On August 31st, the City of Chicago launched an online public comment survey to gather feedback from residents on how our public dollars should be allocated in the year to come. The Workers Center for Racial Justice (WCRJ) is fighting to ensure that the voices of Black residents are central to conversations around the 2021 city budget.
In recent decades, Chicago has steadily increased funding to racially targeted systems of law enforcement, resulting in the highest number of officers per capita of any major U.S. city. The astounding size of the Chicago police force has devastating implications for communities impacted by systems of anti-Black surveillance, harassment, and brutality.
Moreover, exorbitant funding to the Chicago Police Department (CPD) draws public resources away from vitally needed city services, such as affordable housing, mental health, social services, and youth development programs. This reckless mismanagement of taxpayer dollars perpetuates dangerous austerity conditions which in turn, exacerbate inequality and undermine public safety.
Join WCRJ as we call on Mayor Lightfoot and the Chicago City Council to enact a budget that reflects the values and interests of our community. We are demanding that the city government adopt WCRJ’s Proposal for Equitable Public Safety Reinvestment in the 2021 budget.
Our three year plan calls for a series of funding reductions to CPD, as well as concurrent budget increases to vital social services and public health programs. The proposal also provides for a newly established Community Safety Unit to deliver residents emergency public safety dispatch services, outside of law enforcement.
Make your voice heard in the municipal budget process by participating in the city’s public comment survey. Urge city officials to divest public funds from CPD and redirect those dollars towards critical human services.
After you’ve completed the survey, you can help spread the word to your friends and family by joining our OutVote campaign. To participate in our Chicago Budget Day of Action this Friday, download OutVote in the Apple App or the Google Play store. Connect to our campaign page and use the code: 120498.