Levine, Council Stand up for Critical Parks Priorities In Budget Response

April 14, 2015

marl levine 2City Council Parks Committee Chair Mark Levine announced today that in its Budget Response to the Mayor’s Preliminary Budget, the City Council is advocating for restoration of funding to critical parks programs. The Council’s proposal would enhance crucial public investment focused on low- and middle-income parks, as well as funding for additional gardeners, maintenance workers and PEP officers throughout the city.

The $21 million in parks funding called for by the City Council supports continued enhancement of our parks with an eye towards making sure that improvements are felt equally in each neighborhood throughout the city–including low- and moderate-income areas…

“The $21 million in parks funding called for by the City Council supports continued enhancement of our parks with an eye towards making sure that improvements are felt equally in each neighborhood throughout the city–including low- and moderate-income areas. I’m proud to join my colleagues in advocating for important new investments in community gardens and playground staffing, as well as baselined funding for PEP officers and the Parks Equity Initiative. The Council’s proposal will help our parks thrive and be the vibrant centers of community that they should be for every New Yorker, no matter where they live,” said Council Member Mark Levine.

The Council is proposing $5 million to restore funding for the Parks Enforcement Patrol unit. This funding will keep more than 100 PEP officers hired last year in their jobs and ensure that New York City’s parks and open spaces are safe and secure for all to enjoy. To help working parents and provide a safe, recreational environment for kids, the budget response  also calls for the hiring of 200 additional playground associates who provide both programmatic playground support and maintenance of comfort stations. The Council’s plan also proposes a $3M increase to the serially underfunded trees and sidewalk program. Regular cuts to the program led to a huge backlog in repair orders leaving sidewalks damaged throughout the city. In total, funding for these initiatives will address park equity issues and build more livable neighborhoods for families.

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