WILLIAMS: NEW YORK CITY WILL NEED BUDGETARY DEFICIT HELP DUE TO COVID-19

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[NYC Budget FY 2021]
Williams: "It is an unfortunate fiscal reality that this crisis will require drawing upon our city's reserves...I further implore our federal government to provide drastically expanded aid to the people of our city to help alleviate the budget deficit."
Photo: YouTube

Public Advocate Jumaane D. Williams released the following statement in response to Mayor de Blasio's Fiscal Year 2021 Executive Budget.

"Crises are about our choices, and they reveal our priorities. I've always said that it's easy to be progressive in times of surplus, but that when funding is cut or curtailed, it is all the more important to stand by progressive values. Addressing the COVID-19 pandemic has put extraordinary strain on the city's finances, and in accounting for this, human responsibility must be paramount. Sacrifices will be necessary but should not be short-sighted.

"The Mayor's stated goals in this budget - protecting New Yorkers' health and safety, securing their food and shelter - are strong guiding principles, particularly in the ways they meet the short-term response to this crisis. In order to create the means for long term recovery, however, it is crucial not to impose extreme austerity in ways which could cause additional harm. Wherever possible, the focus should be on adapting critical programs, not eliminating them. Meeting the needs of this moment without exacerbating those needs long-term - particularly for our most vulnerable communities.

"It is an unfortunate fiscal reality that this crisis will require drawing upon our city's reserves. The years spent adding to those reserves were in anticipation of emergency need, but the scope of the health and economic impact of this pandemic on the city that is its epicenter demands further resources. In the state budget, the Governor opposed revenue-raising fairness fees which would help alleviate these cuts, fees which should be included in future legislation. I further implore our federal government to provide drastically expanded aid to the people of our city to help alleviate the budget deficit.

"The federal government has both a fiscal and a moral responsibility to provide this aid for the same reason that I urge the city to adapt progressive programs rather than abandon them in this emergency - to meet financial needs and prevent human cost."

The Public Advocate previously released a COVID-19 Preliminary Response and Recovery report which highlights how the city could have acted more swiftly in responding to the pandemic, while outlining ways to move forward to better protect lives and mitigate the impact of future crises.

The following is a link to the report https://advocate.nyc.gov/reports/covid-19-pandemic-preliminary-response-...

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