On October 19, Joe Grant represented Mishkan and ONE Northside at a budget town hall in the 47th ward to learn more about the budgeting process and share our progressive solutions with Alderman Matt Martin.

Budget Proposal Recap:
Chicago’s Aldermen are currently reviewing Mayor Lightfoot’s budget proposals, with a deadline of December 31 set for the vote for the 2020 budget. Some of the key points are:

– $50 million in cuts (a hiring slowdown, cuts in health spending and cuts to Fire Department overtime
– $65 million from a property tax increase
– $121 million increase to the police budget, larger than any single increase under the Emanuel administration
– $10 million increase for affordable housing and $9.3 million increase for mental health care

While there are some funding increases, we wish there was even more…

…investment in housing. Affordable housing advocates are calling for $150 million in revenue from a Real Estate Transfer Tax to fund homelessness prevention. With 86,000 homeless people in Chicago, the Mayor’s $10 million increase means only $116 per person. 

…investment in public mental health care services. The $9.3 million allocated will create only 6 service provider positions – the rest will create new administrative positions. Furthermore, these funds will go to private providers instead of reopening the public mental health clinics shuttered five years ago under the Emanuel administration. 

…progressive revenue. There are a number of more progressive solutions than raising property taxes, including a corporate head tax (which Chicago had for 40 years until a few years ago) and PILOT, a measure that would ask wealthy non-profit institutions that are currently tax exempt, such as the University of Chicago, to chip in. 

#ReimagineChicago Budget Platforms:
Through our work with ONE Northside, we are part of a coalition of neighborhood organizations around the city known as #ReimagineChicago. This coalition has put together a three-pronged platform: Invest, Divest, and New & Improved Revenue.  

Read more about the #ReimagineChicago budget to ensure we are funding the services we care about, creating the city we all believe in!

Opportunities to Take Action!

Interested in learning more and making your voice heard?
1) Call your alderman! Phone numbers & script here
2) Join us for a Budget Action at Town Hall on Tuesday, November 26 at 9:00am. Register here!

Thank you Elli Krandel (Mishkan Organizing Team) and Anna Gaebler (ONE Northside) for putting together all of this info!