[Editor’s Note: Several minutes into Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s State of the State speech Wednesday, Assemblyman Charles Barron of East New York stood up and began to talk over the Governor loudly and at length about poverty and homelessness, topics he thinks the Governor has not adequately addressed. Barron a 12-year veteran of the City Council, who was elected to the State Assembly in 2014 was then escorted out the room. Read below, what the Assemblyman had to say on the subject.]
Our homeless Brothers and Sisters are out in the street without any comprehensive support from our state government.
The public schools that provide a foundation for economic mobility for our precious children have been deprived the money owed to them by the state.
The so-called justice system has lost the trust of our communities due to the lack of accountability, transparency and more importantly, a systemic bias in favor of police. I am sick of the hypocrisy and neglect displayed by the governor towards our most needy.
I refuse to sit and watch him make claims and statements that are backed by insufficient actions. Governor Cuomo needs to take a stand and put the money where his mouth is.
Due to the campaign for fiscal equity court mandate, the state owes $4.8 billion to our public school children and over $2 billion to our youth in New York City.
It’s disgraceful that the administration has yet to pay the money owed to our schools. What is more troubling is that over 70 percent of the overdue funds are to be allocated to high-need schools, more notably in our black and brown neighborhoods. My district in particular is due $28 million. That funding is necessary to make a real impact on the future of our students. Pay up governor!
Homelessness has been running rampant in our communities for far too long. Governor Cuomo has failed to take the steps necessary to provide our citizens one of the most basic human needs. As a result of his past decisions and continual neglect, the situation has spun out of control. Homelessness in New York City has reached the highest levels since the Great Depression.
In 2011, Cuomo pulled $92M worth of funding from the Advantage program. This lead to the eventual termination of the program and forced 14,000 former beneficiaries out of housing. His executive order last week was nothing more than a patch job and publicity stunt. Do not use the police to forcibly remove our homeless when you gutted the program that helped them keep a roof over their heads. We need a real plan governor!
This year, I am hopeful that both chambers will drop the politics and vote on real solutions that will move the state forward. As for the governor, I urge you to stop the hypocrisy and give our people the help they deserve. You can start by establishing a 1 billion dollar anti-poverty program across the state because the $25 million proposition you have in mind is unacceptable.
– Charles Baron
Brooklyn Assemblyman 42nd District