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CACF STATEMENT ON MAYOR DE BLASIO'S FY2016 PRELIMINARY BUDGET
Mayor de Blasio released his $77B Preliminary Budget that continues to build on the foundation of last years budget. In the Asian Pacific American community, where 1 out of every 2 children is born into poverty and 1 out of 4 children do not graduate high school on time at all, we are glad to see continued investment of $340 million for Universal Pre-Kindergarten, $190 million for expanding after-school programs to middle school students and continued resources to fund 128 Community Schools.
Sheelah Feinberg, Executive Director at the Coalition for Asian American Children and Families said, "We are happy to see Mayor de Blasio's continued investment in children, families and the immigrant community. We continue to face challenges when working with the Administration for Children's Services so we are glad to see the $11 million allocation and look forward to working with ACS to ensure culturally competent, language accessible training and preventive services."
Additionally, 73% percent of the Asian Pacific American community is foreign born so we are pleased to see additional resources allocated to the Mayor's Office of Immigrant Affairs to increase staffing for IDNYC and the increase in immigrant services needed in the City.
While Mayor de Blasio showed an emphasis on the city's safety, we ask him and the City Council to work together to keep vital services in the budget. We urge them to ensure these funds are distributed to the many organizations that are providing culturally competent, language accessible services to the city's fastest growing community.
To read Mayor de Blasio's full Preliminary Budget, click here.
Awardees Announced for Groundbreaking NYC Council Communities of Color Nonprofit Stabilization Fund
Coordinating organizations for the newly-created Communities of Color Nonprofit Stabilization Fund today announced grant awards for 80 New York City-based nonprofit organizations. The Fund is the first of its kind in New York City and provides capacity building support to emerging and seasoned social services organizations.
The coordinating organizations – the Coalition for Asian American Children and Families, Hispanic Federation, New York Urban League, Asian American Federation and Black Agency Executives – leveraged $2.5 million from the New York City Council in 2014 to launch the initiative, which addresses the need for capacity-building funding for nonprofit organizations in communities of color. The initiative has broad support among Council Members including the Black, Latino and Asian Caucus and the Bronx and Manhattan delegations. Oversight of the funding will be provided by the New York City Department of Youth and Community Development (DYCD).
Through a competitive Request for Application (RFA) process, interested nonprofits were screened by the coordinating organizations. Grant awardees were selected by independent allocation committees including individuals with significant knowledge of the nonprofit sector and the capacity building challenges they face.
The 80 awardees are community-based organizations from all five boroughs. They offer a varying array of services to New Yorkers, and are being funded to address a comprehensive menu of infrastructural needs including leadership development, financial management, and outcomes system development, among others. In addition to awarding the capacity building awards, the coordinating organizations will conduct several trainings on board development, financial management and fundraising for the awardees.
At a reception hosted by the Ford Foundation, government and community leaders – including several grant awardees – spoke on the need for such a fund and the increased commitment to community based organizations.
CACF STATEMENT ON GOVERNOR CUOMO’s EXECUTIVE BUDGET FY 2015-2016
On Wednesday, Governor Cuomo delivered his 2015 State of the State speech and presented his Executive Budget that emphasized restoring economic opportunity, reforming the education system, and restoring the public’s confidence and trust in our justice system. While we support many of these reforms, there is much more to be done.
While the 2012 Census reported New York’s poverty rate at 15.9%, in New York State, poverty rates ranged from 13.2% in the Capital Region to 39.1% in Oneida County. Poverty rates were especially high within the cities, where the majority of poor Asian New Yorkers reside. In New York City, the Center for Economic Opportunity found that 29% of NYC APA’s live in poverty, the highest of all racial groups in New York City. Therefore, we support Governor Cuomo’s Anti-Poverty Agenda to and are happy to see more investment in employment opportunities for youth and adults, housing and especially the increase of the minimum wage from $7.25 to $11.50 in New York City and $10.50 in New York State. While the 10 points Governor Cuomo addressed are all vital to the success of this state, we were disappointed to see that there was no additional investment in our adult learners even though literacy is undoubtedly a barrier for many to become employed and successful.
With 1 out of 5 Asian Pacific American (APA) students in New York not graduating on time or at all, we were pleased to see a $1.1 billion increase in education aid. We are glad to see the continuation of Universal Pre-Kindergarten and support for Community Schools, as well as a focus on increasing access and quality of schools. We urge the Governor and the State Legislature to ensure that these programs are reaching Asian Pacific American students, especially the high numbers of English language learners that fill our schools today. Additionally we were thrilled to see the Governors commitment to invest $27 million in the DREAM ACT and enabling undocumented students to apply for state college tuition to further their education opportunities; however we do not think the passing of this should be contingent on other unrelated, education reforms.
Access to affordable health care is a large issue within the Asian Pacific American community with 1 out of 8 APA’s uninsured so we were happy to see the inclusion of the Basic Health Program and we urge the Governor and State Legislature to reserve funding to ensure coverage to the immigrant community. We were also happy to see the $2.5M allocated in the states operations bill to support the consumer assistance program (Community Health Advocates), to help New Yorkers use and keep their health coverage.
With these budget commitments to address the growing wealth gap, we are hopeful APAs will be able to succeed at work, school, and at home. CACF will continue to aggressively advocate for investment in the programs and services that are vital to the Asian Pacific American community.
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