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#Chirlane McCray was behind decision to shift NYPD funding

#Chirlane McCray was behind decision to shift NYPD funding

June 9, 2020 | 1:00pm

Mayor Bill de Blasio said Tuesday that his wife First Lady Chirlane McCray was behind the major decision to shift funding from the NYPD toward city youth groups and social services.

McCray, the co-chair of the mayor’s Racial Inclusion and Equity Task Force that was born out of the coronavirus crisis, urged de Blasio to reallocate a chunk of the police department’s budget, both McCray and de Blasio revealed during a City Hall press briefing.

“The first lady and task force believe that the shift of funds to youth services made sense and she can tell you about it,” de Blasio said, adding that the task force “has led to the decision to shift resources from NYPD to youth services.”

Hizzoner announced on Sunday that the city would move funding from the NYPD to the youth programs — days after dismissing demands to defund the nation’s largest police department.

“There’s no question that it was important to move more funds to youth and social services,” McCray said during the press briefing, explaining that the task force submitted a questionnaire to more than 300 residents in communities hardest-hit by the coronavirus “and that was one of the most important responses that we got back.”

McCray, who also heads the city’s embattled $1 billion Thrive NYC initiative, said mental health was also a top concern among those surveyed, but “the fact that we need more resources for our young people was right up there.”

“There was no question that that was something that needed to be addressed,” she said.

McCray noted that “even without the responses” from the community, “I talked to my husband about it and encouraged him to help us find ways to do that because it’s something I know from my heart.”

Chirlane McCray speaks during memorial service for George Floyd in Brooklyn.
Chirlane McCray speaks during memorial service for George Floyd in Brooklyn.Lev Radin/Pacific Press via ZUMA Wire

“If young people don’t have constructive activities during the summer, even better have paid internships, mentorships, then they’re going to do something — not necessarily anything bad — but it’s a setback,” she said.

“Any middle class family any, upper class family — they all have activities for their family,” said McCray, who added that in more impoverished communities “the opportunities are lacking — they’ve been lacking and we have to do everything we can to address that gap.”

It is still not yet known how much money would be shifted from the NYPD’s budget and what would have to be cut as a result of the decision as de Blasio has said that still needs to be negotiated with the City Council.

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