To the editor:
As older adults and as members of RSS-Riverdale Senior Services, the social action committee is appalled at Mayor Eric Adams’ proposed budget cuts of $7 million in funding for older adult centers — $5 million in funding home-delivered meals, and elimination of the additional one-time reimbursement rate for home-delivered meals.
We speak not only for ourselves, but for other members of older adult centers in the Bronx and the other boroughs throughout New York City. The budget cuts could result in the closure or consolidation of older adult centers. Further, just to maintain existing services, the city needs to add $60 million to an already strained system.
These unwarranted budget cuts, as proposed, sparked a large turnout of more than 400 older adults and aging service professionals — including our own — protesting at City Hall on May 11. City Council members, including Council Speaker Adrienne Adams, pledged to make every effort to restore these cuts.
It should also be noted that our councilman, Eric Dinowitz, has advocated for us.
The mayor’s proposed budget will harm New York City’s future. As one example, young people, single or married, knowing that they too will become older adults will move out of New York, seeing how older adults are so treated. Also, young people living out of town will not relocate to New York City for the same reason.
This is a callous disregard of the city’s 1.8 million older adults, who make up more than 20 percent of the city’s population.
The author is a member of the RSS-Riverdale Senior Services social action committee