January 26, 2023
NEW YORK – In response to Mayor Adams’ State of the City address, Citizens’ Committee for Children of New York (CCC) Executive Director Jennifer March issued the following statement:
“Nearly three years into the Covid-19 pandemic, countless families continue to struggle to put food on the table, secure and keep permanent housing, and get the behavioral health resources, child care and youth services they need. We are pleased that the Mayor’s agenda prioritizes many of the essential ingredients in helping families and communities thrive, and we are pleased to hear recognition paid to programs and initiatives like the Summer Youth Employment Program, mental health supports in schools, the importance of expedited access to public benefits, and the urgency of ensuring that those touched by homelessness have their primary behavioral health and social services needs met. We look forward to greater detail on the investments attached to these priorities given their absence from the Preliminary Budget.
Now more than ever, we have a responsibility to boost investments in the vital supports that strengthen families and communities. With that in mind, we are disappointed about the absence of attention to young child development in the Mayor’s remarks today. We know that investments in early childhood programs are vital to school readiness, our city’s economic recovery, and the immediate and long-term needs of children and their families. It is deeply troubling to see proposals in the Preliminary Budget to cut Universal 3-K, the continued lack of investments to expand access to care for infants and toddlers, and the lack of resources to increase availability of full-day, year-round child care, 3-K and UPK. We are also concerned about the failure to increase investments in the community-based workforce who have been underpaid and underappreciated for too long.
We continue to have serious concerns about instability wrought by the city’s chronically late payments for early care and education and other human service contracts. We also believe proposed cuts to the city’s social service workforce would have a devastating effect on the city’s ability to provide timely access to cash aid, food stamps, and housing subsidies, resulting in greater hardship and despair for struggling families.
For a child, having a roof over their head, reliable access to food, and access to programming that supports social-emotional development and well-being is absolutely essential. We look forward to continuing to work with our city leaders and hope that the Mayor’s Executive Budget takes critical steps toward ensuring that all children are healthy, housed, educated and safe. Investing in children, families, and communities is what keeps New York’s communities safe.”
Citizens’ Committee for Children of New York (CCC) educates and mobilizes New Yorkers to make the city a better place for children. CCC’s advocacy combines public policy research and data analysis with citizen action. CCC casts light on the issues, educates the public, engages allies and identifies and promotes practical solutions to ensure that every New York City child is healthy, housed, educated and safe. For more information about CCC, visit www.cccnewyork.org.