Mayor Adams’ FY24 executive budget fails to invest in the services New Yorkers need – and then fails to provide an honest explanation for these cuts
Mayor Adams is not telling the truth about damaging cuts to education and libraries
- The mayor announced to great fanfare this morning that the executive budget would be balanced “without taking a single penny from our library systems”. He later admitted at the press conference that cuts of $36.2M remained in effect for FY23, and refused to pledge any additional support to keep libraries open on weekends.
- The mayor stated that he “didn’t take a dime from our classrooms.” In fact, cumulative cuts to education since he took office total $1.3B between FY23 adopted ($176M) and FY24 executive ($1.12B).
- The mayor is still planning to cut $568M from the 3-K program, effectively ending the promise of universal 3-K.
- The mayor is planning to cut $60M from CUNY between FY23 and FY24, resulting in further degradation of this institution vital to the future of young New Yorkers.
- As part of a justification for cuts, the FY24 executive budget claims that the city will likely have to foot an additional $530M in MTA costs. However, recent reporting from Albany suggests that the city will only have to foot $150M in additional costs.
Mayor Adams has deeply mishandled the arrival of asylum seekers, scapegoating refugees for budget cuts with far right language about how they are “destroying” the city, and failing to explain the associated fiscal impact.
- Mayor Adams reiterated his view that the city was being “destroyed” by migrants, adding fuel to dangerous far right narratives.
- The FY24 executive budget stated costs for supporting asylum seekers of $4.3B over FY23 and FY24 are far above the IBO’s estimate of $1.58B. No explanation has been given for this large discrepancy.
- Mayor Adams also admitted in his press conference that the $600M in federal funds contained in the executive budget for these costs was aspirational based on grants submitted to the federal government and had not yet been secured, further confusing the real fiscal impact.
Mayor Adams continues to exempt the NYPD and DOC from the most basic accountability.
- The mayor insisted that every round of PEGs had been applied to the NYPD and DOC. This is untrue. In fact, the total NYPD PEG savings for FY23 were only $73M, barely over 1% of adopted agency budget – despite a cumulative FY23 PEG of 9.7%.
- DOC PEG savings in FY23 totalled $64M, only 5% of the adopted agency budget.
- During his budget press conference supposedly emphasizing fiscal discipline, the mayor defended astronomical NYPD overtime. According to the Comptroller, NYPD uniformed overtime was 90% above budget in FY22, and already $69M higher in FY23.
Despite a recent report showing that over half of New Yorkers can’t meet their basic needs, Mayor Adams’ budget contains deep cuts to social services.
- The Adams administration is cutting approximately $1.1B across 14 social service agencies, between FY23 and FY24.
- The Adams administration is cutting approximately $3B and 2545 positions combined in FY23 and FY24 across the department of education, CUNY, libraries, adult literacy programs, 3-K early education and childcare programs, and essential and social services agencies.
“This budget fails New Yorkers in almost every way imaginable,” said Zara Nasir, Executive Director of The People’s Plan, “From the billion dollars cut from schools since he took office to slashing 3-K, CUNY, libraries and safety net services to our neighbors in desperate need, Eric Adams is marching us towards a city that will be unlivable for all but the ultra-wealthy. We now call on the Council to reject this dangerous path, stand up for the vision it has put forth in recent months, and pledge to only pass a People’s Budget which truly invests in every New Yorker.”
“In this era of sustained economic catastrophe for the vast majority of working-class New Yorkers, instead of responding with common-sense investment and uplifting working families, Mayor Adams carries the torch of industry and hyper-conservative interests to the peril of the people who elected him,” said Jawanza Williams, Director of Organizing with VOCAL-NY. “We need a NYC budget that is written in the name of working-class people, that funds housing, care, and education. Anything short of that is anathema to the call of public office.”
“Half of all New York City households can’t meet their basic needs, and Mayor Adams is proposing deeper cuts to our schools, housing, and mental health services,” said Sochie Nnaemeka, Director of the New York Working Families Party. “We can’t cut our way out of an affordability crisis. To pass a budget that meets the needs of working people, the Mayor must fully restore funding to the services and agencies that keep our city running.”
“Mayor Adams’ proposal is once again pushing for an austerity budget, calling for more unnecessary cuts to public schools, abandoning the expansion of 3k, and cutting funding for libraries. But his antagonistic attitude toward immigrants, educators, essential workers and children is the most revealing: this proposal shows that Mayor Adams views our city’s working families and vibrant communities as a nuisance and impediment for his real spending agenda, not as the bedrock of our city’s growth and prosperity that they tare. We urge Speaker Adams and the City Council to stand up for New York’s families and propose a plan to balance the budget by raising revenue from the ultra wealthy, not on the backs of our children and working families.” said Smitha Milich, NYC coordinator for Alliance for Quality Education.
“Eric Adams’s budget declares war on working-class New Yorkers,” said Jaslin Kaur, co-chair of NYC-DSA. “At an even greater scale than in previous years, the Mayor is pursuing his agenda of austerity and punishment, satisfying the ideological dictates of his wealthy right-wing donors and robbing New Yorkers of the city they deserve. With no fiscal cliff in sight, the Mayor’s budget will strip the city of its ability to care for its residents in even minimal ways, all while preserving the ability of his favored agencies—the NYPD in particular—to shield themselves from oversight and budget cuts. We call on the Council to oppose this attack on everyday New Yorkers and pass a budget that sustains all of us.”
Launched in March 2023, the core demands of the People’s Budget campaign are as follows:
- No cuts to school budgets. Restore funding and staff lost due to Mayor Adams’ prior budget cuts. Invest in student mental health, community schools, and restorative justice programs.
- No cuts to CUNY. Restore funding, faculty, and staff lost due to Mayor Adams’ prior budget cuts. Increase funding for advisors, ASAP, and MetroCard access for student support and retention.
- No cuts to libraries. Restore funding cut by Mayor Adams’ prior budget cuts.
- No cuts to adult literacy programs. Restore and baseline funding to keep programs whole and invest in greater resources, services, and supports for adult literacy students.
- No cuts to 3K. Recommit to universal 3K. Fulfill salary parity for the early childhood workforce.
- No cuts to the provision of social services, such as housing services and health or mental health services. Invest in social safety net and housing solutions for low-income New Yorkers.
- Reduce the NYPD’s bloated budget. Cut vacant school police positions. Remove police from mental health, drug use, and homelessness response. Invest in community safety solutions.
- Reduce DOC’s bloated budget. Invest in supportive housing and alternatives to incarceration.
The People’s Plan is a collective vision for a City that provides dignity, care, and justice for all New Yorkers. It offers the priorities of hundreds of organizers and advocates through a comprehensive, multi-issue roadmap around housing, anti-criminalization, education, economy, climate, transit, and health. The intent of The People’s Plan is to set the agenda for a racially and socially just city and provide a clear people-centered mandate for 2023 and beyond.