NYC Councilmember Williams Deplores Lack of New Funds for Youth Jobs in de Blasio budget

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Councilmember Williams

[Op-Ed]

For the past year, many of my colleagues have made clear that our most significant priority is the expansion of employment for young people - including fully funding summer youth employment and doubling All-Year Round jobs.
Given that the Council has made its importance clear, it is disappointing to see that no additional funding was included in the Mayor's Executive Budget for expansion.
This means that the budget dance begins with a lower amount of job slots than was available last year. This dynamic risks giving the false impression that achieving the same number of jobs as last year would be a victory.
Thankfully, the Executive Budget is but one step in a larger process, and I remain hopeful that through negotiations, funding for a significant expansion, combined with a commitment to achieve universal youth employment in the next two years will be included in the final budget.
There is no disagreement that the single most effective thing that can be done to address youth violence, even above law enforcement, is a job. The statistics are clear - employing young people strengthens communities, reduces gun violence and shows young people a better way.
A recent report by the Wharton School of Business- which studied the NYC Summer Youth program over three years- put it best: 'We found very strong effects on keeping the youth out of trouble. We actually found that the youth who get lotteried were more likely to be alive...and less likely to be incarcerated.'
The time is now to prove that New York City is the progressive place that looks out for all New Yorkers.
Let's fund universal employment for our youth.

New York City Council Member Jumaane D. Williams represents the 45th Council District, Brooklyn.

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