Overshadowed (with some justification) by other momentous news from New York last night, we have some good news from Manhattan. After a lengthy negotiation process, which included constant pressure from protestors, Mayor Michael Bloomberg's office reached a deal with unions and opponents on the City Council to avert most of the promised cuts and layoffs. Teacher layoffs were avoided altogether, and no fire companies were closed. Services for elderly avoided almost all cuts, and HIV/AIDS housing funds were restored.The deal is tentative, however, and not all jobs were preserved. 2,600 teacher positions open due to attrition will be left unfilled. And the City Council still has to vote on the deal before Thursday before it can actually go into effect.Still, without constant public pressure and the courage and commitment of thousands of New Yorkers who rallied against the proposed Bloomberg cuts, thousands of jobs and hundreds of millions of dollars of essential services for the most vulnerable New Yorkers would have been long gone. The victory is also a fitting coda for Walkerville, which perhaps didn't have the same immediate success in stopping WI Gov. Scott Walker's extreme budget, but ultimately inspired New Yorkers in their own successful effort.
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