De Blasio, City Council to negotiate funding for summer youth jobs program

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio at press conference.
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio at press conference.
Ed Reed / Mayoral Photography Office
Mayor Bill de Blasio has indicated he would support redirecting police funding toward youth initiatives, but details are still unknown.

De Blasio, City Council to negotiate funding for summer youth jobs program

The mayor has committed to redirecting police funding to youth initiatives but hasn't outlined details.
June 12, 2020

In response to the backlash over canceling a youth summer jobs program, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said on Thursday that the program’s funding will be negotiated with the City Council over the next two weeks.

“The City Council has raised important ideas, proposals and ways of addressing how we revitalize the Summer Youth Employment Program in the context of this pandemic,” he said.

Nonprofit providers and program participants have rallied against the program’s cancellation since April. The initiative connects people between the ages of 14 and 24 to paid jobs over the summer, but the city decided to end it this year to save $124 million during a major budget crisis and because of concerns about how to implement it during the pandemic. Still, nonprofits have maintained it could operate virtually, along with other summer youth programs that are facing possible cuts. 

Though de Blasio has previously indicated the jobs program could be revived, recent calls to reallocate police department funding into youth programs and social services have driven the conversation forward. The mayor committed to shifting New York City Police Department funding to such services on Sunday but hasn’t provided details on how much money he would like to see redistributed or to which specific initiatives.  

This has frustrated providers who are preparing to lay off or furlough workers in the face of financial uncertainty surrounding youth programming in the city. Advocates have also argued that the Summer Youth Employment Program offers vital wages to low-income youth during great economic distress. Wages from last year’s program totaled $109.2 million, according to a new analysis from the New York City Independent Budget Office.

The mayor did announce three other summer youth programs on Thursday that will operate this summer. Each will be run out of the NYC Young Men’s Initiative and the Department of Probation Neighborhood Opportunity Network with the goal of reaching almost 3,000 city youth.

NYN Media reporter Kay Dervesh
Kay Dervishi
is a staff reporter at NYN Media.