June 2, 2020
CCC testified on May 21 via Zoom in front of the New York City Council Committee on Finance regarding Mayor de Blasio’s 2021 Executive Budget. The testimony underscores the critical importance of protecting or investing in summer youth programs, behavioral health care in communities and schools, rent subsidies, child care and child welfare prevention to ensure that 1.7 million New York City children and their families have the supports and services needed not just to survive and recover, but to thrive following the COVID-19 pandemic.
The city’s Executive Budget was released in April amid unprecedented challenges facing our city and our state due to COVID-19. We appreciate the actions taken by Mayor de Blasio to prioritize the health, safety, and food access of all New Yorkers during this crisis, all while confronting a $6 billion budget deficit and a projected $7.4 billion loss in tax revenue. However, we fear that the $2 billion in proposed reductions will make the road to recovery harder for New York’s children and their families.
The drastic cuts in education and youth services will be especially harmful as parents seeking to get back to work. Not only will parents need child care options for younger children, but youth will also need access to programming that supports their social and emotional well-being. And children of all ages will need significant support to overcome both learning loss and the exacerbation of educational inequities.
Furthermore, as children and families grapple with trauma and loss created by this pandemic, the need to expand access to behavioral health supports will become ever more pressing. Similarly, to avoid a surge in family homelessness, additional investments will be needed in community-based prevention to keep families stably housed and out of the shelter system.