ALBANY, N.Y., March 8, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- The Human Services Council of New York (HSC), its upstate partners, and people who rely on human services programs visited the state capitol today to deliver the initial results of an online petition drive and state-wide campaign to protect human services programs from the steep $400 million in funding cuts proposed by Governor Cuomo. The petition was presented to State Senator Diane Savino, Chair of the Senate Committee on Children and Families, and Assemblywoman Amy Paulin, Chair of the Assembly Committee on Children and Families, who support the campaign.
Since HSC, a nonprofit which represents thousands of nonprofits, launched the "Who Cares? I Do." campaign on February 14, over 2,000 individuals and nonprofit organizations, representing nearly 3 million residents from counties throughout New York State, including the Bronx, Westchester, Suffolk, Greene, Albany, Oneida, Jefferson, Rensselaer, Onondaga and Erie, have signed the petition.
"The thousands of signed petitions we've received show how important it is to our communities that human service programs like day care, afterschool programs, senior centers, employment services, supportive housing and mental health services are saved from being slashed," said Michael Stoller, Executive Director of HSC. "Compounding high unemployment and so much financial uncertainty with cuts to vital services will be devastating to New Yorkers. The message today is that policymakers need to make human services a higher priority."
"I firmly believe that as a society we need to give families and children the supports they need to survive and to thrive," said Senator Savino. "Often a little bit of help from a social service agency can go a long way in preventing more serious problems, and at a lower cost to taxpayers."
Assemblywoman Paulin said, "It is essential to the welfare of families and to the integrity of our great state that we do all we can to protect the vulnerable from harm. I'm particularly concerned about the proposed $50 million in cuts to child preventive services and cuts to domestic violence programs."
State budget decisions are in progress now, and the weeks leading up to the budget adoption on April 1 are critical to build support to preserve these programs.
Intended to enlist the wide support of individuals, businesses, organizations and policymakers, the campaign is an extension of HSC's ongoing advocacy for city and state government budget, policy, and legislative reforms. Among the numerous city and state human service agencies partnering with HSC are the Children's Aid Society, the New York Children's Action Network, the Coalition of Family and Child Caring Agencies (COFCCA), Goodwill Industries of Greater New York and Northern New Jersey, Catholic Charities Brooklyn and Queens, the Schuyler Center for Analysis and Advocacy and New York State Community Action Association.
Supporters can visit www.WhoCares-IDo.org to sign the online petition, receive information on the proposed cuts and learn how to reach out to elected officials and take action in many other ways. Supporters can also follow the campaign on Twitter @WhoCares_IDo or on Facebook at Who Cares? I Do.
The Human Services Council of New York (HSC) is a passionate champion for human services and strengthens the sector's ability to serve New Yorkers in need. It proactively negotiates with state and city government for mutually beneficial, solutions-based budget, policy, and legislative reforms aimed at improving the lives of the people in communities served by HSC's member agencies. HSC provides a unified voice for this diverse collective – it is the "voice of the human services community."
SOURCE The Human Services Council of New York