Updated 05/31/2012 07:48 PM
Day Of Rallies At City Hall To Protest Budget Cuts
Hundreds gathered outside City Hall Thursday to protest Mayor Michael Bloomberg's proposed list of budget cuts, which would effect everything from libraries to fire companies as well as eliminate roughly 47,000 child care slots. NY1's Courtney Gross filed the following report.
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Residents lined Broadway and climbed City Hall's steps Thursday in order to protest proposed cuts to the New York City budget.
This year, the council has named child care cuts and the potential closure of 20 fire companies as some of its top priorities.
Since the start of the recession, the mayor has cut the budget 12 separate times, often taking aim at the same programs. So for some of the advocates, the proposed cuts feel like deja vu.
Libraries are one of the municipalities on the chopping block.
"1,500 workers in libraries laid off," said City Councilman James van Bramer of Queens. "You'd see up to 50 - 5-0 - libraries close altogether."
Child care programs are also in danger. Advocates say as many as 47,000 seats could be swiped from child care and after school programs.
According to Mayor Bloomberg, the city can't afford to restore these programs unless taxpayers make up the difference.
"That rigorous program of fiscal discipline is what permits us to preserve core city services without raising city taxes," the mayor said during his executive budget presentation on May 3.
Some of this funding is typically restored by the City Council. It's part of the annual routine of negotiating the budget with Mayor Bloomberg, with unions in particular making their case.
"We're going to go through the process," said Lillian Roberts of District Council 37. "And the City Council, we have begged them not to pass any budget. If they do and we're not included in that budget, we're going to get them the hell out of office."
Negotiations between the mayor and the City Council must be complete by June 30.
"Since I've been speaker, we've had great success in acting in a fiscally responsible way and in a way that preserves core services," said City Council Speaker Christine Quinn. "And I have good reason to be optimistic based on our success of the past six budgets. But there is no substantive update yet."