A few highlights from NYC’s FY 2018 budget

A few highlights from NYC’s FY 2018 budget

After months of negotiation and advocacy, the City Council voted today to approve the $85.2 billion budget for Fiscal Year 2018.

In Washington DC, Trump & the GOP have proposed budget cuts that would abandon the most vulnerable Americans, undermine public education, and neglect public infrastructure. In NYC, we will not go along with Trump-led austerity. Our budget invests in our communities, in our kids, in our seniors, in the public and social infrastructure that our city rests upon.

Even with these new programs and critical investments, we increased the City’s budget reserves to their highest levels ever, so we are prepared for an uncertain future.

Here are a few highlights from this year’s budget: 

  • Thanks to our #TooHotToLearn campaign, which included advocacy from students, parents, teachers and school workers across NYC (and some great research by my staff), we won air-conditioning for every public school classroom over the next five years.

  • We are investing $100 million in our public libraries to fund sorely needed capital repairs and upgrades (even if they aren’t all as adorable as the recently-opened children’s reading garden at the Park Slope Branch).

  • NYC is making major investments in our city’s seniors to support senior services, centers, home care and caregivers (thanks to unyielding advocacy by my colleague, Council Member Margaret Chin and Bobbie Sackman at LiveOnNY).

  • The NYC Commission on Human Rights will see a $2.67 million increase to protect New Yorkers from discrimination, thanks in part to advocacy by Public Advocate Letitia James and me during the budget hearings. This is especially critical with the U.S. Justice Department pulling back from civil rights protection under Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

  • We are expanding the City’s Council’s New York Immigrant Family Unity Project, which provides legal services for immigrants facing deportation -- also needed now more than ever before.

  • The City will expand our summer youth jobs program to 70,000 jobs (the largest the program has ever been) and expand our year-round youth jobs programs, too.

  • We will increase the reimbursement rate for CBOs and not-for-profit social service providers who serve 1.5 million New Yorkers each year, to alleviate the shortfall between what government funds and what the service costs to provide.

  • In addition, we doubled the funding for the Center for Anti-Violence Education’s self-defense and de-escalation trainings from $50,000 to $100,000 this year. These programs are designed for LGBTQ homeless youth, school-aged girls, families and staff to prevent, interrupt and work against violence in schools, neighborhoods and on the streets.

In addition to these citywide wins, there will be some great local projects coming to the district. The CHiPS Mobile Showers for Homeless Neighbors was the highest vote-getting of any Participatory Budgeting NYC project in the city, ever! Other winning PBNYC projects in our district include a creative engagement program for Alzheimer's patients and caregivers, and start-up support for a worker co-operative of immigrant women in the home-care and day-care field. And we were able to provide funding to renovate the Tennis House in Prospect Park, the dog run in Washington Park, and new equipment for New York Presbyterian - Brooklyn Methodist Hospital and Maimonides Hospital.

You can download the FY2018 budget on the City’s website, and see the many initiatives and nonprofits the City Council is supporting this year on the Schedule C section of the budget page of the City Council’s website (a searchable/downloadable database of all the organizations and projects will be up soon). And you can keep track of prior year’s PBNYC and capital projects in our district on my office’s Capital Projects Tracker.

Before closing, I want to pause to appreciate Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito and Julissa Ferreras-Copeland, as we adopt the final NYC budget under their leadership as City Council Speaker and Finance Chair. I admire their leadership, and feel grateful for the chance to have worked with both of them.


P.S. One critical piece of infrastructure that we can’t fix through the New York City budget is public transit -- our subways & our buses -- which are truly reaching crisis level. The F train has been a nightmare lately, but it reached a new low last night. We must have a plan from the governor, who controls the MTA, for significant new revenues and a comprehensive plan to replace our outdated signals, switches, and subway cars, and to bring both our buses and subways into the 21st century.  

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