DNAinfo: City Council Launches Campaign to Save City Senior Centers From Albany Budget Cuts
By Gabriela Resto-Montero
Published March 9, 2010
CITY HALL — Gov. David Paterson's plan to divert $25.2 million in federal funds away from the Department of Aging would force up to 100 senior centers around the city to close, City Councilman Jessica Lappin said yesterday at a rally outside City Hall.
Flanked by seniors from across the city to launch a "Save our Centers" campaign, the Upper East Side representative said Albany would leave 5,500 seniors without a service center. The centers provide meals, legal services and social activities for older New Yorkers.
"It was a sneaky cut, it was not done in a transparent way," Lappin said of Paterson's proposed change. The governor would shift the money to cover domestic violence programs.
After the protest, Council members held a hearing where they sought specifics about which centers would be closed. The hearing was expected to last through Tuesday afternoon.
Mel Torr began using the senior center programs offered at Hamilton Madison House on the Upper West Side last year.
"It's the richness of being there that makes our days worthwhile," Torr said. "By the way, the lunch is excellent."