University Settlement CEO Melissa Aase and HSC CEO Michelle Jackson publish op-ed on proposed NYC budget cuts

Headlined “A False Choice on Families in New York City,” the piece begins:

New York City Mayor Eric Adams’ administration would have you believe that we must choose between funding social services and assisting asylum seekers.

This is a false choice, because making real, permanent investments in our social services infrastructure and workforce would be the best thing the city could do to improve new New Yorkers’ long-term prospects.

When the administration argues for across-the-board cuts to an already deeply fragile sector — one that has been perennially asked to do more with less — it demonstrates the same short-sightedness that has led it to set poverty wages for social services workers in city contracts, undermining the very institutions that have the expertise, infrastructure, care, and compassion to respond to crises.

Every day, University Settlement partners with thousands of families and people of all ages on the Lower East Side and in Brooklyn, in responsive programs that include free and low-cost early childhood education — forging relationships, building connections to resources and creating access to opportunity.

These services, provided by NYC’s many settlement houses and peer nonprofits, are one of the most important ways we collectively address our city’s crushing economic inequality.

The administration’s proposed cuts present a cruel irony: slashing funding for social services means reduced services for all our communities, while funding nonprofits to serve asylum seekers would increase our capacity to serve all New Yorkers.

The true crisis is this administration’s ongoing dereliction of our social services sector, which is ready-built to do this work and better positioned to do it than are many of the for-profit companies the city is contracting with.


Read the whole piece here. 

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