“In his first State of the City announcement, Mayor Adams outlined his Executive Budget with a renewed focus on public safety, economic development, youth empowerment, and other issues important to everyday New Yorkers. As we continue to work together towards creating an equitable recovery from COVID-19, it is up to us to work with our partners on the local, state and federal level to develop plans that will move our borough forward, and invest in our city`s future. It is important that the Bronx is included in any conversation around economic recovery and investment, and that is why, as Borough President, I was most pleased to hear about:
Environmental Equity: Mayor Adams’ FY`23 Executive Budget provides $488 million in capital funding for park improvement projects, including planting 20,000 trees annually on city streets in the years to come. I joined with my fellow Borough Presidents in pushing for the budget of the Parks Department to be 1% of the city`s budget and we are one step closer to achieving that goal with this announcement. Increasing the tree coverage in The Bronx and across the city will have numerous environmental effects, including: reducing heat, combating air pollution, and mitigating climate effects that cause floods and other natural disasters.
Hunts Point Produce Market: Mayor Adams is promising an investment of $140 million in capital funds beginning in FY`23 for the Hunts Point Produce Market, that will help revitalize the area and begin to undo the years of disinvestment that has negatively impacted the neighborhood. The Hunts Point Produce Market is a vital economic engine in our borough and deserves to have the resources and support to be successful.
Subway Safety: These past few weeks, we have seen increased crime and violence on our trains and in our subway stations. That is why I commend Mayor Adams for including $55 million in his budget to expand the Behavioral Health Emergency Assistance Response Division (B-HEARD) initiative that will deploy mental health professionals to areas with increased need, including the South Bronx.
Summer Rising: Investment in our communities starts with investing in our youth, and Mayor Adams is doing just that with the Summer Rising initiative. This program, which will provide 110,000 students with opportunities this summer, on top of the expansion of The Summer Youth Employment Program, demonstrates a real commitment from Mayor Adams and his administration to ensuring our youth have access to resources and opportunities that support their mental, emotional and developmental learning. Many of our youth were forced into social isolation as a result of the pandemic, and we need to ensure they have access to Summer Rising, SYEP, Saturday Night Lights, and our Beacon and Cornerstone programs to heal from that trauma and safely build relationships with their peers.
Support for Unsheltered New Yorkers: Safe haven sites, stabilization beds, and drop-in centers are essential for providing critical support to unsheltered New Yorkers by ensuring they have access to wrap-around services that address their mental, emotional and physical needs. The Mayor is investing $117 million in his executive budget into 1,400 additional safe haven and stabilization beds, three additional drop-in centers with support services, and increased street outreach. I applaud Mayor Adams for this decision and I believe it could not come at a more crucial time for our city.
We have a lot of work ahead of us in the coming weeks, but I remain committed to working with Mayor Adams and his administration to advocate for the needs of our borough.”