The post was "Liked" by hundreds and reposted several times. Council president Tom DePietro became part of the conversation, recommending that people attend the Common Council Finance Committee meeting on June 16.
I am writing to demand that all of you meet with the entire city council to completely revise the city's 2020-2021 fiscal year budget in advance of the finance meeting to be held June 16 at 5:30pm via Zoom.
More than $3 million is currently allotted for the police. These funds need to be redistributed to youth programs, parks, and other city programs that benefit antiracist efforts.
We are in the midst of a health pandemic with severe economic consequences. As a result of the economic insecurity due to COVID-19 and its fallout, we can expect thousands more to be applying for unemployment as 2020 closes. Even with this knowledge, a budget is still being proposed to increase the funding of the Hudson Police Department. In fact, in addition to the $3-million-plus for the police budget, the New York State Police Retirement funds total $473,802, while the total proposal for all Parks is just $96,393.
These numbers are grossly neglecting the needs of physical land of the Hudson Valley, a place home to so much natural beauty that it spurred an entire art movement. It is the responsibility of all of you as elected officials to meet this historical social movement with swift grace. Think of it as an opportunity for Hudson to create more beauty in the world.
We will no longer accept empty gestures and suggestions of reform. We need a budget that adequately and effectively meets the needs of the people and the land of the Hudson Valley during this trying and uncertain time; and we need a budget that supports communities and their well-being, not one that empowers the forces that tear them apart.
I am urging you, Mayor Johnson and the entire Hudson City Council, to completely revise the budget for 2020-2021 and fund #CareNotCops. You need to adopt a budget that focuses on helping the people of Hudson in areas like health, education, housing, and resources for small businesses and the arts, especially given the pandemic.Aside from someone from Austin, Texas, demanding that Hudson revise its 2020-2021 budget, what's bizarre about the letter is the assumption that Hudson has a fiscal year that does not correspond to the calendar year and that there is now a proposed budget before the Council (which we know is called the Common Council not the City Council). It's as if the person who drafted the letter somehow conflated the HCSD budget, which currently has the status of being proposed but not adopted, with the City of Hudson budget, which was proposed and adopted at the end of 2019 for the year 2020.
The Finance Committee's Zoom meeting on June 16 may prove to be, in its own way, even more memorable than the Board of Education public hearing on Tuesday that was Zoombombed with swastikas, obscenities, and pornography, or tonight's Tourism Board meeting which was Zoombombed by a fat naked man.
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