New Yorkers are still hurting from the pandemic and its fallout.

“This FY23 budget could be the City’s moral document, a plan to build back New York City better than before; or it could signal the continued abandonment of the city’s residents to devastation and divestment, further exacerbated by the pandemic,” they wrote in The People’s Response. “In the first City budget of the new term, we urge the mayor and city council to pass a budget that provides dignity, care, and justice for all New Yorkers.”

The mayor’s office didn’t immediately return a request for comment.

email the author: [email protected]
No comments yet

Leave a Comment
Reply to this Comment

All comments are subject to moderation before being posted.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Recent News

Borough president hears from community members on budget needs throughout Queens

During a two-day public hearing on the mayor’s 2024 preliminary budget, Queens Borough President Donovan Richards Jr. listened to testimonies from 14 community board representatives, community stakeholders and members of the public on where the money should be spent in Queens. 

The public hearings were held both in-person and via Zoom on Monday, Jan. 30, and Tuesday, Jan. 31, at Queens Borough Hall. The testimonials will be used to develop the Queens Borough Board’s FY24 preliminary budget priorities in the coming weeks. 

Creep sought for performing ‘lewd act’ in front on M train rider in Ridgewood last month: NYPD

Police from the 104th Precinct and Transit District 33 are looking for a suspect in a public lewdness investigation for an incident on an M train at the Seneca Avenue station last month.

A 31-year-old woman was on board a Queens-bound M train on Sunday, Jan. 22, at around 9:20 p.m., when she was approached by the unknown man who proceeded to perform a lewd act in front of her, according to an NYPD spokesman, who could not provide any details about what the lewd act was.

‘He didn’t deserve to die’: Borough President Richards leads emotional candlelight vigil for Tyre Nichols

Queens Borough President Donovan Richards held a candlelight vigil for Tyre Nichols outside Queens Borough Hall Monday, Jan. 30 after Nichols’ death at the hands of police officers in Memphis, Tenn., made national headlines for the brutality in which the officers beat him.

Almost immediately after news broke about Nichols’ death, the Memphis police officers who beat him to death were fired and charged with murder. The police department released the body cam footage of the fatal beating on Jan. 27, but many people, including some at the vigil, have refused to watch it due to its extremely graphic nature.

BP launches new advisory panel for youth to become civically engaged in the future of Queens

In an effort to get more young people involved in civics, Queens Borough President Donovan Richards has created a new advisory panel known as the Youth and Young Adult Council to introduce the “youngest and fiercest” community advocates to both community service and organization.

Members of the advisory body will advocate concerns through means of community engagement by participating in one of two cohorts. The first will be made up of high school representatives between the ages of 13 and 17, while the second cohort will be comprised of young adults between the ages of 18 and 25.

Raga sworn in as first-ever Filipino American elected to the state Legislature

More than 300 community members attended the historic inauguration of Assemblyman Steven Raga as the first Filipino American elected to office in New York state.

Many who attended the swearing-in event at the Queens Museum in Flushing Meadows Corona Park wore traditional and cultural attire to the event at the building that once housed the General Assembly of the newly formed United Nations from 1946 to 1950 until its current home in Manhattan became available for the world body.