Democratic Governor Andrew Cuomo’s state budget proposal includes a $25 million cut in funding for New York City’s senior centers. If passed, 105 centers will be closed across the five boroughs. The centers provide the elderly with free meals, social services, and companionship. The closures would have an enormous impact on the lives of older New Yorkers, many of whom live in poverty. Cuomo has flatly rejected calls to extend the “millionaire tax” in order to save the centers.
On March 11, hundreds of elderly workers and retirees from across the city gathered at City Hall to protest against Cuomo’s attack on senior centers. Many of the protestors came to the rally with friends they’d met at their local senior center. A number of them carried homemade signs as they denounced the Bloomberg administration. Most were eager to express their outrage at the slated closures.