The New York City Council is collecting signatures for a petition requesting reimbursement for the $1 million per day estimated cost of protecting President-elect Donald Trump and his family members while in the city.
Melissa Mark-Viverito, council speaker, and Daniel Garodnick, a councilman for the Upper East Side have already obtained over 9,000 signatures for a petition hosted at Change.org, and are hoping to reach 10,000 before delivering the petition, which is addressed to the president-elect directly.
The petition states:
‘At an estimated $1 million per day, protecting you, your family and your home at Trump Tower will total over one billion dollars during your four-year term. This represents an extraordinary financial burden for New York City taxpayers.
‘We the undersigned, including the Speaker of the New York City Council, Melissa Mark Viverito; your local City Council Member, Dan Garodnick; and the many, many ordinary New Yorkers whose taxes contribute to New York’s budget, strongly believe that the provision of security services for Presidents-elect must be the obligation of the federal government. And accordingly, we believe that the cost of that obligation must be borne by the federal government, not the City of New York.’
Both council members are Democrats and were supporters of Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton.
— NYC Council (@NYCCouncil) December 2, 2016
According to the New York Daily News, NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio has dismissed any concerns about the city receiving reimbursement from the federal government for protection services, as costs have been taken care of in the past; however, there is no public commitment to reimburse the funds as of yet.
The Observer, which is owned by Donald Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, also reported on the petition, noting that NYC has already allocated funds to increase law enforcement by some 1,300 officers. Trump’s wife Melania and his young son Barron will be remaining in Trump Tower, and the president-elect will be traveling home to Manhattan during the weekend. This would increase the need for security surrounding the family beyond of the White House on an ongoing basis.
Mayor de Blasio said he has already made a case for the reimbursement, along with announcing that he would defy any “Muslim registry” or deportation orders, despite the fact that Scott String, the city’s comptroller, said that such defiance could cost the city $7 billion in federal monies for anti-terrorism efforts, housing, hospitals, and other social services.
The Observer also noted that Staten Island Councilman Joseph Borelli, who is an outspoken supporter of a Trump presidency, agreed that the federal government should cover the excess cost of security in Manhattan, but believes the $1 million a day price tag is higher than that cited for President Barack Obama during a recent stay. According to Borelli, The Independent Budget Office quoted a cost of only $250,000 for a two-day stay in the city.
Support for the petition comes from a number of well-known New Yorkers, including best selling author Marie Rutkoski, internet entrepreneur Anil Dash, CNET writer Caroline McCarthy, Daily Show producer Anthony De Rosa, and celebrity chef Russell Jackson.
— Marie (@marierutkoski) December 4, 2016
— Anil “Original Tweeter” Dash ? (@anildash) December 2, 2016
— Caroline McCarthy (@caro) December 2, 2016
NYC taxpayers are paying to protect Trump Tower, not the federal government. https://t.co/StItGOEVTa
— ? (@Anthony) December 2, 2016
Federal Government—Not NYC—Must Cover Trump Tower Security Costs – Sign the Petition! https://t.co/RLZd55rIe0
— Chef Russell Jackson (@ChefRJackson) December 3, 2016
The petition concludes with a direct plea to President-elect Trump:
‘As a lifelong New Yorker, you understand the importance of a vibrant local economy, and one that has the resources to operate. Make it clear today that New York City is not going to get stuck with the bill.’
Featured image via Getty Images