Friday, July 22, 2011

Jacob Coker-Dukowitz, our Advocacy Coordinator, Writes a Letter to the Editor of The Miami Herald

Budget cuts would put lives at risk

Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez’s proposed budget, if approved, would be a crippling blow to the health and well-being of our economy and our residents, cutting core services and frontline jobs during a time of high unemployment. Miami-Dade cannot afford the same unpopular slash-and-burn tactics that Gov. Rick Scott used in the state budget. According to The Miami Herald, 93 percent of Miami-Dade County residents don’t want social services cut. And, while anger towards overpaid staff is widespread, most residents don’t want cuts to frontline county workers who earn less than $80,000 a year.
Cutting services and jobs will result in more unemployment, more foreclosures and a further eroded tax base, placing the safety of our families at risk.
Miami-Dade County currently funds domestic violence programs such as MUJER, social-service organizations such as Switchboard and food banks such as Curly’s House that serve thousands of residents. The proposed 50-percent cut to any of these organizations could translate to loss of lives. County funding for these programs leverages millions of dollars in private funding that flows into our community. Protecting our frontline county employees and nonprofit service providers from budget cuts will ensure that our community thrives.
Our Penny Wise Campaign derives its name from the expression, “Don’t be penny wise and pound foolish.” The County Commission should not make short-term cuts that could have onerous long-term consequences.

Jacob Coker-Dukowitz, The Penny Wise Campaign & Catalyst Miami, Miami

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