Join Us at the City Council Budget Hearing this Friday

Last week we rallied for parks and green spaces, and we wrote our elected officials, but there’s still something you can do that will have a huge impact. 

This Friday, March 8th, at 2:00 pm the City Council Parks Committee is holding a public budget hearing. This is when the Council will start to decide how much money they’ll ask the Mayor to include in the upcoming City budget, and it is your opportunity to tell them in-person to Play Fair for our parks and green spaces. 

Giving testimony at a City Council hearing is one of the most powerful ways of making your voice heard. By showing up in-person and speaking on the record, you’re sending the message loud and clear that our parks and green spaces need more funding.  

Certain members of the City Council are on what’s called the Budget Negotiating Team (BNT), and they meet directly with the Mayor on behalf of the entire City Council. The more people who show up at the hearing to speak on the record, the harder the BNT will push the Mayor to fund Parks. 

If you can make it, we need you there. 

The hearing will take place in the Committee Room of New York City Hall. The hearing begins at 2pm when representatives from the Parks Department and other City agencies will speak, and the public can give testimony starting at 4pm. 

If you can’t make it, you can still submit written testimony that the City Council members will read. Send your testimony to our Director of Outreach & Programs, Emily Walker at, and she will bring it to the hearing.  

Whether you’ll be there in-person, or sending written testimony, here are the main points you should address:

  • The Play Fair Coalition is asking the City to commit $100M in additional funding for the NYC Parks Expense Budget.
  • $10 M means that once and for all, 100 City Park Workers and 50 Gardeners will have secure, stable green jobs.
  • $4 M provides an investment in natural forest care to help protect NYC from climate change.
  • $65 M would provide funding for more parks of all sizes to have full-time, dedicated staff to help keep things clean and green.
  • About $8 M would fund improvements for every GreenThumb community garden in the City.
  • $4 M would fund more seasonal after-school programs and other programming for children and families.
  • $9M means that natural areas and parks are better preserved, protected, and made safer

If you’ve never given testimony to the City Council before, we created a webinar, below, and step-by-step instructions that cover everything you need to know.

If you’d like a deep-dive into how the City Budget process works, you can learn more in this blog post from 2017. While the exact dates aren’t the same, the process does not change. 

Last week’s Play Fair Rally was just the beginning – we hope you’ll join us at City Hall to continue sending a powerful message to the City that it’s time to Play Fair for our parks.

Going on the Record: How to Give Testimony at a City Council Hearing

You can read the full transcript of the webinar, with step by step instructions, here.