Protestors clanged and banged in front of Council Member Stephen Levin’s apartment yesterday evening as he joined a majority of members that passed the City Council’s budget for the upcoming fiscal year.
The protest followed Levin’s announcement earlier this week that he would vote in support of a city budget that cuts the NYPD’s funding by $1 billion.
We restored all $100m+ cuts that bdb made to teachers,social workers, guidance counselors in DOE-We couldn’t create a UBI system in 5 weeks. We need to keep talking after the budget vote, but I’ll be voting yes. Right now, the kids are yelling so getting off Twitter 4 couple hrs
— (((Stephen Levin))) (@StephenLevin33) June 30, 2020
Demonstrators, however, exhorted him to cast a ‘no’ vote on a budget they say didn’t go far enough in defunding the city police.
“We don’t want them to pass the bill. It’s not what we asked for,” said Melina Juárez, a member of the protest who lives in Williamsburg. “It was just moving money around.”
Levin acknowledged that what was on the table was unsatisfactory for many of his constituents.
“This is the most difficult and heart-rending budget in recent memory,” he said during yesterday night’s hearing. “I too am disappointed that we weren’t able to go further with cuts to the NYPD.”
The small group of protestors made a clamor from 8 p.m. to 9 p.m. Their chants not only reached Levin’s ears but got the attention of locals that lived nearby.
“The whole thing was a bit annoying (my dog was very confused) for us, but I wasn’t about to call the cops or anything,” said a neighbor that lives across the street from Levin’s residence. (He declined to give his name.)
This was not the first time that activists brought politics to politicians’ doorsteps during the past month. Council Speaker Corey Johnson said protestors rang his boyfriend’s doorbell at all hours of the night after Mayor de Blasio announced the budget deal. And anti-budget proponents tried to track down Council Member Justin Brannan, who represents parts of South Brooklyn, during yesterday evening’s vote.
@JustinBrannan voted YES on a disgraceful budget that doesn’t cut NYPD by $1b. We showed up at his home, he wasn’t there. We showed up at his office, he saw us &went into the back. A pizza delivery guy was delivering a pizza to him and left when Justin wouldn’t come out. Why lie? pic.twitter.com/WKX72YpVXO
— sweet potato (@gold_so_hella) July 1, 2020
While Levin provided no comment regarding the protestors outside his apartment building, he plans to attend one of the nightly McCarren Park vigils next week to speak with constituents about why he voted ‘yes’ for the budget.