On Tuesday, June 30th, 2020, Mayor de Blasio, Speaker Corey Johnson, and the City Council announced the FY 2021 budget adoption of $88.1 billion, down from $92.5 billion from FY 2020.
We recognize that the City had to make difficult budgetary decisions in the midst of challenging financial times and the COVID-19 pandemic. We appreciate those leaders who fought hard to restore and focus funding on critical immediate needs as we face the COVID-19 pandemic. Still, the Coalition for Asian American Children and Families (CACF) is deeply dismayed with the final budget that falls far short of addressing systemic inequities and racism, and the needs facing those most marginalized within our community and other communities of color at this very challenging time.
Mayor de Blasio as well as the City Council did not heed the calls of CACF along with our member organizations and countless others in the interest of
New Yorkers. We demanded that the City stand up for our most marginalized Asian Pacific American (APA) communities by restoring funding for culturally competent and language accessible community organizations working on the front lines and providing health outreach and education, workforce development, housing, and other vital social services. We demanded - especially in these times of uncertainty - for strong City investments in smaller nonprofits working in the hardest-hit Black, Latinx, and APA communities, in order to help them navigate and strategize through this crisis. We demanded the City to fund community schools and youth programs so children would not suffer the inequities in education that COVID-19 has laid bare.
The budget includes an almost 20% cut across all City Council discretionary funding, which diminishes the support provided to many frontline nonprofits serving APA communities and other communities of color. These include .
- a 30% cut to the Communities of Color Nonprofit Stabilization Fund--an initiative which aims to build the capacity of New York City nonprofits in recognition of the fact that organizations led by people of the community are best equipped to meet the needs of the community
- a 15% cut to Access Health New York City, despite the importance of language and culturally accessible health outreach and education when our communities are suffering disproportionately during this global pandemic. This is a time in which public health initiatives should be supported rather than defunded.
In addition there are millions of dollars in cuts to youth services and education, including a $9.16 million cut in 20 Community Schools Grant Initiatives and general school contracts, impacting nearly 20,000 students, their families, and their communities. All the cuts show a disregard for the inherent value of our community organizations and for the struggles of the APA community and other communities of color. With this budget, the City has jeopardized the most marginalized members of our community, as well as other communities of color and immigrant communities.
CACF stands committed to continuing our advocacy around creating public systems that will best reach and support APA children and families in need. And in the coming weeks, CACF will be releasing a more in-depth analysis of FY 2021 Council discretionary spending to better assess the allocations that support the APA community.