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Annabel Palma Comments on Proposed Budget

February 21, 2011
By Annabel Palmer

In order to appropriately address New York City’s dire fiscal realities,
 visionary leadership and a commitment to shared sacrifice are necessary. 
Unfortunately, the Preliminary Budget Proposal reveals that the 
Administration has failed on both accounts.  The $300 million dollars in
cuts to Social Services outlined today are an assault on our City’s working
 families, our City’s working poor and our City’s most vulnerable.

The Mayor’s proposed budget outlines nearly $600 million dollars in
potential cuts, with over $300 million to Social Service programs, which 
will significantly impact the already-strained services that our working
 families and our poor have come to rely on for survival.  These cuts will
 result in some of the most serious Social Service reductions in the history 
of our City and will directly and negatively impact everyday New Yorkers.

 Of particular concern is the Mayor’s plans to cut childcare subsidies for 
16,624 children in the coming fiscal year.  This proposal contradicts the 
Mayor’s previous statements of support for working New Yorkers and 
demonstrates his lack of commitment to early learning opportunities for 
children.  These cuts come in addition to the approximately 14,000 child care
 slots that have been lost since 2006 and mark the single largest cut to 
childcare services since the 1970s.  

If the Mayor’s proposal becomes a 
reality, thousands of working families will be left scrambling for child
care and tens of thousands of children will enter school ill-prepared.

 Unfortunately, the Department of Homeless Services (DHS) is also facing
 devastating cuts at both the city and state level, jeopardizing its ability 
to adequately provide shelter and services to homeless individuals and 
families.  State cuts to DHS’ Advantage program will mean fewer low-income 
New Yorkers will be given the tools to lift themselves out of poverty.
 Eliminating the Advantage program without alternative housing placement and 
rental assistance options will result in extended shelter stays and an 
increase in shelter capacity.

The Governor and the Mayor are attempting to close our budget shortfalls by squeezing every last dollar dedicated to supporting struggling New Yorkers
 It is my sincere hope that both the Governor and the Mayor will step up to
the plate by providing sensible alternatives to their current budget proposals.

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