300 Staten Islanders protest proposed federal budget cuts
Staten Island Advance Staff
/ Staten Island Advance
STATEN ISLAND, N. Y. -- They came to St. Philip's Baptist Church in Port Richmond last night bearing signs that read "No cuts!" and "Don't cut services for immigrant communities!"
It was all about protesting that Staten Island may have $600,000 slashed in federal funds to community education programs and legal services to the poor on the North Shore.
That includes cuts from everything from summer youth employment programs to senior centers.
Staten Island-based not-for-profits hosted the public meeting, which drew 300 people.
The city's Dept. of Youth and Community Development Commissioner Jeanne Mulgrav will review the President's Fiscal Year 2012 budget proposal.
The Rev. Terry Troia, executive director of Project Hospitality noted that the President's budget is proposing a 50 percent reduction in the Community Services Block Grant program, a cut of $350 million nationally. The cut will end virtually all city supported ESL, GED, and basic literacy programs and legal service programs such as the one Catholic Charities hosts at its CYO Center at 120 Anderson Ave.
Rev. Troia underscored that these programs provide key educational opportunities to hundreds of working poor persons on the North Shore who depend on increasing their language skills or graduating with a GED to better themselves economically.
She said the Island agencies who will be most deeply affected by the cut include: Catholic Charities and the Jewish Community Center of Staten Island, Make the Road New York, and Project Hospitality.
Last night's event was sponsored by the United Jewish Appeal, United Neighborhood Houses, the Human Services Council and the New York Immigration Coalition.
The Island not-for-profits co-hosting the meeting include: Project Hospitality, Make the Road NY, JCC of SI and Catholic Charities – CYO.
Since the November NYC elections, MRNY members have been hard at work setting the agenda for our next mayor, City Council and citywide elected officials.
We kicked off "Talking Transition" with a low-wage worker forum and our attorneys have been staffing a Single Stop clinic around the clock at the Transition tent.
Recently, our youth joined the Transitions conversation to bring education and police reform issues into the spotlight for the new elected officials. 17-year-old youth leader Cheyanne Smith was also profiled in the New York Times for her leadership to make NYC schools more respectful, safe, and dignified places for learning.