Dear Mayor de Blasio,
The COVID-19 pandemic has amplified what the community based organizations (CBOs) in the human services sector have always known about inequities that exist within the institutions that all New Yorkers rely on. The outrage that has been expressed in our city – and across the country – over the last few days is not solely representative of an isolated incident; rather, it is a reflection of the anger and frustration that exists from inequity and injustice being born on the backs of communities of color, immigrants, and low-income New Yorkers over and over again.
A strong social safety net is the only way that our city survives a crisis. As we experience the unprecedented intersection of a health crisis, a social-justice crisis, and an economic crisis that could devastate our city for years—even decades—to come, not all city agencies are bearing the burden. We were dismayed to see that the FY2021 Executive Budget makes cuts to crucial programs and social services that serve the very communities who are being hardest hit by COVID-19 — communities of color, immigrants, and low-income New Yorkers — while maintaining funding for the NYPD, an institution that too often fails to protect and serve, and disproportionately harms, these exact communities.