You are reading

City Council Passes Record $98.7 Billion Budget, But Not All Are On Board

Mayor Bill de Blasio and City Council members held a press conference on the FY 2022 budget Wednesday at City Hall (Ed Reed/Mayoral Photography Office)

July 1, 2021 By Allie Griffin

The City Council passed a record-breaking $98.7 billion executive budget for the upcoming fiscal year Wednesday, but not everyone supported it.

Wednesday’s budget hearing was relatively placid compared to last year, when council members voted for or against the prior budget amid mounting pressure to decrease police spending. That Council vote came in the midst of ongoing protests against police brutality and racial injustice across the city last summer.

However, many people have once again criticized the city for what they see as an inflated NYPD budget in the fiscal year 2022 budget.

The new budget, which includes $14 billion in federal aid, increases police spending by $200 million more than last year — including $166 million for overtime. The NYPD budget, therefore, totals $5.4 billion.

Six council members voted against the city’s largest ever budget Wednesday, including two from Queens.

Long Island City Council Member Jimmy Van Bramer was one of the six members to vote no. He voted against the previous city budget, which aimed to divest nearly $1 billion from NYPD spending, as well.

“Last year, I voted against the budget because it did not go far enough in re-envisioning public safety,” Van Bramer said in a statement Wednesday. “And I will do so again today for the same reason.”

He condemned the increase in NYPD overtime spending.

“Last year’s uprising and budget fight was not just a moment; my personal beliefs have not changed,” he said.

Brooklyn Council Member Antonio Reynoso, whose district includes part of Ridgewood, also voted against the fiscal year 2022 budget Wednesday.

Reynoso — the frontrunner in the Brooklyn borough president race — said that the budget didn’t allocate enough funding to fight inequities exposed by the pandemic, yet somehow found money to raise the NYPD budget, according to the New York Times.

The city budget ultimately passed with a vote of 39 to 6.

Progressives outside the decision-making process — including several candidates running for City Council — blasted its passage as well. Many of the critics are running for office in Queens.

A dozen City Council candidates backed by the Working Families Party released a joint statement Wednesday evening criticizing the amount of money allocated to the NYPD.

“Simply stated: any budget that increases funding to the NYPD is not one designed to protect or strengthen our communities,” the candidates said.

Five of the dozen are running for office in Queens and a sixth will likely succeed Reynoso in representing Ridgewood, Williamsburg and Bushwick.

They are District 22 candidate Tiffany Cabán, District 23 candidate Jaslin Kaur, District 26 candidate Amit Bagga, District 29 candidate Aleda Gagarin, District 32 candidate Felicia Singh and District 34 candidate Jennifer Guitérrez.

The candidates promised to reduce the size and influence of the NYPD if elected.

“As Working Families Party candidates and prospective Council Members who ran on platforms that centered budget justice, we renew our collective commitment to reduce the size, scope, and role of the NYPD and fight for policies and budgets that advance safety, equity, and justice in New York,” they said.

email the author: [email protected]

One Comment

Click for Comments 

This article spills a lot of ink on the knee-jerk antipolice rhetoric of Jimmy van Bramer (who finished a distant third in the borough president race) and a bunch of City Council candidates (most of whom lost).


Leave a Comment
Reply to this Comment

All comments are subject to moderation before being posted.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Recent News

Advocates pen letter blasting Mayor Adams’ legal motion to suspend right-to-shelter

Homeless advocates penned a letter to a Manhattan Supreme Court judge opposing Mayor Eric Adams’ recent legal motion calling for the suspension of the city’s decades-old right-to-shelter law amid the ongoing migrant influx.

The letter, sent last Thursday and released Tuesday, comes in response to Adams last week filing a court motion to exempt the city from its legal mandate — established by the 1984 Callahan v. Carey consent decree — to provide shelter to single adults and adult couples when it “lacks the resources and capacity” to do so. The mayor and top administration officials say they’re not seeking to abolish the right-to-shelter, but rather “clarity” from the court that would give them more “flexibility” in finding suitable housing for tens of thousands of migrants.

Rockaway’s piping plovers among endangered species commemorated on U.S. Postal Service stamps

A day before the city reopened nearly 70 blocks of public beaches along the Rockaway peninsula for the Memorial Day weekend, the U.S. Postal Service and National Park Service hosted a special event at the Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge in Broad Channel to honor the piping plover, an endangered shorebird featured on new stamps.

In attendance were members of the NYC Plover Project, a nonprofit with more than 250 volunteers, who have been on the beaches since March preparing for the summer swim season, who celebrated the newly released stamp sheet commemorating the 50th anniversary of the Endangered Species Act.

Bayside High School hosts annual Social Entrepreneur Trade Fair

Bayside High School hosted its annual Social Entrepreneur Trade Fair Friday. Students from the Career and Technical Education Humanities and Nonprofit Management program each pitched their socially responsible products to students, staff and others in attendance.

Each of the 11th grade students in the program have been taking a college credit course from Farmingdale State College called Social Entrepreneur. The students were divided into 17 groups of five and tasked with coming up with innovative ideas to create businesses while also being socially responsible. The Social Entrepreneur Trade Fair grants them with the opportunity to work on pitching their products to potential customers.

Annual Memorial Day ceremony held at Korean War memorial in Kissena Park

On Friday, May 26, the second annual Memorial Day Ceremony in Kissena Park brought live music, local dignitaries, veterans groups, a presentation of the Colors by members of the Francis Lewis High School JROTC, a flower-laying ceremony and more to the Flushing community.

Those in attendance included Councilwoman Sandra Ung, Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz, state Senator John Liu, veterans groups, local students, Boy Scout Troop 253 and others.

Little Neck-Douglaston Memorial Day Parade honors fallen heroes

Rain or shine, the Little Neck-Douglaston Memorial Day Parade, touted as the largest Memorial Day parade in the United States, has been a staple of the quaint Queens neighborhoods since 1927. Thousands lined the parade route under clear blue sky along Northern Boulevard from Jayson Avenue in Great Neck to 245th Street in Douglaston on May 29 to honor the brave men and women who answered their call to service and made the ultimate sacrifice while defending their country.

Many onlookers sporting patriotic attire waved Old Glory and cheered on the parade of military vehicles, veteran and military groups and marching bands led by Grand Marshal Vice Admiral Joanna M Nunan, the first female commander of the United States Merchant Marine Academy. This year’s parade marshals were retired Master Sergeant Lawrence Badia and Vietnam veteran Richard Weinberg.