(Anthony Beckford with his 8 year old daughter and fellow Advocates and Educators)
For Immediate Release:
Statement from Anthony Beckford regarding Mayor De'Blasio planning to make cuts to education.
"The pandemic is already causing uncertainty and has exposed disparities, that can no longer be ignored. It has already revealed how many of our lawmakers are eager to cut funds to community programs, educational tools and many other resources and services that are for underserved communities, while they are absent in the communities they were hired through votes to represent and serve. While we are battling the pandemic, we are also battling against egotistical politicians who are showing that their priorities are not those who are in need, especially Black and Brown students, but interests of the privileged and wealthy. The Mayor, Governor and many other Local and State Electeds fall into this category.
Governor Cuomo is making cuts to education and healthcare. The cuts specifically target the resources and services that are needed by schools and hospitals for underserved communities and community members. Many of our state legislators voted for his budget, which calls their loyalty to the people into question. Now, Mayor De'Blasio plans to slash the education budget by $827 million, including more than $200 million directly to schools for staffing, the arts and other programs that are crucial for students and their futures. De'Blasio announced certain cuts, such as; $100 million directly from school budgets, $43 million from slowing the expansion of pre-K for 3-year-olds and $49 million eliminated from pausing programs that help students to be able to get to college and provide much needed individual counseling for middle school students. He is literally robbing our youth, educators and communities.
De'Blasio has also cut funding for the Summer Youth Employment Program that provides jon opportunities for over 75,000 youth between the ages of 14 to 24. This is an income source that is the means of financial survival for many of the youth and their families, especially those who live in NYCHA housing throughout the city. These budget cuts, same as Cuomo's, are deliberate and racially bias. At the end of the day, We the People must bring the egos of the Mayor and Governor back down to earth and hold the Politicians that support their cuts accountable.
What we need to take a look at is the Department of Education's administrative spending as well as the payouts to consultants, especially during this pandemic. Just the cost alone on central administration and district / borough offices has skyrocketed from $489 million to $734 million in just 6 years from 2014 to now. This is throughout the time that De'Blasio has been in office. I definitely agree with Councilman Mark Treyger who is the Education Committee Chairman, om his call to take a closer look at cutting many of the new positions created by School Chancellor Richard Carranza, who along with De'Blasio showed lack of leadership by failing to close schools on time. This resulted in many family members of students as well as educators and principals to become sick and resulted in the deaths of of about 65 of them so far.
I agree with fellow advocates, especially those in the parental advocacy group, Class Size Matters, that the Mayor needs to eliminate contracts that add up to over $700 million for busing while the pandemic still exists and schools are closed, professional development, as well as consultants whose services are not needed during the pandemic. I agree with Council member Brad Lander's proposal to freeze the hiring of NYPD officers. There is so much that can be done on both the state and local level.to make sure that students do not further become the victims of an already bias and divisive system.
I propose that the $11 Billion Mass Incarceration Expansion Project that was voted on by 35 senseless council members, be given the ax and that those funds be redirected towards education, public housing and healthcare. On the state level, I propose that we tax the 122 billionaires in New York State, in which 42 of them live in New York City. This along with other taxes such as a "Stock Buy Back" Tax. These taxes as well as a "Millionaire's Tax" can more than likely bring about an increase of $20 Billion a year in revenue into New York State. This will not be an increase in taxes, this will be the wealthy paying their fare share of taxes instead of the working class being the ones to have to give their last. There are many other ways to bring in even more revenue into the city and state on top of what was listed. The bottom line is, Do Not Cut Education and the Programs that are needed by the People. Prioritize the People and not the proposals of the Wealthy and Privileged."
*Anthony Beckford is a Single Father, Disabled U.S. Marine Corps Veteran, Community Leader, Former UFT Member and 2021 Candidate for the 45th City Council District. He has been a longstanding advocate for housing, education, healthcare and many other issues that our communities face. Anthony is the President and Co-Founder of Black Lives Matter Brooklyn and the Save Our Youth Initiative.
Housing Is A Human Right: Anthony Beckford has always been an advocate for tenants and homeowners. He has taken on the #1 Worst Landlord of New York City, Jason Korn, and will continue to fight against crooked slumlords and greedy developers on behalf of community members in the district and throughout New York City. He helped to advocate for the progressive NYS Tenant Laws that recently passed in Albany. He plans to release his Housing Justice Plan within his first 30 days in office. His plan includes 40% Rent Rollbacks, turn shelters into permanent housing, Moratorium on Rezonings, Reform the ULURP Process, Land Use decisions based on community input, implement a vacancy tax on landlords who try to warehouse their available units (which includes storefronts as well), increase Fep Voucher amounts, rollback of property tax for homeowners to reflect the purchase price of their home and not the market price due to newly built towers, prosecution and property seizures of corrupt landlords, tenant protection unit in each council district, AMI to be calculated based on per zipcode, building of 100% Affordable Low Income housing, penalize banks for racially bias redlining and predatory lending, Fully Fund and Fix NYCHA, provide a pathway to home ownership along with providing Tenants with the option to purchase their apartments, get rid of MCIs, put an end to deed theft, protect home owners from foreclosure and much more. Beckford will also make sure that he advocates for parts of the community that seek to be landmarked. Anthony supports the need to create supportive housing for persons with disabilities. *Anthony Beckford is also the only candidate that does not take REBNY money and has taken the #HomesGuarantee Pledge and the only candidate that supports Expanding Right To Counsel. Anthony Beckford also stated the following, "During this pandemic we must Cancel Rent and Mortgages. We must protect not only tenants living in apartments, but also commercial tenants and homeowners who are tenants to their banks. The cancellation must be implemented for a year and go back retroactively to February 2020. Upon the year timeline, if this pandemic persists, then the cancellation must be renewed. Homeowners who are small landlords, must also be given access to a grant that they can use to pay their property taxes and water bills. Corporate landlords must be exempted by using a guideline that allows anyone with less than 18 units to be able to have access and approval to the grants."
Education: Anthony Beckford will push for the release of the over $1.4 Billion owed to New York City Public Schools. Anthony has advocated for more social workers in schools, pay increases for Teachers, Mentorship Groups and Vocational training in schools, Free Afterschool Programs, Free Childcare, creation of Financial Literacy courses, as well as a year round K to 12 curriculum of Black History Education. Anthony Beckford will introduce his #CUNYforAll initiative which aligns with the demands of the #FreeCUNY movement. This will not only expand the CUNY ASAP program, but will make CUNY Free for all New York Residents. Anthony will work to not only make CUNY tuition free under his #CUNYforAll initiative for all New Yorkers, but his plan also includes free monthly metrocards, monthly food stipends and free books for students. Adjuncts must also be able to receive the $7,000 per course that they have been demanded for some time now. *Anthony supports the "New Deal For CUNY" initiative by Cuny Rising.
Climate Justice: Anthony Beckford aims to push for more community gardens and rooftop gardens. He has been an avid supporter of green spaces and eco-justice. Beckford is a supporter of the #GreenNewDeal and is the only candidate to take the #NoFossilFuelMoney and the #GreenNewDeal pledges. Beckford believes that we must have clean renewable energy. Anthony has also been an advocate for rooftop gardens which will help provide cleaner air and reduce utility costs. Also, calls for there to be Public Power.
Healthcare: Anthony Beckford believes that their must be #SafeStaffing to provide an safer patient to nurse ratio in all hospitals and healthcare facilities. Beckford has been an advocate in regards to ending the high mortality rates in our hospitals and is pushing for all New Yorkers to be able to have affordable healthcare and lower prescription costs. Beckford also believes that when it comes to patient care, that there must be a focus on Patients over Profits, which is why he is the only candidate to take the #PatientsOverProfits pledge. Anthony is ready to release his Comprehensive Care Plan which will address the lack of access to care and the Black Maternal Mortality Rate. Anthony Beckford also believes that medical coverage should be affordable and adequate for everyone, which is why he supports the New York Health Act.
Police and Criminal Justice Reform: Anthony Beckford advocated for the original 911 Anti-Discrimination Bill, that would have held people such as Amy Cooper accountable for calling 911 against a person based on a racist agenda. Anthony has always been vocal for the redistribution of NYPD funds that be used to provide funding for youth and senior programs, education, mental health services and to hire more counselors for our schools, even before there was a national call. Anthony will introduce legislation for a portion of the civil suits to be taken from the pension of officers, the denial of any paid leave for officers under investigation for brutality and the murder of unarmed people, any officer that is charged with a felony to automatically lose their pension, provide Mayoral and City Council Control over the firing of Officers, implementation of the Elected Civilian Review Board and much more. Anthony has been advocating for the Repeal of the "Walking While Trans Ban", the closure of Rikers without expanding mass incarceration with the building 4 new jails, and the end to solitary confinement. "I will put an end to the building of thr 4 new jails that my opponent voted for and use those capital funds to build affordable low income housing for New Yorkers." - Anthony Beckford / Anthony is also the President of Black Lives Matter Brooklyn and the President of the Brooklyn Chapter of Copwatch Patrol Unit.
Animal Rights: Anthony Beckford supports the push to end classroom incubation projects, cease the slaughter of animals in live animal markets, banning wildlife-killing contests, ban commercial sale of cats, dogs, and rabbits by pet shops and ban the sale and manufacturing of new fur apparel. I also look forward to banning horse carriages in New York and will promote the adoption of companion animals as I have done.
Tax The Rich: Anthony Beckford is committed to making the billionaires and millionaires pay their fare share of taxes. There are about 119 billionaires in New York with a combined wealth of over $600 Billion. There are 979,000 high maintenance millionaires who make $1.5 million to $29 million a year. 8,800 ultra high maintenance millionaires who make $29 Million and up. The combined wealth reaches past $4.759 Trillion a year. Anthony will seek to push the state and city to implement a 5% to 10.5% Equity Tax on that combined wealth to bring in more than $287 Billion a year in revenue for New York to full fund services and programs that we need. Anthony also supports Assemblywoman Yuh Lin's legislation to implement a "Stock Buy Back Tax" and other pieces of legislation that will create another possible $13 Billion in revenue.
Small Business: Anthony is a strong business for small businesses. He has been vocal and consistent in his support of the Small Business Job Survival Act (SBJSA). Anthony believes that in order to create economical growth, that we must protect our small businesses and their employees. Anthony Beckford is ready to reintroduce the SBJSA and get it passed once he is elected the new City Council Member of the 45th District. In regards to.our small businesses that have been closing due to Covid, Anthony will work to make sure that the businesses are provided city, state and federal relief so that they do not permanently shut their doors.
Public Safety: New Yorkers must feel safe in their communities and in their homes. In order to do this, we must implement a community mentorship program for our youth, provide mental health services and be able to rid our communities of poverty. Poverty is one of thr leading causes to crime, due to the various hardships and disparities it causes. Once we fully fund our schools, community programs and provide more job and economical growth, we will see a drastic decrease in crime.
Questions regarding any other issues can be directed to [email protected]
Anthony Beckford is a Single Father, Disabled U.S. Marine Corps Veteran, Community Leader, Ordained Minister, Organizer, Former UFT Member, Freelancers Union Member, Elected Kings County Democratic Party Committee Member and a member of the Democratic Socialists of America. Anthony is also the President and Co-Founder of Black Lives Matter Brooklyn and the President of the Brooklyn Sector of Copwatch Patrol Unit. He is a graduate of Midwood High School and active community member. Anthony is also one of the newly elected Kings County Democratic County Committee Member and the next City Council Member of the 45th District
Anthony has always been boots on the ground and on the frontlines advocating for our communities. He has shown true dedication, leadership, integrity and consistency. He is the son of immigrant parents from Jamaica and is a first generation Brooklynite. His mother worked hard as a visiting nurse for years and became a School Crossing Guard to make sure that her schedule aligned with his school schedule. His mother has been a school crossing guard for for over 30 years and is a long time Union member of DC37 Local 372. Her dedication, sacrifices and selflessness, has taught Anthony how to think of others before himself, be the advocate that he is today and take on the role as a significant leader in the community. Her involvement with her union has shown Anthony the importance of a Union family while growing up.
Anthony has helped advocate on many of the issues we face and has advocated for many of the State and Local legislations for Criminal Justice Reform, Immigration Protections, Workers Rights, Women's Rights, Animal Rights, Housing, Education and so much. Many of these pieces of legislation have passed, but he knows that more can be done. During the Covid-19 pandemic, Anthony established food and mask distribution sites and drop-off services. He has partnered with grassroots organizations and fellow advocates to provide over 160,000 hot meals in partnership with the Gyro King, PAYS and other organizations, 25,000 PPEs and over 900 bottles of handmade hand sanitizers to first responders, essential workers and community members. After the murder of George Floyd, he has organized and led various protests and helped with the push that led to 11 Police Reform Bills to be passed in New York State and 6 in the City.
Anthony has been endorsed by New York Communities for Change (NYCC), Concerned Citizens For Change (chapter of NYPAN), Jim Owles Liberal Democratic Club, Future STEPS US, League of Humane Voters - NY, Caribbean Unity Alliance, Brooklyn Progressive Alliance, etc.
As the next City Council Member of #District45, which is Flatbush, East Flatbush, Midwood, Marine Park, Flatlands and Kensington, Anthony has vowed to introduce much needed legislation in regards to 100% Affordable Low Income Housing, Education, Affordable Childcare, Free Afterschool and Summer Programs, an increase in Youth Employment, Saving our Small Businesses, Police Accountability, Animal, Environmental and Labor Protections and much more within his first 30 to 90 days in office. He has been working together with other advocates and community members to create a way to provide a Free CUNY, Fully Fund and Fix NYCHA, make Public Transportation Free, bring about 100% Affordable Low to Moderate Income Housing, Rent Rollbacks, adequate protections for Homeowners, a pathway to homeownership and much more. Anthony is also the lead advocate for the African American History and Achievements Bill, which will provide a year round Black History curriculum in public school from grades K to 12. The Voices of the People Will Be Heard!
Anthony Beckford is the only candidate who has taken the People Over Profits, Green New Deal, No Fossil Fuel Money, No Cop Money, Green New Deal for NYC, New York Health Act and Homes Guarantee Pledges. He has always been and will continue to be the amplification of the Voice of the Silenced.
* Anthony Beckford is a member of Flatbush Tenant Coalition, MDCNY, NYPAN , CBPAA, Caribbean Unity Alliance, Brooklyn Progressive Alliance, East Flatbush Progressive Alliance, NYC Against ICE, New Kings Democrats, Citizens Action of New York, JFREJ, Democratic Socialists of America, NYC Democratic Socialists of America, National Low Income Housing Coalition, Central Brooklyn Independent Democrats, NAN, Brooklyn Young Democrats, Bangladeshi for Political Progress, Black Lives Matter Movement, Rosa Parks Democratic Club, Indivisible Bk, Citizens Action New York, South Central Brooklyn United for Progress Discussion and Working Families Party. He is also a founding member of Central Brooklyn For Bernie 2020.
Anthony Beckford is your Number One Democratic Choice as the 45th District City Council Member.
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Anthony Beckford and the Honorable Una Clarke
Anthony Beckford with Assemblyman Nick Perry
Anthony Beckford with Public Advocate Jumaane Williams
Congresswoman AOC and Councilman Anthony Beckford fighting for Tenants
Anthony Beckford and Zephyr Teachout