FPWA Response to Cutting 15% of New York City’s Budget

For Immediate Release:
September 12, 2023

Contact:
Rachel, rnoerdlinger@actumllc.com
Emma, ebrodsky@actumllc.com

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New York, NY (September 12, 2023) — FPWA released the following statement in response to the announcement of budget cuts across New York City agencies.

“We at FPWA are deeply concerned by Mayor Adams’ decision to cut the City’s budget by as much as 15%, and his assertion that the asylum seeker crisis is the reason why.  Indeed, the City is operating in a challenging fiscal environment with unprecedented expenditures as it fulfils its legal obligation to asylum seeker arrivals without critical federal funding; however, the proposed cuts far exceed the projected costs of this crisis. Blaming the humanitarian crisis and the federal government solely for budget shortfalls that are in significant part the result of other Administration decisions, including huge labor agreements (all the while continuing to pay the contracted human services workforce sub-par wages) and not planning for what was the foreseeable end of pandemic-era funding, is problematic, to put it mildly.

While the Administration’s own figures show an additional $7 billion is needed to cover asylum seeker costs that are projected over the next two years, cuts of 15 percent across the board would remove approximately $16.5 billion from New York City’s agencies in one year (based on the 2024 Enacted Budget). This demonstrates that these cuts are excessive, and that linking them to the migrant crisis is misleading —the cuts go far beyond what is needed to support migrants in need.

Cutting 15% of the City’s budget in the midst of a humanitarian crisis will only cause greater harm for all New Yorkers. We are a city that has long benefited from and been strengthened by people who’ve come to New York – freely, by force and by flight because of problems in their homelands which threatened their well-being.  Blaming the City’s presenting fiscal challenges solely on those who have come to New York seeking relief is short-sighted and ignores the implications of such.

We support the Mayor as he presses the state and federal government for resources to manage the migrant crisis and also stand behind the many calls for expedited work authorizations and extensions to protective status. However, we also respectfully urge him to consider solutions that would have the potential of sustainably addressing the full spectrum of his fiscal challenges, such as reducing NYPD overtime (which hit $2.2 billion in FY 2022),  and minor, progressive tax adjustments (which could raise an additional $1 billion per year). These changes, instead of devasting cuts, would provide the funding needed to address the short-term costs of supporting asylum seekers, and provide a stronger revenue base for the services that will be needed well into the future.

The lives of New Yorkers and the services they rely on warrant a more prudent response.”

 

About FPWA
FPWA is an anti-poverty policy and advocacy organization committed to advancing economic opportunity, justice, and upward mobility for New Yorkers with low incomes. Since 1922, FPWA has driven groundbreaking policy reforms to better serve those in need. We work to dismantle the systemic barriers that impede economic security and well-being, and strengthen the capacity of human services agencies and faith organizations so New Yorkers with lower incomes can thrive and live with dignity.

Find out more at fpwa.org, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

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