On April 15, 2010, Council Member Letitia James joined peace and hunger advocates from Brooklyn for Peace, Westside Campaign Against Hunger, and the Hunger Action Network of New York State to call for military cuts to fund the Citywide budget deficit and human needs.
Council Member Letitia James joined advocacy groups on the steps of City Hall on Thursday, April 15, 2010 to announce the upcoming introduction of a Council resolution urging the United State Congress to cut the military budget to help solve the City budget deficit and other urgent human needs such as affordable housing (including Section 8 vouchers), child nutrition programs, job training and development, and education program.
Joining Council Member James at the news conference were Mark Dunlea of the Hunger Action Network of NYS; Doreen Wohl of the Westside Campaign Against Hunger, Christy Robb of Hour Children, and Brooklyn Peace Coalition.
New York City is presently facing a $4.9 billion budget deficit. To resolve the deficit, the Mayor has proposed draconian cuts to essential city services and jobs. The Council resolution will urge the state's Congressional delegation to see cuts in the record military budget proposed by President Obama to provide funding to state and local governments to deal with the massive budget deficits throughout the country.
The resolution also asks that military spending be transferred to support job creation, affordable housing, anti-hunger programs, environmental protection, education and other essential human needs. For instance, anti-hunger groups and Senator Gillibrand are seeking an additional $4 billion annually in funding as part of the reauthorization of the various federal child nutrition programs (e.g., school and summer meals, WIC). The Senate Agriculture Committee, however, is proposing only a $450 million increase.
The City recently announced that in addition to rescinding 2,600 Section 8 housing vouchers it had promised low-income cuts, the lack of federal funds may require it to cut off 10,000 existing families receiving federal section 8 housing assistance. Advocacy groups note that New York taxpayers have paid $81.4 billion just for Iraq and Afghanistan war spending since 2001. According to the National Priorities Project, taxpayers in New York will pay $63.2 billion for Total Defense Spending in FY2010.
For more information on this issue, please call the Office of Council Member Letitia James at (212) 788-7081.