People’s Budget Campaign Launch Meeting The Needs From Harlem To Hollis

March 7, 2023

The People’s Plan, its thirteen steering committee organizations, and dozens of affiliated grassroots groups.

Includes allied elected officials will launch the 2023 “People’s Budget” campaign today at the Tweed Courthouse at 11:00 am. Over the coming months, New Yorkers will continue to demand that Mayor Eric Adams maintain full funding for public education and critical social services, remove bloat from the NYPD and DOC budgets, and make key investments now to safeguard the most vulnerable New Yorkers. New Yorkers will also demand that the City Council only consider passing a budget that meets these “People’s Budget” demands, which have already been echoed by council leadership. This grassroots campaign will include rallies and direct actions, thousands of emails and phone calls to elected officials, and coordinated advocacy efforts across organizations that represent nearly every community and issue area in the city.

The core demands of the People’s Budget campaign are as follows:

  • No cuts to school budgets. Restore funding and staff lost due to Mayor Adams’ prior budget cuts. Invest in student mental health, community schools, and restorative justice programs. 
  • No cuts to CUNY. Restore funding, faculty, and staff lost due to Mayor Adams’ prior budget cuts. Increase funding for advisors, ASAP, and MetroCard access for student support and retention.
  • No cuts to libraries. Restore funding cut by Mayor Adams’ prior budget cuts.
  • No cuts to adult literacy programs. Restore and baseline funding to keep programs whole and invest in greater resources, services, and supports for adult literacy students.
  • No cuts to 3K. Recommit to universal 3K. Fulfill salary parity for the early childhood workforce. 
  • No cuts to the provision of social services, such as housing services and health or mental health services. Invest in social safety net and housing solutions for low-income New Yorkers.
  • Reduce the NYPD’s bloated budget. Cut vacant school police positions. Remove police from mental health, drug use, and homelessness response. Invest in community safety solutions.
  • Reduce DOC’s bloated budget. Invest in supportive housing and alternatives to incarceration.

Speaking at the rally:

Public Advocate Jumaane Williams

Brooklyn Borough President Antonio Reynoso

Councilmembers Shahana Hanif, Carmen de la Rosa and Lincoln Restler (representing the Progressive Caucus)

Councilmember Chi Ossé (representing the LGBTQIA+ Caucus)

Zakiyah Ansari, Alliance for Quality Education

Maria Hantzopoulos and Diani Limongi, Moms Rising

Shira Dubin, CUNY Rising

Lauren Comito, Urban Librarians Unite

Jawanza Williams, VOCAL-NY

Dulce, Make the Road – New York

Ashley Conrad, Freedom Agenda

Zara Nasir, The People’s Plan

“The Mayor continues to degrade our city through budget cuts and incompetence,” said Zara Nasir, Executive Director of The People’s Plan. “New Yorkers are fed up with his broken promises and broken agencies. If he won’t change course, then we need the City Council to finally flex its muscles and protect our communities. At a minimum, we need a budget that prioritizes care, not cuts.”

“The NYPD is at least $400 million over budget, but Mayor Adams is proposing more cuts to Pre-K, 3-K, public schools and libraries,” said Audrey Sasson, Executive Director of Jews For Racial & Economic Justice (JFREJ). “His priorities are upside down; all he’s offering is a backsliding budget that benefits his cronies and short-changes our future. The City Council must take real action to reject Adams’s regressive agenda and fight for a budget that prioritizes the people of New York.”

“Eric Adams’s so-called-‘Working People’s Agenda’ in fact undermines working-class immigrants across New York City,” said Sasha Wijeyeratne, Executive Director of CAAAV: Organizing Asian Communities (CAAAV). “From slashing public school budgets to squeezing already cash-strapped social services agencies like the Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD), Adams’s austerity cuts target the very public services that are critical to the lives and livelihoods of working-class people.”

“Budgets are a reflection of our values. A budget that cuts from our schools, libraries, and public services is hardly a working people’s agenda,” said Sochie Nnaemeka, Director of the New York Working Families Party. “We join our City Council champions and community allies in calling for a budget that invests deeply in the public resources our families depend on. Only then can we build a New York where people can do more than just scrape by.”

“For the first time, New York City’s public schools will be fully funded next year, thanks to generations of New York City parents who fought for decades just to get the funding their public schools and students deserved all along. We didn’t win that fight in Albany just to lose the battle against austerity at City Hall. There is no justification for Mayor Adams’ proposal to cut funding from public education and services that help meet the basic needs of New York’s working families. and New York City needs to be investing in our communities, not shortchanging our future,” said Amshula Jayaram, Campaign Director, Alliance for Quality Education.

Natalia Aristizabal Betancur, Deputy Director of Make the Road New York, said, “The upcoming city budget must prioritize the well-being and safety of all New Yorkers, and that means making sure we have the resources for housing, education, and health care to name a few so we can all thrive. Right now, the city is off track, because Mayor Adams is proposing cutting these vital services while giving the NYPD a blank check. We need a People’s Budget that will help ensure every New Yorker can get the education they deserve, access life-saving care, and have a safe, affordable home. We’re ready to fight for that vision.”

The People’s Plan is a collective vision for a City that provides dignity, care, and justice for all New Yorkers. It offers the priorities of hundreds of organizers and advocates through a comprehensive, multi-issue roadmap around housing, anti-criminalization, education, economy, climate, transit, and health. The intent of The People’s Plan is to set the agenda for a racially and socially just city and provide a clear people-centered mandate for 2023 and beyond.

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