More Reactions to Mayor de Blasio's Executive Budget for Fiscal Year 2015

May 8, 2014

NEW YORK—Today, Mayor Bill de Blasio presented New York City’s Executive Budget for Fiscal Year 2015, a fiscally responsible plan that reflects the administration’s priorities and moves the city in a new, progressive direction.

This $73.9 billion FY 2015 budget invests in our children, creates economic opportunity for more New Yorkers, dramatically expands affordable housing in New York City, protects the most vulnerable citizens, and makes the city safer. This budget also takes major steps toward addressing New York City’s fiscal health by addressing income inequality, prioritizing infrastructure improvements, and establishing clear and affordable capital commitments.

Below is a compilation of additional reactions to the priorities Mayor de Blasio laid out in his Executive Budget.

Immediate reactions are available at: on.nyc.gov/1itXNXS

Learn more about the Executive Budget: on.nyc.gov/RrE0hI

 

General Support For Mayor de Blasio’s Executive Budget Priorities

“Mayor Bill de Blasio’s budget proposal is fiscally sound, and, more importantly, reflects the values of working class New Yorkers that helps to make our city more affordable. I am proud of the historic investment in universal pre-K that the Mayor and I have achieved, and I am confident we will continue to build upon our initial successes for the remainder of this legislative session in Albany,” said New York State Senate Co-Leader Jeff Klein

“Our city needs a budget that addresses the many challenges facing our communities, and I thank the administration for laying out a vision that strengthens our middle class, invests in our children’s education and prepares our workforce for the jobs of tomorrow,” said Congressman Joe Crowley.

“Mayor de Blasio’s budget sets a progressive agenda addressing the priorities and needs of Sunset Park, Red Hook and the other communities in my Brooklyn district. From Superstorm Sandy recovery efforts, to implementing universal pre-K, we have a Mayor who is working to make our city ‘One New York.’ I am committed to help the Mayor get his Sandy property tax relief passed by the legislature. His other initiatives to expand affordable housing and to enforce ‘Vision Zero’ to make our streets safer demonstrate that we have a Mayor deserving our support," said Assemblyman Felix Ortiz

“We applaud Mayor Bill de Blasio’s commitment to ending inequality in New York City,” said New York State Nurses Association Executive Director Jill Furillo, RN. “We support the key pieces of the mayor’s executive budget that move our city forward in the right direction, including funding for universal pre-K, affordable housing, and Sandy recovery.”

 

Investing in Our Children

“New York City has the worst income inequality in the nation, and I’m glad to see the Mayor de Blasio’s budget taking strong steps to address it. As a result of the Mayor’s commitment to fighting inequality, New York City will soon have a universal pre-K program that will help put all children on the right education track. We’ve known a long time that early education is a key in breaking the cycle of poverty that so many of the families in our neighborhoods continue to find themselves trapped. Soon, a child from Crown Height in Brooklyn or Mott Haven in the Bronx will have the same early educational opportunities as children from the wealthiest parts of the city have,” said Assemblyman Karim Camara

“The Children’s Aid Society applauds Mayor de Blasio for prioritizing the well-being and education of New York City’s children in his executive budget. As The Children’s Aid Society works to build cradle through college pathways for New York City’s most vulnerable children, we appreciate the Mayor’s investments in high quality pre-kindergarten programs, after-school programs for middle school students, and support for community college students. We look forward to partnering with the Mayor, his administration and the City Council to advance an equity agenda,” said Bill Weisberg, Interim President and CEO of the Children’s Aid Society

“The executive budget proposes critical investments that will improve the well-being of New York City’s children and families, including increasing the number of shelter beds for runway and homeless youth, adding 362 staff to ACS to help keep children safe, creating a new rental subsidy program for working families, ensuring summer youth employment funding incorporates the recent minimum wage increase, and ensuring all 4-year-olds have pre-school and middle school students have after-school programs. The future of New York City looks brighter today, and we are incredibly grateful that the administration has taken critical steps to ensure New York City’s children are healthy, housed, educated and safe,” said Jennifer March, Executive Director of Citizens’ Committee for Children of New York

 

Creates Economic Opportunity

“Under the previous administration, small businesses were charged thousands of dollars in fines, hindering their chance to grow and support communities in Queens and throughout the city,” said Jack Friedman, Executive Director for the Queens Chamber of Commerce. “Mayor de Blasio’s reduction in fines will help these businesses invest back into their communities, increasing resident’s quality of life. The Queens Chamber of Commerce applauds the Mayor’s efforts, and we look forward to continuing to work with him.”  

“Today’s budget gives all New Yorkers a clear picture of New York City’s future,” said Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Carlo A. Scissura. “In particular, the decreases in fines on our small businesses and the increase in funding for the Brooklyn Army Terminal are big wins for Brooklyn’s business community. We thank Mayor de Blasio for recognizing that our small businesses drive economic activity in New York City, and for working hard to create a clear pathway for their success. We look forward to working with him and keeping business thriving in New York City.”

“Clearly, Mayor Bill De Blasio recognizes his responsibility to respect the collective bargaining law and work together with the city’s dedicated workforce through their elected union representatives to find solutions to the problems our city faces. The health care agreement is an example of what cooperation and mutual respect can produce. It addresses the issue of rising health care costs. The agreement does so by working with unions to find solutions and evaluating models that have effectively improved health care services while reducing costs, not by shifting costs to city workers. Just a year ago, city unions were dealing with an administration whose approach was consistent with the corporate culture that allowed the former Mayor to accumulate his fortune. As New York City’s CEO, he acted as if he was above the law and boldly dictated terms to city workers, rather than negotiating with their elected labor leaders. Those actions were fiscally irresponsible and ignored the valuable contributions of the taxpaying citizens of this city, who are also city workers. The vital public services city workers provide are the foundation upon which commerce, industry and our civil society is built upon. It is refreshing to have a new administration that respects the law and seeks to work with all shareholders to find solutions to the problems our city faces,” said Arthur Cheliotes, President, Local 1180, Communications Workers of America, AFL-CIO

“We thank Mayor de Blasio for following through on commitments to reduce fines on our city’s restaurants. This estimated reduction in fines means that our small business owners can keep more of their hard earned money in the local economy. The New York City Hospitality Alliance looks forward to continuing to work with the de Blasio administration to ensure the greatest restaurant city in the world becomes a more hospitable place to do business,” said Andrew Rigie, Executive Director, New York City Hospitality Alliance

“The Mayor’s proposal to create a municipal ID in New York City will enable a new level of access to government services for many who are often left out, including immigrant communities and individuals experiencing homelessness. The municipal ID can serve as a new link in the social safety net. Victims displaced by fires and natural disasters will be able to more easily prove their residency and receive the support they need. Parents will be able to visit their child's school. We look forward to working with the mayor’s office to connect all New Yorkers to this new resource,” said Douglas Nam Le, Director of Policy & Leadership Development, Asian Americans for Equality (AAFE)

“We applaud Mayor Bill de Blasio for making a municipal ID program a priority for his administration,” said Valeria Treves, Executive Director of New Immigrant Community Empowerment (NICE).  “A municipal ID is a step in the right direction for a city which seeks to uphold the dignity, and recognize the contributions, of all of the city’s residents.”

“The Immigrant Defense Project applauds the Mayor’s commitment to creating a municipal ID program that balances accessibility for all New Yorkers, while also safeguarding privacy and the right to define one’s gender. We are encouraged that the city is prioritizing an ID that will be accessible to all, and in particular are hopeful that this ID will help de-escalate and prevent arrests, which have particular importance for immigrants who are increasingly at risk of deportation when encountering police,” said Alisa Wellek, Co-executive Director, Immigrant Defense Project

“By drastically expanding paid sick leave coverage, New York City has taken an important step towards ensuring that the city’s most exploited workers, those with the lowest pay and least economic security, will at least have the ability to care for themselves or loved ones when sick or injured without worrying about missing a day’s pay,” said Daisy Chung, executive director or the Restaurant Opportunities Center of New York. “We look forward to working with the Mayor and City Council to improve the law and to monitor its implementation.”

“For many of my clients, the opportunity to receive a municipal ID card is tremendously important. Especially for the most vulnerable and marginalized, including victims of trafficking and wage theft, the homeless and undocumented immigrants, this new policy will help provide access to critical services and full civic participation. I expect to see an immediate and significant positive impact in the lives of those who struggle with poverty and injustice on a daily basis,” said Robert McCreanor, Catholic Migration

“Before the passage of paid sick leave in New York City, less than a quarter of the 500 retail workers we surveyed in the five boroughs had ever taken a single sick day, simply because most retail jobs are part-time. A worker at a luxury cosmetics retailer told me she was written up for calling in sick while in the ER with her daughter. Finally, workers no longer have to choose between their health, or their family’s health regardless of their part or full time status – a win for all!” said Sasha Hammad, Director, Retail Action Project

“Queens Community House supports and celebrates the implementation of New York City's municipal identification program, and we applaud Mayor de Blasio for including this initiative in the executive budget and Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, and Immigration Committee Chair Carlos Menchaca, for advancing this greatly needed initiative. Queens Community House engages with the wonderfully diverse population of Queens and provides residents with the tools to enrich their lives and build healthy, inclusive communities. We envision communities where ALL people are actively engaged and feel supported, have voice and equal access. The municipal identification card will broaden our communities' access to much needed services, allow fuller participation in our city's offerings, and remind us that we are ALL New Yorkers and together contribute to the greater good, regardless of citizenship status,” said Irma Rodriguez, Executive Director of Queens Community House

“I am delighted to see Mayor de Blasio’s investment of $100 million to activate dormant space at the Brooklyn Army Terminal. This will create a new home for dozens of industrial businesses and create many hundreds of new jobs in Sunset Park. This is an important first step toward development of a modern and comprehensive industrial policy for New York City. The Brooklyn Navy Yard and Brooklyn Army Terminal are great successes, but are home to about 10 percent of the manufacturing businesses in New York City. The vast majority are located outside the walls of city facilities throughout the five boroughs, many inside designated Industrial Business Zones. I look forward to working with Mayor de Blasio, the New York City Council, and industrial businesses and advocates citywide to develop policy and programming that ensure the vibrancy of the remaining 90 percent of New York City manufacturers. Ample funding for the Industrial Business Zone program, which directly serves over 3000 businesses with over 35,000 employees, better alignment of New York City operations and economic development activities, and closing the zoning loopholes that allow the proliferation of non-compatible uses in manufacturing zones are the logical next steps. Nurturing the growth of high-quality manufacturing jobs in New York is key for the Mayor to achieve his goal of reducing inequity in the city,” said Leah Archibald, Executive Director, EWVIDCO

“The Mayor’s budget charts a clear path for municipal labor and management to engage in a constructive and creative process to negotiate major savings in the city’s health care spending without slashing the living standards of the city’s workforce. That is a breakthrough step in the right direction. Based on CWA’s experience bargaining over health care issues in both the public and private sectors across the northeast, the savings projected by the Mayor’s plan appear entirely achievable. It won’t be easy, but it can be done, and we applaud Mayor de Blasio’s commitment to achieve these goals through a collective bargaining process based on mutual respect and shared values,” said CWA District One

“Clergy and faith leaders from all five boroughs applaud Mayor Bill de Blasio’s commitment in his executive budget to make New York City a national model for the creation of local, living wage jobs and career pathways for New Yorkers to rebuild their own city, instead of importing workers from other cities or states. Hurricane Sandy revealed the underlying and growing racial and economic inequality in our city, with our most vulnerable communities already struggling with high levels of unemployment, rising rents, and widespread poverty before the storm hit. Mayor de Blasio’s budget recognizes that there is still much to be done towards growing together as a city after Sandy instead of growing further apart. We look forward to working with administration leaders to set big, concrete goals for job creation in our local communities, and to create a plan to produce deeply affordable housing during the coming months,” said Bishop James I. Clark Jr, Faith in New York and Christ Temple Church in Harlem

 

Dramatically Expands Affordable Housing

“Given the need for affordable housing in New York City, Mayor de Blasio’s Housing New York Plan and budget represent the administration’s deep commitment to providing high quality housing throughout the five boroughs,” said Rafael E. Cestero President and CEO of The Community Preservation Corporation (CPC). “This budget provides a significant capital commitment to implement and financially support the Mayor’s housing agenda for years to come. We applaud this allocation of resources for affordable housing and look forward to partnering with the de Blasio team to bring CPC’s capital to communities.”

“The executive budget released today proves that Mayor de Blasio is serious about solving New York City’s housing affordability crisis,” said Ted Houghton, Executive Director of the Supportive Housing Network of New York and Co-Chair of the Housing First! affordable housing campaign. “The Mayor’s ambitious housing plan now has dollars attached to it. Placing $2.5 billion into the capital housing budget over the next four years will put us in a strong position to reach the mayor’s 10-year, 200,000-unit goal. The Mayor also made good on his promise to help NYCHA by assuming the $70 million annual cost of police protection. I am particularly pleased by the budget’s plan to increase city capital funds for supportive housing development to over $100 million a year. This will fund the construction of thousands of units of permanent supportive housing for the most vulnerable New Yorkers, including homeless individuals, families and seniors.”

“Mayor de Blasio has made an amazing commitment to housing and community development today – and it’s one that will have wide impact on neighborhoods across the five boroughs. And by recognizing that increasing capital commitments will also require additional staff – he further demonstrates how serious he is in investing in building the best teams possible at HPD and DCP. We look forward to seeing these dollars put to work,” said Jerilyn Perine, Executive Director of Citizens Housing & Planning Council

“We embrace the Mayor’s plan to ensure that very low income, low income and moderate income families remain in their homes by funding the expansion of AEP and expanding the code enforcement tools within his power. The Mayor’s commitment to building “big” and requiring inclusion of a range of households, including a new focus on extremely low income, offers the very low income people hope. His budget priorities and dollar allocations confirm his commitment. We are ready to work together to implement the plan,” said Ismene Speliotis
Executive Director, MHANY Management, Inc.

 

Protects the Most Vulnerable

“Doctors Council SEIU applauds Mayor de Blasio for helping to secure billions of dollars through a critical Medicaid waiver from the federal government, an effort that we believe will pay great dividends for our city, and especially for the most vulnerable populations that utilize our public hospital system,” said Frank Proscia, M.D., President of Doctors Council SEIU, which represents attending physicians and dentists in HHC hospitals and at various city agencies.  “Thanks in large part to the inclusive approach of Mayor de Blasio toward our safety-net hospitals, New York will be able to ensure more timely access to quality and affordable healthcare and improve the way community healthcare is delivered. This funding is very welcome news to the many health care professionals who care deeply about the communities we serve. We look forward to Mayor Bill de Blasio receiving the input of community members and patients as well as the doctors and other members of the care delivery team – those that actually deliver care to our loved ones.”

“As a trusted health care provider, Planned Parenthood of New York City understands that access to affordable, high-quality reproductive health care and information is essential for the all women and young people.  The Mayor’s 2015 budget has dedicated $3.3 million dollars to maternal, infant and reproductive health programs, including an expansion of the CATCH program. These programs can help increase access to information and services to help reduce unintended pregnancies and help young people and communities thrive,” said Joan Malin
President and CEO of Planned Parenthood of New York City

“The 2015 Executive Budget is a testament to Mayor de Blasio’s commitment to eradicating disparities across the city. By establishing a Center for Health Equity, strengthening the existing District Public Health Offices, and expanding maternal, infant and reproductive health services in schools and homes, the Mayor is making an investment in the women, men, teens, children, and families most in need. That, in turn, makes New York City a better, healthier, more just place to live for everyone. NARAL Pro-Choice New York congratulates the Mayor for putting forth a forward-looking budget aimed at leveling the playing field for everyone,” said NARAL Pro-Choice New York President Andrea Miller

 

Makes NYC Safer

“As operators of iconic yellow medallions taxicabs that help set the tone for driving on New York City streets, we applaud Mayor de Blasio for funding Vision Zero initiatives in the executive budget, particularly as it relates to TLC efforts aimed at dramatically reducing fatalities,” said Ron Sherman, President of the Metropolitan Taxicab Board of Trade, the largest trade association of yellow medallion taxicabs, representing more than 5,500 taxicabs. “Taxi drivers are statistically among the safest drivers on the road, and we have faith in the de Blasio administration and the TLC that taxi drivers will be applauded for good driving and not be singled out for enforcement. We believe that the spirit of Vision Zero is to focus all of our efforts on ensuring that truly dangerous driving is not tolerated and that the city’s enforcement agents target dangerous driving for all drivers on the road, including trucks, private vehicles and buses – and we stand by the Mayor in working to achieving these goals.”

“Mayor de Blasio’s 2015 budget makes a commitment to turning Vision Zero goals into action,” says Paul Steely White, Executive Director of Transportation Alternatives. “The administration is smart to add funds to hire agency staff to redesign hazardous intersections and deploy more speed cameras, and to give traffic enforcement agents expanded ticketing powers. We hope that the increased investment in road resurfacing will give the Department of Transportation an opportunity to re-stripe more streets to include new pedestrian space, along with dedicated lanes for bicycles and the budgeted increase in Select Bus Service.”

“Mayor de Blasio acknowledges in this budget that the needs of NYC DOT continue to grow, particularly given the goals of pedestrian safety under Vision Zero. This increase to the agency is a necessary first step to meeting these goals,” says Veronica Vanterpool, executive director, Tri-State Transportation Campaign

“Of course I’m happy to see that this administration wholeheartedly supports our fire department, and I’m sure the brothers and sisters of the FDNY are grateful as well,” said actor and former New York City firefighter Steve Buscemi

“The Mayor’s plan acknowledges the severe winter endured by New Yorkers and the importance of repairing and maintaining the city’s streets and bridges”, said John A. Corlett, Director of Government Affairs and Traffic Safety for AAA New York.

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