By Eartha Watts-Hicks
New York, NY: A Sanctuary City. How concerned should we be should newly inaugurated president, Donald Trump be allowed to make good on his threats to withdraw federal funding from all so-called sanctuary cities, cities that refuse to comply with last Wednesday’s executive order? As stated, those jurisdictions that “don’t cooperate with federal immigration authorities shall be deemed ‘not eligible’ to receive federal grants….”
Comptroller Scott Stringer (D) is New York City’s chief financial officer, ensuring its agencies serve the needs of all New Yorkers. He is also fiduciary keeping watch over New York City’s assets and overall fiscal health, including the city’s five public pension funds which have amassed nearly $160 billion in assets.
As part of Newsmakers 2017, on Thursday, January 25th at CUNY Graduate School of Journalism, Errol Louis of NY1 News, hosted Comptroller Scott Stringer, members of the community, and ethnic media in a Q&A on New York City’s economic health and the impending risks faced in the wake of Trump’s presidency.
Immediately after opening remarks, Scott Stringer made it clear that, though Republican, he stands with Mayor Bill de Blasio (D) to safeguard the interests of New York City as a whole, citing a desire to stand behind small business. “Thinking strategically about wealth creation in all our communities.” More specifically, a renewed focus on investing in businesses owned by women and minorities.
Scott Stringer also acknowledged the city’s greatest challenge has been addressing the housing plight and homelessness crisis. He explicitly stated that it is his desire to clean up the shelter system and house all New Yorkers, including migrants to our great city.
Stringer also shared how immigrants are an integral part of NYC’s economy. Comprising nearly half of New York City’s labor force, foreign born workers earned $92 billion in income in 2015. Stringer has vowed to stand with and protect the interests of New Yorkers and New York’s immigrant community, despite the threat of imposed sanctions.
Should New York City, hypothetically, lose $7 billion in Federal funds, Stringer states this would potentially compromise the city’s Anti-terrorism budget. In the absence of Federal funding, it will be more difficult to protect the city against terrorism, maintain Universal Pre-K and quality education for all children, foster the financial growth of all New Yorkers, and continue to address New York City’s challenges, i.e. need for more affordable housing. Stringer, however, assures that it will (more or less) be business as usual here in New York. He and city’s mayor Bill de Blasio have preparedness plans, including an $8 billion reserve fund to help safeguard the city’s operations, against the impact of such imposed sanctions.
Errol Louis, is Director of Urban Reporting, CUNY Graduate School of Journalism and a reporter for NY 1 news. This event has been organized by the Center for Community and Ethnic Media as part of its Newsmakers Series. This Q&A represents 12th of the ongoing series for Newsmakers and first for 2017. Errol Louis hosts all sessions.