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Budget, Education & City Services

Response from Manhattan Community Board Five to the Mayor's Executive Budget for Fiscal Year 2021

At the regularly scheduled monthly Community Board Five meeting on Thursday, June 11, 2020, the following resolution passed with a vote of 40 in favor; 0 opposed; 1 abstaining:

WHEREAS, COVID-19 has had and will continue to have a very serious economic impact upon New York City; and

WHEREAS, As a result of the coronavirus, there is a projected loss of $9 billion in tax revenue for Fiscal Year 2021; and

 WHEREAS, The Mayor’s Preliminary Executive Budget proposed $95.3 billion of total spending; and 

WHEREAS, In light of the impact of COVID-19 on projected tax revenue loss, the Mayor has reduced the Preliminary Executive Budget spending, introduced in April, 2020 by $6B to $89.3; and

WHEREAS, Manhattan Community Board Five (M-CB5) has already commented upon the FY2021 Preliminary Executive Budget pre-coronavirus; and 

WHEREAS, M-CB5’s comments on this budget did not and could not foresee or anticipate the Mayor’s Executive Budget cuts; and

WHEREAS, M-CB5’s position with regard to the preliminary budget has been revised to reflect the rapidly changing financial and moral challenges currently facing the city; and

WHEREAS, The NYC budget crisis, continued health care crisis, and ongoing crisis of racist police brutality as highlighted by the Black Lives Matter movement, demand that we think differently about how we spend our collective resources for the kind of public safety that all our communities need; and

WHEREAS, The Mayor’s budget cuts have NOT been made proportionally across all Agencies; and

WHEREAS, NYC spends more on policing than we do on the Departments of Health and Mental Hygiene, Homeless Services, Housing Preservation and Development and Youth and Community Development combined; and

WHEREAS, Facing a looming $9B budget hole, the Mayor’s cuts leave the NYPD nearly untouched (a mere 0.3%) while proposing vast cuts to a range of critical initiatives and social programs for which M-CB5 has strongly advocated, including:

WHEREAS, M-CB5 is on record in rejecting cuts to education, affordable housing and the Youth Employment Program;

WHEREAS, Comptroller Scott Stringer and Public Advocate Jumaane Williams have both called for a significant reduction of the NYPD budget and a reinvestment in communities, particularly when it comes to critical social services best executed outside of the NYPD; and

WHEREAS, Nine out of the ten Manhattan City Council Members publicly support making cuts to the budget of the NYPD, including Speaker Johnson, District Five Council Members Carlina Rivera, and Keith Powers; and 

WHEREAS, As Council Member Rivera stated, “Understanding and responding to the harsh financial realities of this crisis does not have to mean balancing the budget on the backs of those most impacted by COVID-19;” therefore, be it

RESOLVED, That the priorities detailed in the Executive budget should be revised to ensure that children and traditionally underserved populations are not disproportionately impacted negatively; and be it further

RESOLVED, That the City pursue and support these critical frontline services and begin to rebuild communities ravaged not just by COVID-19 but by decades of systemic community disinvestment; and be it further

RESOLVED, M-CB5 demands reconsideration by the Mayor regarding the distribution of budget cuts across all City Agencies, including the NYPD; and be it further 

RESOLVED, M-CB5 strongly recommends the City Council ensure that the NYPD not be exempt from its share of the significant budget cuts that have to be made this year.

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