Right to Life County Executive Rob Astorino is wasting no time building his first budget on the tenets of Anti-Choice Extremism: Champion the Fetus, but once it’s born, throw it under the bus…deprive it of food, health care, shelter and education.
Astorino’s Anti-Child Anti-Family Budget
The first thing Astorino did to draft his Anti-Child Anti-Family Budget was to go after the truly defenseless.
He took a sledge hammer to child care funding, pulverizing it by taking away 4.3 million dollars—this after the most recent census data reported that 16.7 percent of Westchester children under 5 years of age are living in poverty, which is up from 9.6 percent in 2005.
Even the business community opposes the Astorino-style anti-child budget. Why? Because they insist that we will only stem our country’s declining competitive advantage in the global economy if we invest in our children’s early years. The strongest advocates for increasing spending for quality services for young children are leading economists like Nobel winner James Heckman and Art Rolnick, and national groups like the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and America’s Partnership for Economic Success.
Astorino also cut all the 4-H programs in Westchester, which rely on matching grants to survive. If Westchester does not provide any funding, there is nothing to match!
Astorino’s Next Target: Families.
Astorino is planning on closing one of the most highly regarded family shelters, WestHelp, which houses 70 homeless families. The shelter is part of the HELP agency which was founded more than two decades ago to provide transitional housing to the homeless. It has 108 units and offers its residents job training and day-care services. WESTHelp’s occupancy rate has doubled since September and can be expected to continue to rise as applications for food stamps have risen in recent months.
Astorino also has Westchester’s health care system on the chopping block. Treating thousands of patients annually, the community health centers, Open Door Family Medical Center and Hudson River HealthCare have taken on the role of the Department of Health’s local clinics, providing preventive health care to the poor and uninsured. Astorino plans to savage their budgets, resulting in, among other things, kids without inoculations, women without prenatal care and seniors without necessary medical treatment.
Astorino’s pièces de résistance budget cut: He is closing all the community mental health clinics this year—50% on January 1, 2011 and the remaining 50% on July 1, 2011. Clearly Mr. Astorino is out of touch with the needs of real people and their families. Depression which often leads to domestic abuse, murder, and suicide is a direct result of unemployment and feeling out of control.
Remember, Astorino is dong this as job loss has driven more Westchester residents into the ranks of the uninsured and underinsured.
Astorino is Playing Three-Card Monte with Your Tax Dollars!
Astorino claims that he is doing all this to lower taxes by 1%-but there really is no 1% decrease. Astorino is raising fees and borrowing money to pay: 1. tax certiorari payments, 2. increased cost of pensions, and 3. pension buy-outs.
We will be paying for that for years to come. If anyone sees a reduction in his/her county taxes it will be approximately $20, and then only under very limited circumstances!
Call Your Westchester County Legislator and
Tell Them to Say NO
to Right to Life County Executive Astorino’s Budget
CBL 1 John Testa [-] (914) 995-2828
CBL 2 Peter Harckham [+] (914) 995-2810
CBL 3 John Nonna [+] (914) 995-2847
CBL 4 Michael Kaplowitz [+] (914) 995-2848
CBL 5 William Ryan [+] (914) 995-2827
CBL 6 Martin Rogowsky [+] (914) 995-2834
CBL 7 Judy Myers [+] (914) 995-2802
CBL 8 Alfreda Williams [+] (914) 995-2833
CBL 9 William Burton [+] (914) 995-2812
CBL 10 Sheila Marcotte [-] (914) 995-2817
CBL 11 Jim Maisano [+] (914) 995-2826
CBL 12 Thomas Abinanti [+] (914) 995-2821
CBL 13 Lyndon D. Williams [-] (914) 995-2837
CBL 14 Bernice Spreckman [+] (914) 995-2815
CBL 15 Gordon Burrows [-] (914) 995-2830
CBL 16 Ken Jenkins [+] (914) 995-2829
CBL 17 Jose Alvarado [+] (914) 995-2846
(+) = pro-choice
(-) = anti-choice