Read a PDF of our statement here.

Yesterday, Mayor Eric Adams proposed massive cuts to essential services as part of his FY 2024 budget modification proposal for New York City. According to this plan, all City agencies would face a five percent budget cut, including a $1 billion cut to the Department of Education over two years. New Yorkers would face enormous disruptions in sanitation and education services, and many will lose access to essential programs such as universal pre-kindergarten.   

Research is clear that true public safety requires community access to healthcare, education, housing, and healthy living environments. These proposed cuts to essential services will make New Yorkers less safe, and they will likely have a disproportionate impact on Black and Brown communities across the city. 

In response to these proposed budget cuts, Legal Defense Fund (LDF) Community Organizer Obi Afriyie issued the following statement: 

“As always, the brunt of these cuts will be borne by Black communities that have suffered from systematic disinvestment for decades. Many of the agencies and essential services facing cuts have endured attrition and hiring freezes for years, while aggressive NYPD policing has increased in the communities that would be hardest hit by these budget cuts. We call on the City Council to reject Mayor Adams’ budget modification proposal and instead invest in essential services that promote public health and safety, while reducing the size and scope of harmful policing that disproportionately targets Black and Brown communities.” 


Founded in 1940, the Legal Defense Fund (LDF) is the nation’s first civil rights law organization. LDF’s Thurgood Marshall Institute is a multi-disciplinary and collaborative hub within LDF that launches targeted campaigns and undertakes innovative research to shape the civil rights narrative. In media attributions, please refer to us as the Legal Defense Fund or LDF. Please note that LDF has been completely separate from the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) since 1957—although LDF was originally founded by the NAACP and shares its commitment to equal rights.