Howard Wolfson’s phone was ringing off the hook yesterday. As of this writing, the deputy mayor for government affairs has received at least 1,024 calls on his office line today from constituents asking him to preserve funding for child care and after-school in the Mayor’s Executive Budget. The telephone tempest was organized by Campaign for Children, a group dedicated to fighting proposed cuts to childcare and after-school programs run by the Administration for Children’s Services and the Department of Youth and Community Development that were included in Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s preliminary budget plan.
Mr. Wolfson earned the activist’s ire by defending the mayor’s budget in the media. As of this writing, Mr. Wolfson and the mayor’s office have not responded to The Politicker’s request for comment about the phone flap, but the mayor’s office was quite proud of the budget when it was first rolled out. In a presentation at City Hall in February, Mayor Bloomberg praised his budget plan for closing a $2 billion gap without tax increases or layoffs of teachers, firefighters and police officers. The mayor’s proposed budget included $437 million in cuts.
Campaign for Children is supported by several New York City politicians including Public Advocate Bill de Blasio and a slew of Council members. The campaign is also supported by over 150 local organizations including the Children’s Aid Society, YMCA of Greater NY, UJA-Federation of New York and Alianza Dominicana.