Eugene lauds summer jobs funding in budget
Declaring it a victory for the city’s young people, Councilmember Mathieu Eugene praised the de Blasio administration for agreeing to put $38.5 million into the budget to expand the Summer Youth Employment Program.
“This budget is truly a victory for our young people, and it reflects the needs of our youth,” said Eugene (D-Kensington), who is chairman of the council’s Youth Services Committee.
Mayor Bill de Blasio and City Council members announced an agreement on the budget for Fiscal Year 2017 on Wednesday night. (See more about the budget here.) The new fiscal year begins on July 1.
Following the release of the mayor’s executive budget earlier this year, in which there were no increases in funding for many of the city’s youth services, Eugene held a series of rallies on the steps of City Hall calling on the administration to provide more funding.
“We in the City Council worked together to negotiate a budget that will help youth in all neighborhoods of our city,” Eugene said. “I’m thankful for the leadership of our Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, as well as Finance Chair Julissa Ferreras-Copeland. I’d also like to thank Mayor Bill de Blasio for listening to the requests of my colleagues and I during this process. Most importantly, I’d like to thank the youth advocates for raising their voices for youth programs and I’d like to commend the young people who were at every rally to speak out about the importance of making youth a priority.”
With the $38.5 million investment, the Summer Youth Employment Program will be expanded to include 60,000 jobs for young people. Eugene said the monetary figure is a baseline, meaning that it not only ensures that these jobs will be available in future years, but also allows providers to make advance accommodations for young people that will help enhance their employment experience.
All told, the city is investing $100 million in youth services, including funding for additional afterschool program slots for elementary and middle school children, year-round jobs and a commitment to provide more programs to help young people throughout the city, Eugene said.
“I’m so delighted that our young people will have a chance to continue to enjoy a variety of programs that will empower them,” Eugene said.