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Cabán Votes Against City Budget, Only Council Member in Queens to Reject it

Council Member Tiffany Cabán, (Photo: Tiffany Cabán)

June 14, 2022 By Christian Murray

The New York City council voted to approve the $101.1 billion city budget late last night, although six members voted against it including Astoria council member Tiffany Cabán.

All Queens council members voted in support of it, with the exception of Cabán. She joined other left-wing council members in opposition to it, which included Charles Barron of Brooklyn, Chi Ossé of Brooklyn, Kristin Richardson Jordan of Harlem, Sandy Nurse of Brooklyn and Alexa Avilés of Brooklyn.

Cabán rejected the budget arguing that it slashed funding to the Department of Education, it failed to cut the NYPD budget and that it didn’t include enough funds for housing.

The council voted to slash $215 million from the public school budget, with the mayor attributing the cut to a reduction in school enrollment. The number of students enrolled is down 50,000 from pre-pandemic numbers.

The Dept of Education will also lose $400 million from its budget due to the decrease in federal pandemic aid. The DOE budget will be $31 billion, down from $31.6 billion.

The budget also includes a $90 million increase in police funding, which will go toward raises promised by labor contracts. The NYPD budget has remained about the same as last year ago at around $6 billion.

Meanwhile, the budget has added funds for housing—including $5 billion in capital funds to the city’s Department of Housing Preservation and Development—although many progressives say that it is not enough.

Cabán spoke on the council floor before casting her vote.

She complimented the council for not increasing staffing at city jails—the mayor had looked to add nearly 600 new Department of Correction officers– and for various new investments such as $10 million for childcare for undocumented families, which she advocated for. She also praised the council body for preventing cuts to homeless services, sanitation and parks.

However, she voted the budget down and said, “I cannot in good conscience vote for it. It contains big cuts to our public schools, disproportionately affecting schools in low income community of color….and keeps our currently bloated levels of funding for policing and incarceration intact.”

“Without moving away from violent, oppressive systems we are undermining the very investments I am so glad we managed to include in this budget. In coming years, I will remain prepared to support a budget that reflects my commitment to care, not cages.”

Cabán is likely to be punished for her no vote, which will impact her Astoria constituents.

Council Speaker Adrienne Adams, according to City and State, has excluded those members who voted against the budget from a special initiative to award upward of $100,000 in discretionary funds for each member to spend on public safety efforts in their districts.

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