On February 16th, NYC Mayor Adams released his first spending plan for the City with the Administration’s Preliminary Budget. Adams’ “radically practical” vision includes no spending increases, with the exception of the Department of Corrections, and a focus on public safety and fiscal restraint. The Mayor’s plan includes several social priorities, including $25 million to expand child care spaces through tax cuts for property owners and $30 million to support the city’s Newborn Home Visiting Program that supports mothers during the critical first 1,000 days of their children’s lives.
While the Mayor’s Office seems to be making good on campaign promises regarding funding for families that will have a clear impact on young children, it still neglects to respond holistically to the needs of our communities. One notable loss was the budget cut to the Department of Education, with only general reference to “fixing broken schools” to combat crime. A new ‘anti-gun’ unit that will increase police presence and include plain-clothes officers is a far cry from real conversations about re-evaluating the over policing of our Black and Brown communities. This, added to the absence of any clear plan for affordable housing support, focuses the Mayor’s plan less on root causes and more on balancing political winds.
Power of Two hopes that the Mayor’s Office finds room in their austere budget for a holistic approach to family support that includes expanded access to essential resources, stable housing, tools to promote an effective education system, and an evaluation of policing in our Black and Brown communities. Only when our public officials exemplify the practicality of responding to all of the facets of life that affect our children and families, will our communities heal and thrive.