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Dear Neighbors,

As you are no doubt aware, the City Council passed New York City's FY22 budget yesterday. With significant support from the Federal government, the $98.7 billion budget is balanced and strives to serve the needs of all New Yorkers. With an eye towards fiscal responsibility, it sets aside one billion dollars in "rainy day" reserves to protect us should the City see lower revenues in future years.

The one time Federal support is being used to both stimulate New York City's recovery and help us rebuild in a stronger way, with major investments in education, housing and quality of life for New Yorkers. Read more about the FY22 budget here.

Speaker Johnson announced the completion of budget negotiations yesterday at City Hall. He thanked Council Member Rosenthal for her service as Chair of the Sub-Committee on Budget. 

It is hard to over-state how far we have come in the last 18 months -- even while grappling with a pandemic and economic crisis. As a member of the Budget Negotiating Team and Chair of the Sub-Committee on Capital Budget, I am especially pleased to report that the City's bond rating has gone up, our capital ("bricks and mortar") commitments have increased, and we’re back on track in creating the infrastructure that is vital, not only to our economic recovery, but to our daily lives.

Through a variety of funding increases, the FY22 budget also attacks the impacts of the widening income gap and systemic racism in New York City. For example, this budget dedicates funding for college access, universal summer school, and digital inclusion initiatives, as well as greater support for small businesses, tenants facing harassment and eviction, and homeowners in foreclosure.

The FY22 budget also actively promotes alternative approaches to how our criminal justice system has traditionally operated. We successfully negotiated a major funding increase for the city's Crisis Management System, which supports community-based anti-violence work (such as Cure Violence programs) and will help us move away from policing as a solution to every social problem.

We have increased funding for mobile treatment services for New Yorkers in frequent contact with the mental health, criminal justice, and homeless services systems, as well as programs offering alternatives to incarceration in certain cases. At the same time, we have seen a reduction in both the number of NYPD officers and overtime expenses in the last two years.

Finally, of special note -- the FY22 budget provides $607 million in additional "Fair Student Funding" so that every public school in New York City will receive 100 percent of their budget allocation. I want to especially thank all of our state representatives who forcefully backed the Campaign for Fiscal Equity lawsuit resulting in a court order that NYC schools be fully funded -- funding which was never provided by Albany.

Next year's budget also ensures that every school will have a variety of staff to address the social-emotional needs of our students, in addition to a social worker -- a goal I have vigorously supported for years.

Restoring & Expanding Critical Services
Upper West Siders will be glad to hear that areas of major investment and funding restoration include our public libraries and sanitation services, as well as programming and services for residents facing eviction and/or experiencing hunger.

The Budget Negotiating Team restored funding for all City Council Initiatives, and we added money for several that I believe are critically important -- this includes services for survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault, maternal and child healthcare programs, and promising community development programs such as worker co-ops and community land trusts.

As always, I fought tooth and nail to ensure that the most vulnerable in our city --whether they be LGBT and Trans New Yorkers, older residents, or people experiencing mental illness-- receive the support they need to build healthy lives.

Upper West Side Capital Investments Sponsored by My Office
These infrastructure investments reflect my ongoing commitment to ensuring top-notch educational facilities for our children, as well as necessary upgrades for our incredible cultural institutions and beautiful parks.

Cultural Institutions
  • Metropolitan Museum of Art -- renovation & infrastructure upgrades for "Arts of Africa, Oceania, and the Americas" galleries 
  • American Museum of Natural History - Gilder Center Green Building
  • New York Shakespeare Festival - Delacorte Theater renovation 
  • New York Historical Society - new LGBTQ+ Museum 
  • New York City Center - studio chillers & air ventilation
  • Verdi Square irrigation project
  • Riverside Park Dinosaur Playground renovation 
  • Riverside Park 78th Street stairs reconstruction 
  • Riverside Park 105th Street ramp reconstruction 
  • Physical improvements for almost 20 schools, including playground repair, new technology, upgrades to auditoriums and drinking water fountains, and the installation of a Green Wall in the entrance of 11 Upper West Side school buildings
  • John Jay College -- upgraded security system
Health Care
  • Hospital for Special Surgery -- diagnostic equipment

Funding for Upper West Side Services & Programming
Similarly, my office allocated nearly $700,000 in "expense" or programmatic funding for a variety of Upper West Side institutions and programs, including: schools, parks, senior and community centers, cultural institutions, and food pantries.

Over the next few months my office will allocate an additional $1 million-plus in City Council Initiative funding for sanitation services, afterschool and senior center art programs, cultural programming for students, domestic violence services, technology education for high school students and older adults, food pantries, and our local Business Improvement Districts.


Have You Been Vaccinated?
It's never been easier to obtain a COVID-19 vaccination. Click here to learn more. Please spread the word about these pop-up sites in our district!
32BJ - Harrison: 205 W. 76th Street
Wednesday (6/30) - Friday (7/2): 8am - 6pm
NYC Mobile Van: Vaccine offered: Pfizer (12+)

32BJ - Lyric: 255 W. 94th Street
Wednesday (6/30) - Friday (7/2): 8am - 6pm
NYC Mobile Van: Vaccine offered: Pfizer (12+)
Central Park: road between Sheep Meadow & the Mall (below 72nd St)
Saturday (7/3) & Sunday (7/4): 11am - 8pm
Pop-up: Vaccine offered: Pfizer (12+), Johnson & Johnson (18+)

Resources for Upper West Siders

My office is working with seniors, the disabled, the recently un (or under) employed, the food insecure, people with housing issues, and all those suffering the many consequences of this pandemic, to help in any way we can.

Please call (212) 873-0282, leave a message and we will call you back as soon as possible; email [email protected]; or check our website, We update it on a regular basis with information about public benefits, non-profit resources, and health facts Upper West Siders need to get through this crisis. 


P.S. Please forward this newsletter to anyone you think might be interested, or have them subscribe to my e-blasts here
Copyright © 2021 Council Member Helen Rosenthal, All rights reserved.
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