SoHo Journal: The Magazine of Arts and Politics in SoHo and the Hamptons Soho Politics Blog Hamptons Politics Blog

November 1st, 2008


by John Coakley

Governor Paterson recently told the Daily News that charities “are going to become the replacement for what government is supposed to do.” At the same time, Paterson is ruling out an increase in taxes on the wealthiest New Yorkers to help close the budget gap.

Oh really? Mary Brosnahan, Executive Director of the Coalition for the Homeless, put it best: “Apparently Governor Paterson’s version of shared sacrifice is similar to that of George Bush: demand sacrifice from the poor and nothing from the most affluent.” In other words, if you’re rich, maybe you should sacrifice a bit by paying more taxes since you aren’t in a position to need services like Medicaid, though apparently lots of other people do—applications increased by 30% between December of last year and April of this year. And that was before the economic crisis. In other words, this is not the best time to cut services across the board, especially if you aren’t going to raise taxes for those who can afford it.

90 non-profit agencies got together and sent Paterson this letter in response to his plans:

October 28, 2008

Honorable David Paterson

Governor – New York State

Executive Chamber

The Capitol

Albany, NY 12224

Dear Governor Paterson:

While all New Yorkers are reeling from the current economic crisis, few are likely to be harder hit than the poorest New Yorkers.

While New York State must show restraint in its expenditures and should invest public dollars prudently, the implementation of across the board budget reductions will lead to unimaginable human strain and decimate an already fragile social infrastructure, killing jobs and reducing spending in every community at precisely the moment when economic stimulus is needed.

At this stage in the economic cycle, budget reductions of the sort envisioned will only compound the effects of private sector job losses, further slowing the state’s economy. Rather, the state must protect funding for core and safety net services to help counteract what is likely to be a severe economic downturn with increased human needs.

It is simply not possible, nor prudent for the State of New York to cut its way out of a budget deficit of the magnitude projected. The prospect of additional reductions to core and social safety net services is untenable and belies the reality that poor New Yorkers require more help, not less, in these difficult economic times.

In light of this dire economic situation, state elected officials must take necessary steps to address both sides of the budget ledger – Revenue and Expense – and fairness must be the guiding principle in this effort.

We are calling on state leaders to explicitly identify the concrete revenue raising options that they will enact – in order to protect poor New Yorkers from shouldering an undue and unjust burden of the faltering economy


Advocates for Children

Alliance for Quality Education

ARISE Coalition/ Advocates for Children

Asian American Federation

Black Equity Alliance

Brooklyn Center for Independence of the Disabled

Campaign for Fiscal Equity

Campaign for Fiscal Equity

Campaign for Fiscal Equity

Campaign for Fiscal Equity

Canaan Senior Service Center

Center for Independence of the Disabled, NY (CIDNY)


CEC/ WestSide CB 7/ AQE



CEJ/ Highbridge

CEJ/ Highbridge

Child Care Council @ CUNY

Children’s Aid Society

Children’s Defense Fund

Citizen Action of NY (CASF)

Citizens Advice Bureau

Citizens’ Committee for Children of New York (CCC)

Citywide Council on High Schools

Class Size Matters

Coalition for a District Alternative (CODA)

Coalition for Asian American Children and Families

Coalition For The Homeless

Coalition of Behavioral Health Agencies

College of Mount Saint Vincent- Institute for Immigrant Concerns

Commission on the Public’s Health System

Community Access

Community Health Care Association of New York State (CHCANYS)

Community Service Society of New York (CSS)

Community Voices Heard

Connecting to Advantages

Council of Family and Child Care Agencies (COFCCA)

Council of Senior Centers and Services of New York City, Inc.

Cypress Hills Child Care Corp.

District Council 37, AFSCME, AFL-CIO

Education Voters of New York

Episcopal Social Services

Family Justice

Federation of Protestant Welfare Agencies

Fiscal Policy Institute

Freedom Community Center

Goddard Riverside Community Center

Good Jobs New York

Grand Street Settlement House

Greater Chinatown Community Association (GCCA)

Haitian Americans United for Progress (HAUP)

Hamilton-Madison House


Harlem United Community AIDS Center, Inc.

Henry Street Settlement

Highbridge Community Life Center

Hispanic AIDS Forum, Inc.

Hispanic Federation of New York State

HIV Law Project, Inc.

Human Services Council

Hunger Action Network of NYS (HANNYS)

Institute for Community Living

The Internationals Network for Public Schools

Isabella Geriatric Center

Jamaica Service Program For Older Adults

Korean American Family Service Center

Legal Aid Society

Legal Information for Families Today (LIFT)

Legal Services NYC

Lenox Hill Neighborhood House

Make the Road New York

Medicare Rights Center

Melrose Senior Center

MFY Legal Services

Mosholu Montefiore Community Center

National Association of Social Workers, NYC Chapter

National Black Leadership Commission on AIDS (NBLCA)

National Center for Schools and Communities at Fordham

Neighborhood Family Services Coalition

South Asian Youth Action

South Brooklyn Youth Consortium Inc.

South Brooklyn Youth Consortium Inc.

Staten Island Federation of Parent Teacher Associations

Staten Island Federation of Parent Teacher Associations

New York ACORN

New York AIDS Coalition

The After School Corporation/ TASC

The After School Corporation/ TASC

New York Citizen’s Committee on Aging, Inc.

New York City Central Labor Council

New York City Employment and Training Coalition

New York Civic Participation Project/32BJ

New York Immigrant Coalition

New York State Coalition for School Based Health Center

NY Jobs with Justice

NYC AIDS Housing Network/ NYCAHN

NYC Coalition for Educational Justice

NYS Public Employees Federation, Region 10

One Stop Senior Services

Phipps Community Development Corporation

Pratt Center for Community Development

Professional Staff Congress-CUNY

Project Renewal

Riverstone Senior Life Services

SCAN-New York

SEIU Local 32BJ

Staten Island Inter-Agency Council for the Aging

Staten Island Legal Services

Supportive Housing Network of New York

The Center for Law and Social Justice, at Medgar Evers College, City University of NY

The Children’s Village

The Committee for Hispanic Children & Families, Inc.

Time Out From Testing

UAW LOCAL 2325 Association of Legal Aid Attorneys (AFL-CIO)

UAW Region 9A

United Community Center, Inc.

United Federation of Teachers

United Neighborhood Houses

Village Care of New York

Working Families Party

YKASEC-Empowering the Korean American Community

Filed Under: Articles | Commentary | Letters | New York | News | Politics | the Hamptons





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