New York City’s (NYC) annual budget process offers an opportunity for city government to demonstrate its priorities and how it will devote resources to myriad types of programs and services. By early June, the Mayor and City Council are expected to conclude this process, which will include key decisions on issues including school funding, policing, and affordable housing. As elected officials move forward in this process, it is critical that they heed the rights and needs of immigrant New Yorkers, who are at the center of our vibrant and productive city.
Citywide, immigrants represent 37 percent of the population, 45 percent of the workforce, and 49 percent of small business owners. This report from Make the Road New York (MRNY) and the New York Immigration Coalition (NYIC) highlights a broad range of budget priorities for working-class immigrant New Yorkers, all of which come from deep engagement in immigrant communities across NYC. The list is not exhaustive, but rather highlights a series of top-priority items for New York’s immigrant communities, to which Mayor de Blasio, Speaker Mark-Viverito, and the members of the City Council should give careful consideration. Already, Speaker Mark-Viverito and the Council have issued their budget response, which includes important initiatives for immigrant New Yorkers. Building on that foundation, all those involved in the NYC budget process should now look closely at the proposals below and make the important adjustments needed to ensure that the final budget includes as many elements to benefit immigrant communities as possible.