|By Wayne Spence|
Don’t Balance the Budget on the Backs of New Yorkers in Need
We have entered a new phase in our fight against the misguided proposals in the Executive Budget. The formal talking is finished in Albany. PEF has either virtually testified or submitted written testimony to multiple Joint Legislative Committees about the Bad Budget Proposals identified by our Statewide Political Action Committee.
Now it’s your turn. Thank you to the thousands of members who have already taken a few minutes to submit letters to your local lawmakers supporting PEF’s arguments focused on New York’s 2021 Budget Priorities. Those priorities are: Bed reduction and facility closures at OMH, expedited closures of DOCCS and OCFS facilities, consolidation of OCFS facilities, reliance on expensive private consultants, defunding state hospitals, reducing retiree benefits, and recognizing COVID-19 heroes.
We have made the letter-writing campaign very easy on our website. Just scroll down that page for the tab that says “Letters to Legislators” and make your voice heard. You can create a pre-written letter addressed to your state senator or assemblyperson, or you can download and print Word and PDF documents to personalize your letter and mail it to your representatives.
We must let Gov. Cuomo and lawmakers know that the middle of a pandemic is not the time for short-term fiscal savings when the long-term critical services provided by the state are at stake. The decisions in these budget proposals simply do not make sense. Why close Rockland Children’s Psychiatric Center, forcing families to drive their vulnerable loved ones hundreds of miles to get the specialized care they need? Why give the governor the power to close prisons with just 90 days’ notice? And why spend nearly $1 billion on pricey, ineffective consultants to do the jobs PEF members have shown for years they can do better, and more efficiently? Those are just a few examples. There are many more.
Thank you in advance for your activism. As you write letters and urge family, friends and co-workers to do the same, I will continue making the case across the state that New York needs the services PEF members provide now more than ever. Recently, I wrote an op-ed in the New York Daily News asserting why the pandemic is exactly the wrong time to cut critical mental health services for New Yorkers in need. I promise to keep fighting with you, and wish you and your families continued good health.
Thank you for all you do!
Membership cards are ALWAYS available online at http://www.pef.org/join-pef, or you can request one through your steward, council leader or regional coordinator.
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