New York was built by the creativity, intelligence and perseverance of its people. Whether we are newcomers or our families have been here for centuries, this is our state, our home.

Millions of workers have made this state the economic hub and cultural center that it is today, and it wasn’t easy.

This state is home to all types of people, from the top 1% to the newcomers working to succeed. We’ve created solid public services–good schools, transportation, and health care services–that prosperous families and struggling ones count on. And we’ve built one of the strongest safety nets in the country to protect and support those of us in need. And that’s the New York we’re proud of.

But now our New York is in trouble – the middle class is getting squeezed, workers are under attack, our safety net is in shambles, and only the rich are gaining ground. Big banks and the Wall Street gamblers gamed the financial system with trillions of dollars in wild speculation and fraudulent lending. They crashed our economy and left the rest of us to pick up the pieces.

Thanks to us they got their bailout. Now they’re doing just fine – rich New Yorkers have more income and more wealth than ever before. The 67 billionaires who call New York home have a combined net worth of over $234.9 billion, while the rest of us are paying for their bailouts with drastic cuts to public services and over 100,000 middle-class job cuts in the public sector.

Deep poverty and income inequality are now at an all-time high in the state that once was a beacon of fairness and opportunity to the world.

In this economy, it’s crazy for Albany to give a $5 billion tax cut to the richest New Yorkers while leaving our state and local government services woefully underfunded. We should instead reinvest this money to create jobs, save schools and services, and rebuild the middle class.

Infrastructure repairs, maintaining clean water systems, energy-efficiency renovations to public and private buildings, and job-creating conservation projects in New York’s park lands and agricultural regions would create the hundreds of thousands of jobs we need. We cannot afford to put these initiatives off any longer.

It’s time to get it right and put the 99% first. We have the resources we need to create good jobs, invest in our communities, and rebuild a New York we can be proud to pass on to future generations.

How do the budget cuts affect you? These are the sectors that support your neighborhoods, cities, and communities. See how budget cuts affect them.