With 5,000 New Jobs for Youth, NYC Agrees on Historic Progressive Budget

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Jumaane D. Williams. Photo: William Alatriste

With a federal government that threatens New York City's finances for its own political purposes, we entered this budget process with the mandate to resist this pressure and create a progressive budget that preserves and expands the services which are vital to New Yorkers.

I am proud to say that through the leadership of Speaker Corey Johnson, Finance Chair Daniel Dromm, Finance Director Latonia McKinney, and others we have been able to achieve this goal in a historic agreement with the Administration on an $89.2 billion budget.

This budget sustains and expands many programs while adding additional funds to the city's reserves, an exceptional achievement which serves the needs of the present while being forward-looking.

There are a number of positive, progressive items in this budget that should be highlighted. The inclusion of the Fair Fares program is historic, and will provide much-needed relief to New Yorkers who have been forced to choose between a Metro Card and groceries.

Enacting this program is imperative to help those who are struggling to access all of the resources of New York City. Additionally, hundreds of millions more in funding will be allocated for affordable, income-targeted senior and supportive housing, which must remain a priority for city government in combating the affordable housing and homelessness crisis.

This budget also preserves and expands many of the programs that we know to be working. The Summer Youth Employment Program will see an increase in capacity by 5,000 jobs, now able to provide meaningful employment at the minimum wage to 75,000 young people around the city.

In another recognition of the importance of community investment, the Crisis Management System will have its support increased in the coming budget as well- which is particularly vital now, during Gun Violence Awareness Month.

A budget with this focus on progressive priorities is only possible with a City Council that is autonomous, acting as an empowered and independent entity, and when necessary, a check on the executive.

I was to commend this body and our Speaker for fulfilling our mandate as a sovereign force on behalf of the people we represent across the five boroughs.

I look forward to the Council passing this budget, and to the body working together to continue to enact policies which benefit all New Yorkers.

Council Member Jumaane D. Williams, 45th Council District, 4517 Ave D, Brooklyn, NY 11203.

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