Council Members Adams, Diaz & Parents and Youth Rally with Citizens’ Committee For Children To Call on de Blasio to Address the Crises Facing Children and Families in his Final Budget


May 26, 2021

95% of Children in Highest Risk Communities are Children of Color

Advocates Demand NYC Budget Protect and Expand Access to Year-round Early Care and Education, Adequately Support Summer Rising, Invest in School-Based Mental Health Services, Market Rate Housing Subsidies & Anti-Hunger Initiatives 

Video Stream Available Here & Here

New York, NY – Today Council Members Adrienne Adams, Darma Diaz and Stephen Levin joined Citizens’ Committee for Children of New York (CCC) for a virtual rally to call on Mayor de Blasio to finalize a FY22 budget that addresses the multiple and intersecting crises facing the city’s children and families.

A recent report from CCC revealed how existing race, ethnic and geographically based disparities in health, housing and income have only become more exaggerated during the pandemic, with well more than a third of children living in poverty in the most at-risk and hardest-hit communities. As a result of COVID-19, the rate of child hunger jumped from 1 in 5 to 1 in 3 children. Meanwhile, the data also reveals an increase in housing instability for thousands of families, most of whom are families of color. Additionally, children in families and communities of color have been disproportionately burdened by loss of life, loss of income, increased housing and food insecurity, disrupted education, and social isolation. These multiple crises are traumatic, have severely heighted children’s behavioral health needs and must be addressed.

In order to address the long-standing and unacceptable disparities that are severely exacerbated now, child advocates, parents and youth are calling on City leaders to leverage federal stimulus dollars as they negotiate an Adopted Budget for Fiscal Year 2022 that ensures:

  • The Summer Rising initiative includes sufficient resources for CBO planning, increased rates to support staff and services to effectively develop and deliver summer programming.
  • Behavioral health funding addresses crisis-level needs of children, adolescents, and their caregivers, with additional investments to strengthen community-based organizations, ensure a full continuum of services in schools, and facilitate relationships between community-based services and schools.
  • The value of city rent subsidies is increased to market rate to both prevent homelessness and increase housing security among families with children exiting shelter.
  • Extended day and year-round care is invested in across child care, 3K and UPK.
  • Investments in early childhood special education result in enough seats to address the shortage for preschoolers with disabilities and extend salary parity to preschool special education teachers.
  • Anti-hunger initiatives in schools and communities receive the support they need to address food insecurity that has deepened as a result of COVID-19.

“Recent data from CCC’s Child & Family Well-Being Index lays bare the devastating impact the pandemic, economic collapse and persistent race-based injustice has had on communities of color across the city and the resulting unacceptable outcomes experienced by our city’s children and their caregivers,” said Jennifer March, CCC Executive Director.  “Now, as the City decides how to spend hundreds of millions in federal stimulus, our leaders must keep children and families top of mind.  Any lasting effort to ensure children and families recover must be comprehensive. There is no silver bullet to uproot systemic racial injustice. Instead, our approach must tackle the issue from every angle, ensuring that families in all communities have the resources needed to live, work and raise their children here. The FY22 budget must reflect those child and family-focused priorities, and begin the long road to recovery by investing in full day, year round early care and education, market rate housing subsidies, adequately resourced summer programming for youth, and place based behavioral health and food security resources. Anything less will systematically inhibit our city from the inclusive recovery it aims to achieve.”

“I stand with the Citizens’ Committee for Children in their call for a budget that will expand access to child care, school-based mental health services, and other measures to address the City’s poverty crisis,” said Council Member Adrienne Adams. “We must also increase the value of rental subsidies to give more children and families a chance to have a permanent roof over their heads. Investing in rental assistance will prevent homelessness and stabilize families, which is particularly important as we begin to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic.”

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About CCC

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

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