Committee on Cultural Affairs, Libraries and International Intergroup Relations

March 12, 2024

Get up to Speed

City council members with a crowd of New Yorkers at City Hall holding signs in support of public libraries.

On March 12th, NYC Public Libraries organized a rally at City Hall in response to library cuts. The NYC Public Libraries face a $58.3 million loss in city-funded operating support. In the Administration’s November Plan, New York City Libraries received a 5% cut amounting to a $23.6M reduction to their current Fiscal Year 2024 budgets. This significant reduction forced libraries to eliminate seven-day service across the city, including ending Sunday service at almost all branches that offered it. They also reduced spending on library materials, programming, and building maintenance and repairs. FY25 cuts would lead to the continued loss of seven-day service, and further service impacts which will be outlined at the hearing.

Get Involved

This is a NYC Council FY25 Preliminary Budget Hearing, and we encourage NYCETC members to tune in and speak up. We will be using the preliminary budget hearings to elevate and advance our specific interests. Last year, our advocacy helped lead our city to restore and/or expand job training especially for in-school youth and added more than $1M to workforce development initiatives.

This year, we are intensely focused on communicating the value and impact of workforce development programs and services; combatting cuts to CUNY continuing education and cuts to adult literacy programs; championing human services investments and contextualized training programs; and emphasizing the linkage between workforce development and economic development.

In preparation for this meeting, we suggest reviewing the Committee report prepared for Council members that includes an extensive breakdown of the proposed Department of Cultural Affairs budget for FY25. NYCETC’s written testimony for the hearing is available here.

How do I sign-up?

If you would like to sign up to testify via Zoom Web, Zoom Phone, or in person, you must submit your name at least 24 hours in advance. Written testimony may be submitted through the same link up to 72 hours after a hearing has been adjourned. Details on this hearing can be found on the NYC Council website.

Why should my organization testify?

You have power. You have influence. As the largest city-based workforce development organization in the country, it is essential that it is our voice that is heard first, last, and loudest on the topic of workforce development.  Remember: The City put forward a Blueprint mapping out its vision for the future of work and our Mayor communicated at his State of the City that he wants to hit 5,000,000 jobs by 2025. It is the members of this coalition that will be relied upon to make that vision a reality. We need investment in this budget to ensure equity, access, and #quality jobs. For our reaction to the State of the City, click here.

Planning to testify?

Let us know that you are testifying! Email Stephanie Birmingham,, and Greg Morris

Please include the following in your testimony: “We are a proud member of the New York City Employment and Training Coalition (NYCETC). NYCETC serves as the ‘industry voice’ of more than 220 workforce development providers in NYC who are relied upon to connect New Yorkers of all ages – in every borough – to quality jobs and a living wage; and the services and support necessary to achieve self-sufficiency and economic mobility.

Campaigns We Support

We proudly support the following coalitions and campaigns led by our partners and peers in advocacy, and encourage you to use these resources as you prepare your testimony:

#JustPay Campaign: HSC Sample Testimony

New York City Coalition for Adult Literacy (NYCCAL): LAC Sample Testimony

#WHY15 Campaign: Nonprofit New York Sample Testimony