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Congresswoman Grace Meng

Representing the 6th District of New York

Meng Highlights Negative Impacts that President Trump's Proposed Budget Cuts Would Have on Queens

Mar 31, 2017
Press Release
Congresswoman holds roundtable with borough organizations that stand to lose federal funds
FLUSHING, NY – U.S. Rep. Grace Meng (D-Queens) today held a roundtable discussion on President Donald Trump’s proposed budget cuts and the negative impacts it would have on Queens.
 
Taking part in the meeting were a wide array of local non-profit organizations that stand to lose federal funds under the President’s budget ax. The organizations, which are located in Queens and/or provide critical services to Queens communities, revealed first-hand how the cuts would negatively impact those they serve. The organizations and those who are participated included:
 
  • Shelby Chestnut
Director of Community Organizing and Public Advocacy at the NYC Anti-Violence Project
The Anti-Violence Project provides free assistance to thousands of LGBTQ individuals throughout New York City including Queens.
 
  • Tova Klein
Vice President of Senior Communities at Selfhelp Community Services
Selfhelp Community Services operates senior centers and senior housing facilities throughout Queens including locations in Bayside, Flushing, Forest Hills, Fresh Meadows and Maspeth.
 
  • Alfonso Lopez
Legislative Representative at the New York City Office of Federal Affairs
 
  • Rehan Mehmood
Director of Health Services for the South Asian Council for Social Services (SACSS)
The Flushing-based SACSS helps to provide healthcare access and social services to the South
Asian community in Queens.
 
  • Israel Rocha
CEO of NYC Health + Hospitals/Elmhurst
 
  • David Strauss
Deputy Director of the Queens Museum, the art museum and educational center located in
Flushing Meadows-Corona Park.     
 
  • Jo-Ann Yoo
Executive Director of the Asian American Federation
The Asian American Federation works to strengthen the capacity of community-based social services by supporting and representing over 60 Asian-serving member agencies in the fields of health and human services, education, economic development, civic participation and social justice.
 
“The President claims that his budget puts America first,” said Congresswoman Meng. “But it actually puts America last. That’s because the plan guts critical funding from virtually all federal agencies, and eliminates many important federal programs; cuts that stand to impact Queens. If you put America first, you don’t slash billions from agencies such as the EPA, Department of Education, HUD and the National Institutes of Health, and you do not do away with initiatives such as heating assistance programs. As a member of the House Appropriations Committee, I will do everything in my power to combat these devastating cuts.”
 
"The New York City Anti-Violence Project is honored to stand with local advocates and Congresswoman Grace Meng to convey the importance of ensuring federal funding remain in place to reach the most vulnerable New Yorkers,” said Shelby Chestnut, Director of Community Organizing and Public Advocacy at the Anti-Violence Project. “The New York City Anti-Violence Project has been the recipient of various funding streams from the Office of Violence Against Women (OVW) and the Family Violence Prevention Services Act (FVPSA) on the state and federal level for many years. This funding allows us to provide vital services to LGBTQ survivors of domestic and sexual violence in Queens and citywide, many of whom are immigrants and require additional services and support in culturally and linguistically specific manners. Without this funding, the lives of all survivors of violence will be at risk, especially marginalized communities like LGBTQ and immigrant communities."
 
“From the proposed cuts to housing programs that enable low-income older adults to live in appropriate and affordable housing to the possible changes to health care, Medicaid, and Medicare, New York City’s seniors stand to lose access to programs that enable them to age with independence and dignity,” said Sandy Myers, Director of Government and External Relations at Selfhelp Community Services. “Without adequate investments in home and community based services and proper health care, Selfhelp’s seniors and countless others will be forced to pursue more costly alternatives during a phase of life where many already struggle to get by on fixed incomes. With 10,000 people tuning 65 a day across this country, now is the time to be investing in older adults and the organizations that serve them.”
 
“What President Trump has threatened shows all too clearly how little he cares about lifting up the American people and puts the vitality of our city in jeopardy,” said New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio. “This is just the beginning of the budget process and should be seen as the start of our negotiations, not the final word. We are working with our Congressional Delegation and will continue to fight these proposed cuts.”
 
“Under the president’s budget, we are very concerned about cuts to federal grants, especially National Institutes of Health grants, and the affect this would have on our efforts to serve the local South Asian community,” said Rehan Mehmood, Director of Health Services for SACSS. “We will be watching closely as the budget process continues to unfold.”
 
"The loss or reduction of funding for the Medicaid Disproportionate Share Hospital (DSH) program would have greatly destabilized all safety-net hospitals in New York City, especially those serving Queens," said Israel Rocha, CEO of NYC Health + Hospitals/Elmhurst. "Without this funding, all patients are affected given the tough choice hospitals are forced to make without DSH funding - close down life-saving programs due to funding shortages or close down all together. Either choice reduces access to vital care services and places all patients at risk. Given the large number of hospital closures in our borough over the last few years, Queens knows this choice all too well. We applaud Congresswoman Meng for fighting to preserve access to care for all of New York City!"
 
“President Trump's proposed budget would have a stark effect on the cultural sector, not only in Queens, but throughout the country,” said David Strauss, Deputy Director of the Queens Museum.  “The Queens Museum stands to lose more than $400,000 in funding, grants that allow us to provide virtual tours for homebound seniors, art-therapy programs for children with special needs, and exhibitions that help each of us gain new perspectives on our daily lives. Beyond that, the cuts translate to jobs lost, an undercutting of the leverage that encourages private donors to support cultural institutions, and a general devaluing of the proven connection between exposure to cultural institutions and academic success. “
 
“As a leadership organization representing and supporting over 60 Asian-serving social service agencies in New York City, the Asian American Federation knows that the Trump administration’s proposed budget cuts will translate into significant losses in funding for our member agencies, who rely on federal funding to provide senior services, youth programs, and other critical resources for low-income Asian immigrants,” said Asian American Federation Executive Director Jo-Ann Yoo. “These cuts will mean that social services for Asian New Yorkers, which are already drastically underfunded, will become even scarcer, putting that much more strain on our member agencies to try to meet the needs of all the clients who walk through their doors.”