Yesterday evening over a contentious Zoom call, New York City Council Members approved Mayor de Blasio’s 2021 budget proposal. The final vote total was 32 Yes to 17 No.
The approved $88.2 billion budget includes $1 billion in changes to NYPD funding. However those who opposed the budget say that the $1 billion is a half measure and did not in actuality cut NYPD funding as much as advertised. An example of this is the reallocation of funds for paying NYPD Officers working in City public schools out of the NYPD Budget and into the Education Budget. A net zero change in actual funding for the activity, just a nominal change in the NYC department responsible for the spending. These departmental shifts accounted for $354 million or over one-third of the budget ‘cuts.’ The rest of the cuts had more teeth to them. Reduced spending which includes a promise of less overtime and a reduction of NYPD headcount made up close to half of the cuts at $484 million.
The 17 No Votes, included Council Members on the left and right of the Mayor. The left accusing de Blasio of not going far enough with cuts and the right arguing that the budget cuts were too aggressive.
One of the, ‘no’, votes from the left came from the 34th District Council Member Antonio Reynoso who represents Williamsburg, Bushwick and Ridgewood. Reynoso tweeted his reasoning, saying, “I have prided myself on always working collaboratively to achieve results, but on this issue there is too much at stake, l cannot compromise or settle for half measures — today, I am voting “NO” on the FY21 budget.”
City Council Member for District 30 in Queens, Robert Holden, also voted ‘No’. However, his no vote came from the right. He tweeted, “I cannot vote in favor of a budget with such large arbitrary cuts to the NYPD that will make our city less safe, our police officers less respected, and our middle class less supported.”
Despite many in the City Council unsatisfied by the results of the Budget Vote, it was passed and organizers and politicians are working on next steps. As you can see from the protest schedule below, there are less actions today than we have seen in months. It seems that everyone is taking a moment to process the events of the last couple of months and plan for the rest of the year.
Bushwick Daily will continue to report on developing stories and organizing happening on the ground.
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Today’s Events & Protests
Sunday July 30th, 2020
5 p.m. Washington Square – MARCH
7 p.m. Carl Schurz – VIGIL
7:30 P.M. 148th and Bradhurst – MUSIC AND POETRY
3 P.M. 2146 Nostrand Ave – B.R.E.A.T.H.E Bill Protest
7 p.m. McCarren Park – VIGIL
Cover photo by Megan Burney
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