Mayor David To Congress: Federal COVID-19 Relief Package Under Consideration Must Include Aid To Small Cities Like Binghamton

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From the office of Mayor Richard David:

BINGHAMTON, NY — Mayor Richard C. David on Tuesday released the following statement, expressing concern that the federal COVID-19 relief package under consideration for a vote today could limit direct assistance to cities with populations of 500,000 or more:

“Federal COVID-19 assistance to cities cannot be limited to large metropolitan areas. Cities of all sizes, including Binghamton, are on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic response. These cities, and their residents, cannot be forgotten on Capitol Hill.

“Direct fiscal assistance to all cities will ensure that mayors can continue to provide vital public services and support those most critically impacted by the crisis.

“Federal aid is necessary to cover costs incurred by cities during this pandemic, including overtime, sick time, other employee compensation, telecommuting equipment, collections forgiveness, gutted sales tax revenues and other impacts yet to be fully known or understood. Federal funds will also support local efforts to procure personal protective equipment such as devices for respiratory protection, gloves, masks and eye protection for first responders.

“I’ve personally been in contact with the offices of Senators Schumer and Gillibrand, as well as members of New York State’s congressional delegation. I’m encouraging New York’s mayors to join this effort and ask New York’s federal lawmakers to ensure cities like Binghamton receive critical direct assistance as part of fiscal relief legislation.”

Mayor David signed on to a letter from the United States Conference of Mayors to members of Congress supporting direct emergency assistance to cities as part of the federal relief packages under consideration.

The U.S Conference of Mayors is urging Congress to use the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) allocation structure for the new federal stabilization program. The CDBG allocation structure provides funds directly to eligible cities, including Binghamton.

Mayor David, 1st Vice President of the New York Conference of Mayors (NYCOM), is also helping coordinate statewide advocacy efforts on this issue.

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