Council Member Levine Celebrates Victory for Community Public Health Programs, City Parks in Budget

Article 6 Funding Cut by State Restored; City Park Workers FInally Given Employment Stability


***MEDIA ADVISORY*** FOR: June 14, 2019***

Contact: Win Roosevelt 917-842-5748// wroosevelt@council.nyc.gov

City Hall, NY -- Today, City Council Health Committee Chair Mark Levine and public health advocates from across the city are celebrating $6 million in funding in the 2020 city budget that will restore “Article 6” programs recently cut out of the New York State Budget. Article 6 funds programs that support immigrant health, city public health outreach, HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment, child and maternal health, viral hepatitis, and more.

“Article 6 funds are critical to New York City’s ability to wage a wide range of public health battles and it was completely indefensible that Albany only eliminated our city's funds while targeting no other place in the state,” said Council Member Levine. “Restoring this funding will keep intact essential public health programs focused on improving health outcomes for vulnerable New Yorkers. If we had allowed the Albany cuts to stand, it would have been a major setback for health equity in our city.”

 

The Council Member acknowledged a two-month push by a broad coalition of public health non-profits as the driving force behind the restoration of the vital Article 6 funds.  

Earlier this spring, the Mayor’s budget included funding to cover State cuts to the Department of Mental Health and Hygiene administrative programs and organizations funded by the administration but did not cover the loss in Article 6 matching funding for City Council discretionary-funded public health programs. The budget agreement announced today will fully restore the matching funds.

 

NYC Parks Receives $43m Boost in Spending

The 2020 budget boosted spending on city parks by $43 million to support several key priorities heralded by Council Member Levine as significant added investments towards the NYC Parks system. The added spending will baseline funding for 150 current maintenance workers and gardeners, while also adding another 150 workers and gardeners to the NYC Parks roster. Also included in the $43 million are allocations to support the addition of 80 Park Enforcement Patrol Officers, 50 new Park Rangers, and $3 million for the cities Green Thumb program.

“This is truly is a massive, massive win for public green spaces in New York City” said Council Member Mark Levine, the former Chair of the City Council Parks Committee. “Our park system has desperately needed a significant infusion of resources for staffing to improve maintenance, safety, education and facilities like pools and playgrounds. This is the kind of investment that New Yorkers will feel on the ground in their local parks. It was a hard-won victory for the coalition led by New Yorkers for Parks and their  #PlayFair campaign. I want to single out particular gratitude to Speaker Corey Johnson for his leadership on getting this funding. He really made parks a priority in this budget.”

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