On Friday, Mayor Bloomberg released the City budget. Although not unexpected, the severe blow of $500 million in cuts to human services – including new cuts that were not in the preliminary budget – is painful. Below are some of the “lowlights”:
- Eliminating funding for approximately 2,073 elementary school and 498 middle school Out of School Time slots. Out of School Time provides a safe and constructive environment for children after school, while parents are working and cannot supervise them.
- Eliminating 15 Family Literacy programs, which serve approximately 300 families.
- Cutting funding to five Runaway Homeless Youth drop-in centers and eliminating City funds for street outreach contracts. Drop-in shelters provide youth and their families with counseling and other needed services. Street outreach provides youth on the streets late at night with information on where to turn and transportation to a safe environment.
We appreciate that the Mayor is in a difficult position and did make some restorations For example, he restored $41 million of the $91 million cut from child care. The economy has not recovered from the recession and the City is facing a budget deficit. However, precisely becauseNew Yorkis still dealing with the aftermath of the recession, human services are more vital toNew Yorkthan ever. Poor, working class, and middle class New Yorkers are struggling, and they desperately need the City’s help. On May 12th the “Who Cares? I Do.” Campaign will take part in a March on Wall Street along with other human service advocates, unions, community groups, and New Yorkers who believe devastating budget cuts that affect struggling families, combined with tax breaks and subsidies for corporations and tax cuts for the wealthy, are not the way to balance the City’s budget. Groups representing educators, students, immigrants, and more will meet at different points throughout lowerManhattan and then converge on Wall Street for the largest teach-inNew York City has seen.
Please join the “Who Cares? I Do.” Campaign and other human service advocates to make sure our voices are heard. Human services are so often overlooked and forgotten; it is vital that we have a strong presence at the march. Human service supporters will meet at 4:00 pm at South Street Seaport before marching to Wall Street. At Wall Street, protestors will participate in teach-ins by experts in different fields on the importance of not balancing the City’s budget on the backs of the poor and working class. Make sure to wear white to show your support for human services. To learn more visit the On May 12 website at http://www.onmay12.org, facebook at http:///www.facebook.com/onmay12, or twitter at http://www.twitter.com/OnMay12.