Dear Neighbors of the 35th District, 
WHAT AN INCREDIBLE FY18 BUDGET YEAR!!! I wanted to share with each of you some of the incredible and exciting budget victories that I have been able to achieve on behalf of the 35th District.  As your Council Member, representing one of the most diverse and dynamic Districts in the Borough of Brooklyn. 

I have been able to fight for an unprecedented investment of your taxpayer dollars into our schools, community based organizations, NYCHA developments, libraries, parks and so much more!
For the past several months, I have tirelessly pursued funding that would not only provide for the needs of today, but also secure the future. After many hours of strong negotiations, in an effort to bring critical resources and opportunities to District 35, I am proud of this new budget that will ensure that the needs of our growing community are met. It signifies our city's deeper commitment towards strengthening our communities and protecting our most vulnerable populations - youth, seniors, and immigrants. These budgetary victories will sustain the vitality of our neighborhoods. 
The budget is robust and responsible, taking into account the looming threat of Federal cuts while maintaining a rigorous adherence to the needs of all New Yorkers by expanding access to key programs and services.  

I am proud to announce what I was able to accomplish in this budget for my district and citywide.
Cultural Institutions
From BRIC to the Brooklyn Museum, arts programming and education is instrumental to the vibrancy of Brooklyn's Cultural District. I partnered with Mayor Bill de Blasio and Brooklyn Borough President Eric L. Adams to infuse  $24.4 million  in funding to support arts education and programming in central Brooklyn.
  • Brooklyn Museum: $6 million+
  • Brooklyn Botanic Garden: $2.8 million
  • Brooklyn Academy of Music: $4.8 million+
  • Jewish Children's Museum: $3.5 million+
  • Brooklyn Music School: $5.6 million+
  • BRIC: $700,000
  • Mark Morris Dance Group: $1 million
As a Member of the Public Housing Committee who also represents five NYCHA developments, I have worked closely with the resident associations to address their quality of life concerns such as public safety, structural and equipment upgrades. With more than  $3 million  in funding, each development will undergo renovations to improve the NYCHA grounds, install irrigation and surveillance systems, and basketball courts. Additionally, the Crown Gardens and II Atlantic Terminal Houses will receive funding for similar upgrades.
  • Raymond V. Ingersoll Houses: $900,000
  • Walt Whitman Houses: $400,000
  • Lafayette Gardens: $150,000
  • Atlantic Terminal Houses: $400,000
  • II Atlantic Terminal Houses: $250,000 
  • Farragut Houses: $500,000
  • Crown Gardens: $575,000
Official NYC Council Photo:   John McCarten
As a former educator, I know firsthand the incredible responsibility that our administrators and faculty members have to nurture young minds. With  $6 million  in funding, our public academic institutions will enhance student learning and academic success.  
  • Medgar Evers College - $1.5 million
  • Urban Assembly Unison - $1.5 million
  • Brooklyn Technical High School: $200,000
  • Urban Union Assembly: $1 million for construction of roof garden
  • Benjamin Banneker Academy: $100,000 for technology upgrades
  • M.S. 113: $151,000 for technology upgrades
  • P.S. 67: $493,000 for auditorium renovation*
  • Brooklyn Academy of Science and the Environment: $100,000 for technology upgrades
  • Brooklyn Technical High School: $200,000 for science lab upgrades
  • Clara Barton High School: $100,000 for gymnasium upgrade
  • Dr. Susan McKinney Secondary School of the Arts: $100,000 for technology upgrades
  • Fort Greene Preparatory School: $100,000 for technology/computer lab upgrades
  • High School for Global Citizenship: $35,000 for technology upgrades
  • Medgar Evers College Preparatory School: $100,000 for library and classroom infrastructure upgrades
  • P.S. 20: $100,000 for electrical upgrades
  • P.S. 532: $65,000 for technology panels
  • P.S. 56: $39,000 for classroom conversion
  • P.S. 9: $100,000 for auditorium upgrades
  • Urban Assembly Unison: $50,000 for hydroponics farm
*jointly funded with Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito
Community Development
When we expand access to fresh food and other vital services, we are creating opportunities for everyday New Yorkers to lead healthier lives and build stronger communities.
  • Myrtle Avenue Commercial Revitalization and Development Project Local Development Corporation$10,000 for the Fort Greene and Farragut Fresh Pantry 
  • Crown Heights Jewish Community Council: $180,000 for social services
Women Empowerment
As Chair of the Committee on Women's Issues and Co-Chair of the Women's Caucus, I have been at the forefront of the unprecedented New York City Council Young Women's Initiative (YWI) to empower and advance young women of color. In collaboration with Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, I secured resources that will advance gender equality and assist survivors of violence with rebuilding their lives. Despite the anticipated federal defunding of Planned Parenthood, the City Council has allocated  $338,788  to sustain public access to reproductive health services.
  1. Girl Be Heard Institute ($75,000): Girl Power Program, community performances and workshops, and the Mainstage Show.
  2. Non-Traditional Employment for Women ($175,000): Employment workshops, apprenticeship programs, and training in construction, building operations, moving, utilities, and transportation. Hosting a young woman's Boot Camp for 18-24 year-olds.
  3. African Refuge, Inc. ($25,000): Drop in services, computers access and email services, turkey and holiday drives and immigrant support services.
  4. Bella Abzug Leadership Institute, Inc. ($25,000): Leadership, debate training, and mentoring programs for middle school, high school, and college-aged young women.
  5. Black Girls Rock, Inc. ($20,000): 4th Annual Black Girls Lead Conference, Girls Rock Tech initiative and Black Girls Rock Think Tank.
  6. Empowerment Zone, Inc. ($20,000): Educational, and training program for at-risk girls ages 12 to 16.
  7. Independence Care System, Inc. ($20,000): Women's Health Access program at ICS to continue its work with HHC/Gotham Network to increase access to accessible/disability competent care to women with physical disabilities.
  8. Comunilife, Inc. ($400,000) Academic support, wellness activities creative arts therapy for Life is Precious - its citywide innovative program for Latina teens who have seriously considered/attempted suicide.
  9. Planned Parenthood of New York City and Community Health Project, Inc. ($344,788): Reproductive and Sexual Health Services. 
  10. Arab-American Family Support Center, Inc.; Atlas; Korean American Family Services; New York City Gay and Lesbian Anti-Violence Project, Inc.; Safe Horizon, Inc.; Sauti Yetu Center for African Women: (Initiative for Immigrant Survivors of Domestic Violence totaling $250,000): Resources for immigrant survivors of domestic violence with services that may include interpretation, referrals, counseling and legal representation for U Visas and T Visas.
  11. The City Council will designate the allocation for the Prevent Sexual Assault (PSA) Initiative for Young Adults ($225,000) post-adoption. Funding will support prevention and intervention services to end sexual exploitation of young women, transgender and LGBT youth. Programming will help clients to plan for safety, offer referrals, and counseling among other services.
For a second consecutive year, the New York City Council, has invested in the growth and development of young women and girls through the Young Women's Initiative (YWI). With a commitment of $5 million from the Council for FY18, 11 of the key YWI recommendations will be funded. Additionally, the Administration will support this initiative by baselining funding for Gender Equity Liaison positions, which were initially funded by the Council in FY17 and by the committees to establish a YWI office. These positions are within the departments of Health and Mental Hygiene, Education, Youth and Community Development, Housing Preservation, and the Human Resources Administration.
Academic Excellence
This year's budget is committed to improving our public schools so students are ready to become the best versions of themselves. The meaningful increase to the budget of the Department of Education includes:
  • $22 million to restore the Teacher's Choice Program 
  • $105.5 million in new capital funding and an additional $1.8 million to secure universal Physical Education through expanded access to gym facilities and implemented curriculum by 2021. The first phase of this initiative, impacting 76 schools without any designated PE space, will cost approximately $385 million in capital funding over the next four years.
  • Air conditioning for all public schools: $28.75 million over the next five years.
  • 3-K for All, an extension on the successful Pre-K for All program, for a 2-year Pre-K beginning at the age of 3: $177 million at the completion of financial plan FY 2021.
  • $2.1 million to expand the Breakfast in Classroom program to an additional 303 schools, now serving 833 schools.
  • $10.4 million to expand the Free School Lunch program, which covers elementary schools and the middle schools that share the same buildings.
  •  $14.8 million in investment for Special Childcare Vouchers
Youth Engagement
To complement our commitment to young people and their success, this year's budget has implemented a number of programs that focus on after school success and youth employment. These programs include:
  • $9 million for 5,000 additional Summer Youth Employment Jobs, bringing the total to 70,000.
  • $20 million to provide 6,500 year-round jobs through the Work, Learn, and Grow program that serves people aged 14-24.
  • $16 million to the Comprehensive After School System of New York City (COMPASS) that offers high quality after school programs to students.
Giving Back
This is truly the "year of the senior," and this year's budget has committed significant funds to ensure the seniors future well being as well as quality of life. Funding includes:
  • $23 million in baselined funding for seniors to eliminate the waitlists for the Home Care and Case Management programs; create a program focused on the needs of caregivers; include weekend meals to the Senior Centers and Home Delivered Meals program; enhance rates paid to senior centers.
  • $4.2 billion in retiree health benefits trust fund.
Now more than ever, the threat against our most vulnerable friends and neighbors is eminent, so this year's budget makes sure to account for their needs. The budget includes:
  • $7.2 million, a 15 percent increase from last year, to the Emergency Food Assistance program, the Cities food pantry.
  • $10 million to the New York Immigrant Family Unit Project.
  • Any veteran who served during a war can save an average of $443 per year, per person under the Veterans Property Tax Exemption, which the city will cover at a cost of $25 million annually.
  • $12.7 million for model budgets for the Administration for Children's Services contracts, runaway homeless youth shelter operators and adult protective services contracts.
  • Increased rate for human service contracts by 10 percent over the next five years, totaling $70 million to support social service providers on the front lines.
Improving Public Services
  • $110 million was allocated towards capital projects to enhance public libraries
  • In the past four years, we have had $700 million in capital funding for cultural institutions and $500 million for libraries.
  • $30 million in FY18 to provide enhanced resources and support to our nonprofit service providers, which will grow to $104 million in FY22.
  • $12 million in allocations for Adult Literacy programs.
To learn more about the adopted budget, view the Schedule C.

Yours in Partnership,
Laurie A. Cumbo
Council Member, District 35