City Council Candidate and Male Democratic Assembly District Josue (Josh) Pierre today took the term-limited lawmaker he’s looking to replace to task today for not taking a public position on Mayor Bill de Blasio’s initial budget proposal for Fiscal Year 2021.
Pierre called out 40th District City Councilmember Mathieu Eugene (D-Crown Heights, East Flatbush, Flatbush, Kensington, Midwood, Prospect Lefferts Gardens) for not taking a public position on the proposed budget, which included about $1.6 billion in cuts to vital programs including Fair Student Funding for Public Schools, the Summer Youth Employment Program (SYEP), various affordable housing programs, and sanitation services.
In response to the Mayor’s initial proposal, Pierre has actively opposed the proposed budget cuts, launched a petition to save the SYEP program, and circulated a petition to cut the New York City Police Department (NYPD) budget by $1 billion.as yet to take a
“Contrary to what is being portrayed, the budget actions we are pushing for are not radical. If you believe in social justice and not just in solving the city’s fiscal problems on the backs of our most vulnerable communities, our proposals are actually very reasonable” said Pierre. “Where we invest our tax dollars is a reflection of our values. Reallocating funding from the NYPD into our communities is long overdue and would save vital resources that are currently being threatened by cuts.”
Pierre alleges Eugene has been conspicuously silent during a time when Black Lives Matter protests have placed a heightened focus on the critical city budget decision-making process that will ultimately have a tremendous impact on the lives of 40th Council District residents.
While Eugene has as of yet to comment, he has issued releases in support of and attended protests in support of Black Lives Matter. Additionally, during his tenure in the city council, he traditionally has been on the forefront for restoration to SYEP cuts, and has repeatedly funded hospitals that serve low-income neighborhoods, while calling for better public health management including a crisis plan for a possible pandemic years before the COVID-19 outbreak.
Pierre’s comments come as the city is set to today to pass an austerity $88.1 billion budget, which is about $7 billion less than last year’s budget and reportedly includes a $1 billion cut to the NYPD.
The cut to the NYPD budget comes as crime has been soaring with murders, shootings, burglaries and auto theft citywide. This includes more than a 90% increase in murders, a 69% increase in shootings, a24% increase in burglary, and a 63% increase in auto theft in Brooklyn Borough South, which covers Eugene’s city council district, and for which Pierre is running.
Additionally, under de Blasio’s orders, the NYPD disbanded the NYPD’s anti-crime unit, which has traditionally been responsible for taking guns off the street. This includes the 67th Police Precinct in East Flatbush, located in the heart of the 40th Council district, which traditionally rates among the highest precinct’s in the city for taking guns off the streets.
Murders within the 67th Police Precinct jurisdiction are up more than 60 percent for the year and shootings are up more than 72 percent for the year.