Budget wins for District 3 and all New York
BY COREY JOHNSON
A budget is more than just numbers.
It is a refl ection of values.
While the current White
House administration is trying to kick
3.1 million people off food stamps, New
York City is making unprecedented investments
in programs that serve the
most vulnerable, including those who
are food insecure. While the federal
Environmental Protection Agency is
threatening budget cuts of nearly $1.4
billion in state environmental funding,
we’re investing in our public parks and
The city budget we recently passed,
my second as Council speaker, will
make a real difference in the lives of
millions of New Yorkers. It includes
more money to reopen community
centers in New York City Housing Authority
buildings, to add social workers
in schools, to make sure more seniors
are getting meals, and to provide more
adult literacy classes for immigrants
who want to learn English.
I’m particularly proud of all the investments
this budget will make in the
district I represent, Council District 3.
This budget includes $4.1 million
for NYCHA Fulton and Elliot-Chelsea
Houses for new water heaters, stairway
and hallway lighting, and more. We
allocated $100,000 to Encore Senior
Center in Hell’s Kitchen for two new
meal delivery vans. Another $85,000
will fund Greenwich House to provide
more senior programming and case
management, including at Westbeth
and West Village Houses. And we designated
$892,000 for new technology
in schools across Council District 3 to
give our young people the fi rst-rate education
they deserve. Additionally, we
allocated $65,000 for state-of-the-art
wastebaskets to clean up our streets.
One of my goals as councilmember is
to fund the renovation of every park in
my district, and to create new parks in
neighborhoods underserved by green
space. This budget includes $1.6 million
for the creation of a new park in
Hell’s Kitchen on a vacant lot on 10th
Ave. at 49th St., as well as funding for
the completion of Hudson River Park,
Chelsea Waterside Park and more. Our
public indoor recreation centers are
equally important, so we’re purchasing
new fi tness equipment for both Chelsea
Recreation Center and Tony Dapolito
Recreation Center in the Village.
Greening our city is about more than
just parks. Street trees absorb traffi c
noise, decrease pollution and create a
mental and physical barrier between
the sidewalk and the street. I have set
out to fi ll every empty viable tree pit in
Council Speaker Corey Johnson trying out a slide in the recently opened Chelsea Green park.
Council Speaker Corey Johnson at an “Invest in Libraries” rally.
the district with a new street tree before
I leave offi ce in 2021. To date, I
have allocated more than $800,000 for
new street trees and tree guards. And
COURTESY COREY JOHNSON’S OFFICE
this winter, several hundred new trees
are scheduled to arrive.
In this year’s budget we are funding
a pilot program with the Horticultural
COURTESY COREY JOHNSON’S OFFICE.
Society of New York to plant shrubs or
install raised fl owerboxes in unviable
tree pits. Often, these empty tree pits
cannot be planted because they are sited
above utilities or are under another
tree’s canopy. The choice becomes pave
over these tree pits or reutilize them.
It was a clear choice for us: Greenery
must be replaced with greenery. New
York has enough concrete. Now these
tree pits will continue to collect storm
water runoff and add beauty and oxygen
to our neighborhoods.
We want a city that works for all of
us. Clean, safe and affordable, with
green space and good schools, and a
city that supports our neighbors who
are struggling with food insecurity,
mental illness, lack of legal help and
healthcare and other basic necessities.
I am proud of my colleagues in the
Council for fi ghting for a budget that
refl ects the city we want to be, and I
will keep fi ghting for budgets that make
New York City work for District 3 and
all New Yorkers.
Johnson is the speaker of the New
York City Council and represents
Council District 3 (Greenwich Village,
Chelsea, Hell’s Kitchen, Times Square,
Hudson Square, West Soho, Flatiron
and Garment District).
16 August 22, 2019 TVG Schneps Media