Brooklyn Council Member Mathieu Eugene on Wednesday joined the Campaign for Children, his colleagues in the City Council and other youth advocates to fight for the restoration of funding for summer programs that he says more than 31,000 children rely on.
Eugene, who represents the 45th Council District in Brooklyn, said summer programs allow children to spend their days in a safe space.
“These crucial programs also offer educational and recreational outlets to youth,” said Eugene, chairman of the City Council’s Youth Services Committee. “Families throughout New York City count on these programs—and working families who may be unable to afford a pricey alternative program will be especially impacted if funding isn’t restored for summer programs.
“It is our moral obligation as government to do everything possible for our children, who are the future of our city,” Eugene added. “We should be providing our youth with opportunities—not taking them away.”
“It’s simply unacceptable to turn away more than 31,000 children from a positive program,” he continued. “Our entire city needs these programs. It’s time for our youth to be a priority in our city’s budget.”
In addition to calling for the restoration of funding for summer programs in the Fiscal Year 2017 budget, Eugene and several of his colleagues want to make sure that these programs are included in future budgets.
Last year, Eugene said he, along with his colleagues, Campaign for Children, youth advocates, and children enrolled in summer camp programs, led the fight to restore summer programs.
Eugene said they were successful but added that because the programs were not baselined, “they are coming together again to demand action.
“We must do everything possible for our youth,” he said. “We won’t stop until the funding for summer programs is restored.”