Gotham Gazette: Politicians, advocates see end to city’s annual budget dance
Stephanie Gendell of the Citizens’ Committee for Children was at the mayoral forum when the candidates announced their opposition to the budget dance, which was hosted by the Campaign for Children in May.
A coalition of child care advocacy and provider organizations, the campaign is one of a handful of groups planning to protest budget cuts outside City Hall today.
“The problem with the budget dance is that at the end of the dance you get what you started with,” she said, explaining that the goal should be an expansion of early childhood services and not the preservation of more than $130 million in cuts that mayor proposed this year.
The fact that they have to go through it all over again after the Council restored $150 million in 2012 is frustrating, Gendell said.
“In some ways, last year was more shock and awe, she said. “Now it’s more déjà vu.”
Gendell said that he hopes the mayoral candidates are true to their word, and that a combination of baselining as well as a new mayor might mean more financial stability for organizations like hers and bring about the end of the budget dance.
“If this really is the last year,” she said, “that would really be incredible.”