BREAKING NEWS: A departmental breakdown shared with aldermen last week shows that, of the $403 million in discretionary federal funds provided to the city COVID-19 direct response, more than $280 million (!!!) went to the Chicago Police Department. #CARESNotCops #RightToRecovery
Comparatively, the Department of Public Health received just over $18 million; the Office of Emergency Management received just over $8 million; the Department of Family and Support Services got less than $200,000. The Office for People with Disabilities got only $2,000.
The breakdown also shows that $68 million of the CARES Act funding was unspent in 2020 even as tens of thousands of Chicagoans were denied rental relief and cash assistance and Mayor Lightfoot insisted on raising property taxes, fines, and fees in the 2021 budget.
There is a budget committee meeting today @ 10am where Budget Director Susie Park will be asking for approval on how the remaining $68 million can be spent. We have some questions.
83,000 people applied for just 2,000 city grants in April 2020. Why did the Mayor hang on to this surplus money when clearly there is so much unmet need?…
Why did the city raise property taxes and fines and fees on us while a nearly $70M surplus went unspent?
What was the $280M for police spent on within the department? Does it fall into the mandated “costs incurred and services required due to COVID-19”?
Why was only $54M spent on departments much better suited to handle implementation? Why was more money not put towards rebuilding the city’s public health infrastructure? Or helping struggling small businesses? Or families facing eviction?
Stay tuned for a press conference tomorrow morning at 9:45 with community organizations who will be responding to this complete mismanagement of emergency funds by the city.
We're live this morning with a community response to the complete mismanagement of COVID relief funds. Watch here:
One of the speakers is Maria de la Luz Rodriguez from @UneteLaVillita whose applications for rental assistance were twice denied by the city of Chicago even though she lost her job at the beginning of the pandemic.
Next we are hearing from @Damon_AF from @LetUsBreathe773 who centers us in the sorrow of this moment. That money could and should have been used to keep people alive.
.@JalenKobayashi of @GKMC18: Mayor Lightfoot has refused to support the #PeaceBook ordinance to promote community safety and healing, while murders and carjacking are on the rise and people are dying.
Dr. Arturo Carrillo of @ccwchicago and @BPNCchicago, speaking on vaccine equity: This is not what health equity looks like. People will die from these decisions. This problem needs to be fixed immediately before more people die.
.@DavidZoltan from @ChiHousingJL estimates that Chicagoans are staring down $450 million in rental debt.

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More from @UWFIllinois

15 Feb
HAPPENING NOW: community members, labor leaders and elected officials call on the Lightfoot administration to #DenyThePermit and #StopGeneralIron from further polluting the southeast side.
Chuck Stark, one of the hunger strikers who teaches @ Washington H.S. opens up the presser by announcing 70 teachers are participating in a day-long fast in solidarity. Mr. Stark is on day 12 of starving himself in order to demand the city take action against environmental racism
To the Lightfoot administration: "If you persist with business as usual we will not sit quietly and we will not go away."
Read 28 tweets

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