July 11, 2023
Mayor Eric Adams: Yeah, I'll be hood forever. Thank you so much. And this is just a really amazing bill that Councilwoman Louis is putting forward. Financial literacy is crucial. I'll never forget Councilwoman going to my son's college at America University and all of those credit card companies that were there and he thought getting a credit card, the money was going to come from the money God or something and he didn't have to pay them back. And what you are doing, particularly for those youth who are in need and runaway youth, is crucial. And so today, I hold a hearing and signing on a bill that makes financial literacy a part of the city's youth programs, and actually need to be for some adults as well, now that I think about it. Financial literacy is a foundational skill for our young people. It is not really formally taught and part of their academic focus is something that I think we need to do more of and this bill is really helping us accomplish this task.
Far too many of our kids are being left behind. We want to ensure that every student will be ready for what comes after high school and help them get on the pathway to a bright future, and that means preparing them for the 21st century economy, helping them learn the skills they need to succeed, including financial literacy. We all experienced that. We were all young once, and we look back over our credit scores and see some of the mistakes we made. With the proper financial literacy training, we could prevent some of those mistakes. The information is crucial. We especially want to help those black and brown students with this important skill. As all New Yorkers can receive a greater understanding of their finance, those students who live in economically challenging communities can benefit greatly. Everything from check cashing places to not having a checking or savings account could have a major impact on buying a home, purchasing a vehicle, or even paying for college.
This bill will equip our young people with the financial skills they need today so they can build their futures tomorrow. And it builds on the good work we are already doing through the Department of Consumer Affairs and Worker's Protection to help New Yorkers reach their financial goals. With programs like Financial Empowerment Centers and our New York City Free Tax Prep, Intro 54-A codifies the Department of Youth and Community Development's Financial Literacy Programs and the Summer Youth Employment Programs and Runaway and Youth Programs. I want to really thank the Councilwoman and Commissioner Howard for using our Summer Youth Employment Program as a way to really give our young people some of the soft skills and some of the important skills that they're going to need as they face the future ahead of them. And so now, I want to invite Council Member Farah Louis, who is the sponsor of Intro 54-A to say a few words. Councilwoman.
City Councilmember Farah Louis: Thank you. Good afternoon everyone. I'm proud to see my bill, Intro 54, being signed by Mayor Adams today. The bill is a major step for the city and ending intergenerational poverty to build a more inclusive economy, providing real economic opportunities for all, requiring dedication and intentionality and collaboration to this cause from the Department of Youth and Community Development as well as DYWP. Many young people in transitional and independent living support or runaway homeless programs in our city lack a holistic and comprehensive approach to financial etiquette training when they leave or age out of their programs. According to youth.gov, every year, nationwide, 23,000 youth age out of foster care without permanent placement. These young people often face challenges including completing their education, finding employment, struggling with financial security, and often land in the criminal justice system. This bill creates the structure for providers to offer courses and programs that provide the financial skill building our young people need for economic stability and success.
It is our duty to ensure that our youth, no matter the conflicts or crises, have the experience they need to receive the services they need to succeed in the world as they become adults. By mandating DYCD to submit reports on financial services that our youth in these programs are receiving, we as a city can ensure that we are maximizing the potential for these young people to have brighter futures. In curating this legislation, we work to ensure that we are creating the best possible framework for the programs that will be managed by DYCD, which will include personal banking, savings, credit, life insurance, taxes, and much more. The city is overdue and focusing on financial toolkits our youth can utilize to be productive citizens, and Intro 54 will create that framework that will provide skill building for economic stability and success.
I want to thank Mayor Eric Adams, Speaker Adrienne Adams, Commissioner Howard, the chair of the Committee on Youth Services, Althea Stevens — thank you, Althea, for all your help — Sara Liss, Christina, and the Legislative Council for Youth Services for taking a stand and making an impact on thousands of lives and outcomes for our city's youth. Thank you.
Mayor Adams: Thank you. Great bill. Thank you so much. And I too want to join and thank the speaker and the chair of the youth committee. And now, I wanted to invite the public for comment. No comment. Amaris? Do you have anything to say? And so, we will now sign Intro 54-A.