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Public advocate threatens to block city budget; calls for NYPD hiring freeze, reimagining of school safety

America Protests New York
Posted at 11:34 AM, Jun 30, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-30 18:13:48-04

NEW YORK — As negotiations for the New York City budget continue, Public Advocate Jumaane Williams said he will use this authority to prevent the budget from being executed if certain measures are not met.

“As we near the final budget vote, it has become clear that this budget ignores some of the most critical elements of reducing NYPD funding and redefining public safety. Unless it meets those needs, I will use my Charter authority as Public Advocate under Ch. 58, Section 1518 to prevent the budget from being executed during the final tax warrant process.” Williams said in a statement posted on Twitter.

Williams called for a full hiring freeze for the NYPD and the reimagining of school safety next year. He also called for the transformation of school safety over the next year, transitioning into a model more centered on restorative justice.

“New Yorkers will not be content with low hanging fruit, when what’s needed is to uproot the tree,” he said.

Budget negotiations are due by midnight Tuesday. City Council members have struggled over budget numbers, determined to meet the needs of New Yorkers during a pandemic and economic crisis.

The city is faced with nearly $10 billion in cuts amid the coronavirus pandemic and citywide demonstrations.

Protesters have called for $1 billion to be cut from the NYPD and shifted toward young people and communities.

While Mayor Bill de Blasio proposed a plan Monday with that amount in what he called "savings" to the country's largest police force, protesters were not happy with the plan.

With a surge in gun violence across the city, the mayor said the budget would not compromise public safety.

The latest budget draft would cancel the incoming class of police recruits and move school safety officers from the NYPD to the Department of Education, sources told PIX11.

The budget is not expected to include layoffs, despite a previous warning that 20,000 city workers could get pink slips.