For Immediate Release: July 1st, 2023
Statement: NYC-DSA Responds to Eric Adams’s Budget
On June 30, amid skyrocketing rents and a growing cost-of-living crisis, the New York City Council passed the budget for the 2024 fiscal year. The final budget reflects months of pushback from left and progressive organizations against Mayor Eric Adams’s austerity agenda – but still slashes vital agencies and programs, mandating cuts to social, mental health, and homeless services, CUNY, programs for Rikers inmates, and more, leaving New Yorkers underserved across the board.
The mayor’s draconian preliminary and executive budgets forced council members to negotiate for the bare minimum, rather than fight for the investments our city deserves. His reckless cuts jeopardize the livelihood and well-being of millions of working-class New Yorkers. His budget will take a toll on the most vulnerable, leaving families without assistance, tenants without recourse to eviction protections, and homeless people without paths to shelter.
Public outcry, pushback from city workers, and pressure from community organizations – including NYC-DSA, which in coalition with The People’s Plan collected over 1,000 letters opposing Adams’s cuts during an on-the-ground campaign – yielded restorations in key areas. We successfully rallied to keep libraries open on weekends, expand childcare subsidies for undocumented families, and ensure transit access for low-income communities. Thanks to this tireless collective advocacy, many of the agencies working New Yorkers depend on will break even – barely. But during a cost-of-living crisis, and with our social services infrastructure already starved of resources by Adams’ previous budget, barely breaking even is nowhere near enough. We won’t allow our hard-won victories to serve as a smokescreen for his austerity agenda, his payouts to his Wall Street friends, and his divisive scapegoating of asylum seekers.
Defunding city services also means cuts to good, union jobs. Adams’s vacancy eliminations will not only deprive thousands of New Yorkers of stable employment, but will continue the severe understaffing of city agencies. We have already seen the devastating consequences of this attack on our social safety net. The murder of Jordan Neely reflects the steady depletion of the services he needed, but could not access.
NYC-DSA is proud to stand with Socialists in Office and Council Members Tiffany Cabán (District 22) and Alexa Avilés (District 38), who along with 9 other progressive representatives voted “no” on this budget. These 11 votes – almost doubling last year’s 6 – are a firm rebuke of the mayor’s administration and represent the growing movement against Eric Adams and his punitive carceral agenda.
We refuse to fight for scraps at the table set by the mayor. We know there is more than enough to go around. And we won’t stop fighting for a city where care is provided for all.
Join NYC-DSA at a mass call debriefing the budget on Monday, July 10, at 7pm: bit.ly/nycbudgetcall
ABOUT NYC-DSA: New York City Democratic Socialists is the local chapter of Democratic Socialists of America—the largest socialist organization in the United States with over 85,000 members. NYC-DSA is run by its 6,000+ members and activists who are working together to build a democratic socialist organization in the five boroughs.