On May 29, at 7 p.m. in the Council Chambers, hundreds of citizens showed up to protest the FY2019 budget which did not contain funding for the Environmental Specialist and Arts Coordinator positions. The arts community was represented by numerous adults who were nurtured by the Summer Circus program, including a young woman named Jasmine who entered the Council Chambers on tall “giraffe stilts.” She had to duck to get through the door, and the camera needed to move up to capture her head and face. The testimonies were eloquent and passionate.
In the end, the Council voted 7-3 to sustain the Mayor’s veto of the relevant line items. 8 votes were needed to override the veto. But the struggle is not over. The positions still need to be evaluated, and refilled.
The Jonah Center and members of the environmental community remain concerned about the future of the Department of Planning, Conservation, and Development, which has 2 vacant positions and is struggling to complete urgent, necessary work.