New York City Council Votes To Pass 2021 Budget Reallocating $1 Billion From NYPD

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — The New York City Council has voted on a budget that the mayor says responds to demands of police reformers while keeping the city safe.

The budget was officially passed late Tuesday night, and the meeting wrapped up around 12:30 a.m. Wednesday.

Council Speaker Corey Johnson addressed members before the vote.

“I am proud of the changes that we secured, especially given the challenges we faced, given the $9 billion revenue shortfall. I do wish we had done more to cut the NYPD,” he said. “To everyone who is disappointed, and I know that there are many, I’m disappointed as well, I wanted us to go deeper. I wanted us to take larger head count reductions. I wanted a true hiring freeze. I wanted us to cancel addition classes. But this is a budget process that involves the mayor, who would not budge on these items.”

Public Advocate Jumaane Williams says he plans to prevent the execution of the budget.

He released the following statement early Wednesday:

“In a moment when New Yorkers, with the entire nation, are demanding a reimagining of public safety, a reckoning with systemic injustices and inequities, the city falls far short with a budget that misses the moment of need.

“It sends a message to New Yorkers that in a time of economic and public health devastation, the city cannot adequately fund senior services, city hospitals. or youth jobs, cannot afford to hire doctors, nurses, teachers, guidance counselors, social workers – but unquestionably needs to add over 1,000 police officers. It perpetuates the idea that the NYPD is sacrosanct and the solution is always more police, and that we must accept this. This budget reiterates that message in a failure to commit on paper to a just transition for school safety. It is one that I cannot support and will not sign off on.

“These are not my only objections in this budget, but they are the most glaring, the clearest actions that this administration could have corrected, and emblematic of such an unwillingness to commit to real transformational change that I am compelled to act in my charter mandated capacity as Public Advocate.

“This action cannot be taken lightly. But it seems that when New Yorkers raised their voices for change, when my office called for specific, tangible actions, this administration either did not listen, did not care, or did not take us seriously. Nor, it seems, did they read the charter.”

On Tuesday, Mayor Bill de Blasio said he and the City Council reached an agreement on an $88.1 billion budget that reallocates $1 billion away from the NYPD.

The NYPD will be impacted in the following ways:

  • The July police class of over 1,100 will be canceled
  • School safety will be shifted out of the NYPD
  • Crossing guards will be shifted out of the NYPD
  • Homeless outreach will be shifted out of the NYPD
  • Overtime will be curtailed

The mayor said $115 million will go toward summer youth programming, $116 million toward education and $134 million toward family services. Another $450 million will support NYCHA and park recreation centers, and $87 million will help expand broadband in public housing.

He said $430 million will be cut from the department’s budget, and $537 million be shifted in capital.

De Blasio also said the budget saves $1 billion in labor, expands the NYC Care health initiative, creates health clinics in the hardest hit communities, and supports the city’s efforts to feed the hungry.

For weeks, protesters have been demanding the city slash the NYPD’s budget and reinvest in communities. The mayor presented the agreement like a win for police reformers, but protesters say it’s a gimmick, not real reform.

“The safest communities across this state have the least amount of police and that should indicate something very clear to us because those same communities also have the most amount of resources and that ultimately, those investments are what make those communities safe,” protester Charles Khan told CBS2’s Ali Bauman.

Some protesters have said they expect some people will continue occupying the space outside City Hall in protest after the budget vote, while others will fight for police reform in other ways.

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