Perdido 03

Perdido 03

Friday, February 18, 2011

Daily News: Bloomberg Budget Damages Old And Young The Most

The Times allowed Bloomberg to frame his budget as "good news" yesterday, which is ludicrous considering it closes 100 senior centers, defunds a daycare program, shuts down fire houses and fires 6,166 teachers (4,666 through layoffs.)

I suppose Bloomberg thinks it's "good news" because he's not laying off the 21,000 he threatened to lay off earlier in the year and hasn't decided to indiscriminately kill the old people to save money?

But the Daily News doesn't let him get away with this nonsense that the budget is "good news," not in the news section, at any rate:


Mayor Bloomberg's proposed budget cuts could have the greatest impact on the city's youngest, oldest and poorest.

Bloomberg's plan would slash daycare for more than 16,000 children and shutter at least 100 senior citizens centers - leaving the less-fortunate with nowhere to turn, said the folks who rely on the endangered city services.

"People will be left to the streets," said Leroy Austin, 67, a regular at the Douglass Senior Center in Manhattan Valley. "Elders with problems at home will have nowhere to go."

"What happens when they can't get the meals?" Austin asked. "There will be more hunger than there is already."

The budget plan proposed cutting $25 million from the Department of Aging and would result in the closure of 100 to 110 senior centers, said Commissioner Lilliam Barrios-Paoli.

More than 30% of the city's seniors live below the poverty level - and they will have few alternatives to find food and care, Barrios-Paoli warned.

"It's brutal," said Barrios-Paoli, who said she feared the City Council would not be able to find funds to save the centers.

"Most who go to the centers now are over 75 years old and to think they're going to walk 20 blocks to find a new center, that's not going to happen," she said.

Additionally, money has run out to fund city-run daycare for 16,624 children, leaving some parents with the difficult choice of having to quit their jobs to care for the their kids.

"If my daughter's daycare didn't exist, I would have to stay home," said Serah Kaiel, 34, a single mom raising her 4-year-old daughter.

Kaiel, who lives in Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn, is a private school teacher who says she knows the value of her daughter's program.

"Early childhood education is a key building block," said Kaiel, who can't afford to send her daughter to the school where she teaches. "Cutting programs will affect education all across the board."
The News reports in another article what the layoffs might mean for New York City school children:

Because Bloomberg says he won't raise taxes, he claims that means he has no choice but to slash $1.6 billion from the budget, yanking as many as 6,166 teachers out of classrooms.

That includes an estimated 4,666 teacher layoffs.

The mayor has threatened to lay off teachers in the past in what critics claimed was a tool to pressure Albany for more cash - or a tactic to negotiate with the City Council.

This year, the layoff threat comes as Bloomberg is pressuring Albany to change a state law that forces schools to fire junior teachers before those with more experience.

"The mayor is playing political games here," fumed teachers union President Michael Mulgrew, who said losing 6,000 teachers means classrooms would bloat from 30 students per teacher to 37 or 38.

I have class sizes of 34 now. Does that mean the layoffs bring class sizes to 41 or 42?

I hope some students don't mind sitting on the radiator and the floor.

Just don't mind the bedbugs or the heat.

Meanwhile, the unions FINALLY realize Bloomberg means to destroy them:

Union leaders blasted the mayor for putting the cuts on workers instead of private contractors or other areas.

"From one end of this country to the other, there is a war on public employees, with lawmakers using budget deficits as a smoke screen for attacking our jobs, our pensions and benefits and the programs and services that sustain working families and our communities," said Lillian Roberts, director of District Council 37, the city's largest municipal union.


No kidding - and yet when they could have worked to knock this dictator off back in 2009, they failed to do so.

Now the 50,000+ vote third term mayor who overturned term limits and spent over $100 million to win "re-election" governs as if he has a 10 million vote mandate.

That's what oligarchs do.

We can't take the past back now - that's water under the bridge.

But we can move forward from here - and that means aggressively countering everything this oligarch does, pointing out every foible, flaw, misstep, and/or policy decision that hurts middle and working class people.

Start with this "good news" budget Bloomberg unveiled yesterday.

The unions ought to be up with ads showing hedge fund criminals like Whitney Tilson yucking it up over cocktails and Goldman Sachs criminals counting their million dollar bonuses while Bloomberg refuses to raise taxes on these people but does cut senior centers, daycare programs, teachers, firehouses and city employees.

I'll even frame the ad for them: Bloomberg: Government by the oligarchs, for the oligarchs, of the oligarchs.

And the people can go scratch - or to a Broadway show, if they can dig out from the snow.

1 comment: