Yonkers State Representatives Host Multiple Community Budget Forums
Yonkers, NY – On Tuesday, February 21st and Wednesday, February 22nd State Representatives gathered in front of community members, advocates and other interested parties at the Yonkers Riverfront Library and Grinton I. Will Library, respectively, to discuss the proposed 2017-2018 New York State Budget.
Community residents had an opportunity to testify about their concerns regarding the impact of the Governor's proposed budget. Each speaker had about four minutes to speak, and they were also given an opportunity to email their questions to the representatives ahead of time.
"We must invest in our State to build an economy that works for everyone," said State Senator and Senate Minority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins (D-35). "We need your input so we can fight for a Budget that will help our communities prosper and thrive."
"Allowing our local constituents the opportunity to voice their concerns or wishes regarding the State Budget directly to their State Representatives is democracy in action. These local forums have brought a number of new issues to light for me, and I truly appreciate the input from my constituents," said Senator George Latimer (D-37) who spoke at the Will Library on Wednesday, February 22nd.
Assemblymember Shelley Mayer (D-90), who spoke at both events, noted that "As elected representatives from Yonkers, we need to make sure that we are listening to the needs of our residents. Holding these forums is a great opportunity for us to make ourselves available to our community members. Here they can make their voices heard about the issues they are passionate about, and then we, as their representatives, can take their input back to Albany."
There was a great deal of engagement at each of the forums. Many residents spoke about their concerns regarding education funding and after-school programs. Others discussed senior care, state retirement benefits, library funding, and the arts.
"It's clear from the community members who spoke at both events that funding for education will remain one of my top priorities, as well as fighting for an economy that works for all of us. That means good paying jobs," added Assemblymember Mayer.
"As in prior years, I truly believe that this year's budget forum in Yonkers was very informative. It has given my colleagues and me the opportunity to discuss the Governor's proposed budget, obtain community input as well as answer any questions and concerns that are of great importance to the general public," stated Assemblymember Gary Pretlow (D-89) who spoke at the Yonkers Riverfront Library on Tuesday evening.