Last week, the Adams Administration released our Fiscal Year 2024 Executive Budget.
As President Joe Biden has often said: “Show me your budget and I will show you your values.” That is why this budget invests in our Working People’s Agenda, prioritizing education, jobs, housing, health care, and public safety.
As Mayor, I’m committed to protecting the safety and well-being of our people. But the challenges we face are real. It is no secret that our city is still recovering from the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as spending millions on the ongoing asylum seeker crisis. These are unavoidable realities that have made a massive dent in our city’s resources.
The good news is that we were able to balance this year’s budget with better-than-expected revenues and efficient budgeting. We were able to create $1.6 billion in savings across the two fiscal years – without layoffs or service cuts. This $ 106.7 billion executive budget preserves essential services and continues to improve the lives of everyday New Yorkers.
Almost 60 percent of this budget, $62.5 billion in total, goes to education, healthcare, and social services. It provides money for schools that lost enrollment, as well as funding childcare, summer youth employment, and affordable housing.
From expanding education to increasing our sustainability to investing in our infrastructure, this budget delivers on the essentials. And we did not cut a single penny from our libraries or cultural institutions.
This budget continues our efforts to put money back into the hands of working people. We will continue to support programs that help people claim all available benefits, including the Earning Income Tax Credit, cash assistance, SNAP, and more. We are bringing more attorneys on board to make sure that our neighbors who rely on government-funded housing vouchers can utilize them without being discriminated against by landlords.
We’re expanding broadband in NYCHA developments so that New Yorkers at every income level can access the high-speed internet that is indispensable to so many aspects of daily life, from work to education to telemedicine. And we are adding online portals for childcare, workforce, and business services to our MyCity platform, making it easier for all New Yorkers to access city service they need.
New Yorkers are rightfully concerned about ensuring that education is strong and fully funded, and our Administration supports this vision. We’re investing in job training and apprentices and continuing education, including Supporting the City University of New York’s (CUNY) Inclusive Economy Initiative programs, which provide internships, mentoring, and job opportunities for students. We are also funding and expanding the CUNY Reconnect program, which helps students who left CUNY because of extenuating circumstances return and earn their degrees.
We are also investing more than half a billion dollars to redevelop the CUNY Brookdale Campus and create a world-class science park and research center.
This will generate billions of dollars in economic impact, lead to thousands of good jobs, and confirm New York City’s role as a global leader in public health and life sciences.
Related: Find out more about The Mayors Op-Ed articles.
We’re investing in the Medgar Evers College Brooklyn Recovery Corps, which connects 200 students a year with nonprofits and small businesses in Brooklyn to work on projects that spur economic recovery and growth. And we are supporting the Mayor’s Office for People with Disabilities’ plan to promote workforce development for people living with disabilities.
This budget also strengthens our mental health resources by continuing the expansion of the Behavioral Health Emergency Assistance Response Division (B-HEARD) program, supporting mental health services for high school students and children in family shelters, and increasing the capacity of the clubhouses that provide peer-led mental health support.
Paying our workforce a fair wage is one of our priorities. It puts more money in the pockets of working families and helps us recruit and retain top talent. Earlier this year, we settled long-expired labor contracts with DC 37 and the Police Benevolent Association. These contracts set the pattern for wage increases across the city.
We are proud that our Administration is supporting working families, creating providing access to good jobs, and improving public safety. This budget supports all those goals and more – ensuring that we can continue to Get Stuff Done for New Yorkers now and in the years to come.
Editor’s Note: Op-Eds may or may not necessarily reflect the views of Harlem World Magazine.