Campaign for Children Kicks Off Month Long Vigil

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On June 6th, The Campaign for Children, of which The Children’s Aid Society is a leading member, kicked off a month-long vigil whereby parents, children and advocates from programs around the city will be in front of City Hall every weekday until the final budget is announced. This Kickoff was especially crucial because it took place on the day of the final city budget’s public hearing.

The Kickoff commenced with a children’s demonstration held on the steps of City Hall. Children sang songs to Mayor Bloomberg and watched Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Director Mark Page testify before the City Council Finance Committee. At an afternoon press conference, advocates, parents and children urged the Mayor and the City Council to fully fund child care and after-school in the final budget. Parents read hand-written letters from children and strung the letters up on clotheslines. The parents were joined by City Council Members: Gale Brewer, Margaret Chin, Leroy Comrie, Mathieu Eugene, Julissa Ferreras, Karen Koslowitz, Stephen Levin and Jummane Williams. The Council Members also expressed the importance of these programs and the need to restore the budget cuts.

At the public hearing, representatives from the FDNY, unions, providers, advocates, concerned citizens and many others expressed their outrage at the Mayor’s budget cuts to the City Council Committee on Finance. Most importantly, parents and students from all over the City testified (or submitted testimony) on the importance of child care and after-school programs in their lives. Please read the linked testimony from Bronx Children’s Aid parent Jessica Ortiz and from various Children’s Aid participants at PS 152 in Washington Heights.