Donald Trump

Boston Mayor, Residents Concerned by Trump's ‘Reckless,' ‘Heartless' Budget Plan

Boston's mayor and some of its residents blasted President Trump's proposed federal budget Thursday, concerned by what it will mean for people who benefit from programs in the city.

"This is not a responsible budget," Mayor Marty Walsh said. "This is a reckless budget, and it's a heartless budget.

For Melissa and John Tyler, buying a building in East Boston's Maverick Square was dependent on the help the couple received from the East Boston Main Streets organization.

"If you're struggling, they'll come in and they'll go over everything that you're doing and work with you to put a great plan together," said Melissa.

Max Gruner, executive director of the East Boston Main Streets, said the cuts would be "absolutely disastrous" to the program.

The several Main Streets groups in Boston provide important advice — everything from payroll to storefronts — for mom and pop businesses in getting them off the ground and keeping them running.

"They really are the path, the road to enter into the American dream," Gruner said. "It really is that American story of running a little business."

The Tylers not only own the building, but they also help run a coffee shop inside. There are also several other small merchants in the building. But now, they feel the resources they and many other small businesses rely on will be no more.

"If we don't have the hand-holding that we need to help us grow, we're lost," said Melissa.

"A budget like this will bring pain," Walsh said. "I think this is just irresponsible math that they're doing in Washington, D.C."

The mayor said Trump's budget blueprint would result in the elimination of the Community Development Block Grant Program, which provides $24 million in funding for Boston alone, money used to help fund main street improvements, provide fuel assistance, fix up run down properties, clean polluted sites, pay for after-school programs for kids and support Meals on Wheels.

"It affects those programs and so many more," Walsh said. "These resources and these programs support people's quality of life. They touch everyone. They touch rich, they touch poor, they touch every single child in our city."

For the Tylers, without the help they've received, it would have been extremely difficult purchasing and renovating the once rundown building they now call Maverick Marketplace.

"Cutting those budgets for the little guy is terrible," said Melissa.

Trump's budget proposal has been attacked by Democrats and not defended by Republicans in Congress since since its release Thursday morning.

Military spending is the biggest winner under Trump's budget, which is a wish list for Congress to approve, while money for environmental programs, medical research, and other grants would take massive hits, according to NBC News analysis.

Walsh — a Democrat who endorsed and campaigned for Hillary Clinton — said his comments were not political in nature.

"I'm talking about people," Walsh said. "I'm talking about the harm that this budget's going to do to the people of Boston in every single neighborhood."

He said the same impact will be felt across the country, "in blue states and red states, blue cities and red cities."

Walsh said he agrees with some areas of Trump's budget, including increased funding for veterans services and opioid addiction programs. But he said that funding means nothing without the "wrap-around services" being eliminated for housing, job training and other programs.

The mayor was one of several people to speak at a Thursday press conference.

Angie Liou, executive director of the Asian Community Development Corporation, said the funding cuts would have "a detrimental impact" on the community.

Walsh said he will be in close contact with the state's Congressional delegation to convince them to fight to restore the funding cuts. The city's budget is expected to be released in the next two weeks.

"The people of Boston are going to be heard in the nation's capital," he said. "This fight's long from over."

Contact Us