Mayor Adams’ FY24 Preliminary Budget is causing anxiety among many New Yorkers–particularly those in New York City’s Black communities. And some are voicing opposition to Mayor Adams’s budget priorities.
Communities United for Police Reform (CPR) advocacy group and New York City Public Advocate Jumaane Williams are among those who have voiced their concerns publicly about Adams’ budget plans.
CPR spokesperson Salma Allam (she/her), Coalition Organizer at Arab American Association of NY released the following comment Thursday:
“Today, Mayor Adams released a FY24 Preliminary Budget that makes even deeper cuts to essential services for New Yorkers in the next two years. Instead of protecting staffing and funding for critical agencies, the Mayor has cut early childhood education, libraries, CUNY, and other critical agencies such as the Human Resource Administration, the Department of Homeless Services, and the Department of Youth and Community Development, to name a few. Mayor Adams continues to sacrifice essential services while protecting and preserving an over-bloated police budget. Protecting the NYPD’s bloated budget from financial and personnel cuts will not make our city safer and will only serve to increase criminalization of communities the Mayor is neglecting to serve and support.
“Mayor Adams has consistently positioned the NYPD to serve as primary responders to a range of public health and safety issues that they are not qualified to address and that stem from long-standing under-investments in housing, health, and education. The mayor’s FY23 budget, including the November Plan released last month, and today’s FY24 preliminary budget are not addressing root causes of the challenges facing our city. It will further jeopardize the lives of New Yorkers if he continues to prioritize policing over adequately funding essential services and programs we depend on to survive and thrive.
“Communities across the city are clear on what we need in a FY24 budget: immediate and long-term sustainable investment in communities and critical services, and meaningful cuts to the bloated NYPD budget. This is the path forward toward a safer and more thriving city for all New Yorkers. Mayor Adams must immediately change his approach to our city’s budget by prioritizing community investment, not policing. CPR, our movement partners and supporters have a real, sustainable vision for a budget and a city that serves our communities. Together will be leading the charge to fight for that future.”
Public Advocate Williams in his statement talked about the “disinvestment in the people of New York.”
“A budget is a moral document, a statement of values, and as a progressive city, the capacity of government to do good should be a core value. Disinvestment in government staff and services is disinvestment in the people of New York. Cutting open positions, rather than taking steps to fill them with talented, dedicated public servants, has real, human cost in preventing programs from succeeding.
“Financial constraints and economic concerns are real, and it is in these difficult climates when progressive budgeting is at once more challenging and most critical. In that spirit, it sends the wrong message to see some areas such as housing and mental health suffer, while others such as law enforcement are insulated. That is ultimately not a sustainable path to producing public safety, or preserving public services.
“The mayor is right that we need state and federal support to fund services for the 40,000 newest New Yorkers – our asylum seekers. New York City should not – and cannot – be solely financially responsible for conservative governors’ political machinations. We also need to look to our state government for measures to raise additional revenue, rather than cut additional and essential services.
“Our budget must balance fiscal and human responsibility. As the process moves forward, I will work with the administration, Council, and advocates to ensure that the needs of the people are prioritized, and the standards of our city’s progressive, human centered-values are met.”