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Advocates: Sequester Hurts Utica/Central New York

Community organizations and agencies gathered in Utica today to call on Washington to repeal sequestration and support measures that will help close the federal deficit without hurting vulnerable groups.   

Advocates are concerned about the impact of across-the-board cuts to education, public safety, health screenings, and many other essential programs that took effect March 1st.  They emphasized the urgent need for Congress to overcome political gridlock and find a way to replace the $85 billion in destructive cuts in 2013 to services that seniors, children and families with alternative plans that create new revenue and support economic growth.

John Furman, President of the Central New York Citizens in Action, stated:  “The poor and vulnerable will be hurt the most by these mandatory automatic spending cuts.  These cuts will have a devastating impact on cities like Utica that rely upon federal housing, feeding, health, law enforcement, and education assistance to meet the needs of persons in need.  Utica, which has a poverty rate twice the national average, will lose millions of dollars of assistance.”

Ron Deutsch, Executive Director of New Yorkers for Fiscal Fairness, highlighted the significant cuts to programs and services that will occur as a result of sequestration. Chris Munn, Director of Residential Operations for Central New York Services in Syracuse, is worried about the effects of sequestration on the homeless community.
The advocates cite a report issued by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities that determined Congress has already cut $2.50 in spending for every $1 it has raised in new revenues, already achieveing $2.4 trillion in deficit reduction since 2011.

Dave Lucas is WAMC’s Capital Region Bureau Chief. Born and raised in Albany, he’s been involved in nearly every aspect of local radio since 1981. Before joining WAMC, Dave was a reporter and anchor at WGY in Schenectady. Prior to that he hosted talk shows on WYJB and WROW, including the 1999 series of overnight radio broadcasts tracking the JonBenet Ramsey murder case with a cast of callers and characters from all over the world via the internet. In 2012, Dave received a Communicator Award of Distinction for his WAMC news story "Fail: The NYS Flood Panel," which explores whether the damage from Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee could have been prevented or at least curbed. Dave began his radio career as a “morning personality” at WABY in Albany.
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