Squadron: “Budget success highlights power of organizing, importance of senior services in community.”
NEW YORK – State Senator Daniel Squadron and Assemblymember Yuh-Line Niou celebrated their successful effort to save senior centers and Naturally Occurring Retirement Communities (NORC) in the state budget, along with advocates including LiveOn NY and United Neighborhood Houses. Under preliminary budget proposals, senior centers in NYC faced a potential $17 + million cut that could have required as many as 65 centers to cut services, and NORCs faced funding gaps that could have resulted in NORC closures. Squadron also shared the attached letter with seniors to spread the good news.
Squadron led a petition effort against proposed senior center cuts that secured nearly 900 petition signatures, and pushed for NORC funding in the Senate. Niou led a push to restore and expand funding for NORCs.
“Senior centers and NORCs are more than social services -- they create the kinds of communities that make aging in place possible,” said State Senator Daniel Squadron. “It's great news that Albany has heard the call of hundreds of community members to save our senior services. I thank Assemblymember Niou, LiveOn NY, United Neighborhood Houses, the hundreds of seniors and service providers, and my colleagues who made this effort successful.”
“Protecting our senior centers was one of my top budget priorities, and I am thrilled that we were able to restore their funding in this year’s state budget,” said Assemblymember Yuh-Line Niou. “My office received dozens of calls from seniors concerned about cuts to their centers – and every single one mattered. The calls highlighted how big of a loss it would have been should senior centers lose funding for critical services. In response to this advocacy, I spearheaded efforts in the Assembly to restore funding to our neighborhood NORCs, NNORCs and settlement houses, which provide all-encompassing social services to our most vulnerable, and I am glad that our budget did not leave our seniors behind. I thank all the seniors who organized against these cuts, Senator Squadron, and my colleagues and advocates for supporting this important campaign.”
“NORCs and Senior Centers are vital community assets that help older adults connect with their neighbors and stay in their homes. UNH is relieved that senior center closures were avoided and that we can continue to grow the NORC program. We thank Senator Squadron and Assemblymember Niou for their tireless efforts to protect these programs, and for standing up for older adults in New York,” said Nora Moran, Senior Policy Analyst, United Neighborhood Houses.
Bobbie Sackman, Associate Executive Director of Public Policy, LiveOn NY, said, "On behalf of the older New Yorkers and the senior centers they defended so strongly, LiveOn NY thanks Senator Daniel Squadron for his staunch support of senior centers and NORCs. LiveOn NY's letter writing campaign resulted in an astounding 17,500 letters from 141 senior centers sent to Governor Cuomo asking him to rescind the cut that would close 65 senior centers. We could not imagine that 6000 seniors would lose their local senior center along with 1.5 million meals a year being lost. We appreciate the support of the Senate and Assembly in ensuring that no NYC senior center will close."