February 18, 2022
Jawanza Williams, Jawanza@vocal-ny.org
MAYOR ADAMS: BUDGET CUTS TO SERVICES AND CARE WILL CAUSE MORE VIOLENCE, NOT PREVENT IT
NEW YORK — On Wednesday, Mayor Adams released his initial 2023 budget proposal for New York City. The proposal includes maintaining the bloated NYPD and DOC budgets, while at the same time, making cuts across the City that will starve service providers of resources.
“Mayor Adams’ budget proposal cements what we already knew: criminalization and policing will come first, and investments in services and care will pale in comparison,” said Jawanza Williams, Director of Organizing at VOCAL-NY. “Continuing to funnel money to the NYPD’s bloated budget at the expense of life-saving services will only increase violence and put low income communities at further risk. Mayor Adams is well aware of the solutions we’ve been demanding for years, but we have yet to see those investments materialize. Put simply: this proposal flies in the face of calls from leaders and progressive lawmakers to create a caring and compassionate city.”
The lack of critical community investment on crisis issues of homelessness, overdose and mental health issues is a dramatic departure from Mayor Adams’ campaign promises. His willingness to increase the NYPD budget while making no similar promises for any other agencies should solidify growing concerns that Mayor Adams sees law enforcement as the singular tool for tackling the multitude of ills facing New York City.
VOCAL-NY urges the Adams’ administration to look at our Caring and Compassionate New Deal downpayment demands to make major investments into tackling the issues of homelessness, overdose, mental health issues and community interventions to root out violence. The demands include:
- $1 Billion in funding for a non-police emergency response system to help New Yorkers in crisis.
- $1 Billion in funding dedicated to guaranteeing care.
- $2 Billion in funding to create permanent housing
Additionally, Mayor Adams’ can still reduce the ineffective and dangerous crime and punishment approach to the failed war on drugs by fully defunding the $26M of city tax dollars that goes to the Special Narcotics Prosecutor and reinvest that money into providing proven treatments, services and the vital need for housing.
While running for office, Mayor Adams boasted about his plans to “marry the two ideals of safety and ensuring social justice.” In VOCAL-NY’s Caring and Compassionate Mayoral Forum last March, Eric Adams vowed to support New Yorkers dealing with homelessness and drug use by providing “wrap around resources” and opportunities to engage with marginalized communities on what they need. Neither of these promises have come to fruition yet.
In January, it was reported Mayor Eric Adams was considering excluding the NYPD from a 3% budget cut to city-wide agencies. This came along with a joint initiative to create “Safe Options Support Teams” from Mayor Adams and Governor Hochul that will only increase law enforcement and target New Yorkers who are homeless, without offering them affordable housing options.
VOCAL-NY’s Caring and Compassionate New Deal framework outlines the ways the city can increase public safety with investments in housing, social services, and care. It also calls for divestments from police, courts, and jails that have ripped apart and weakened communities for decades.