Ahead of Monday's city council meeting on the 2021 budget, the Workers Center for Racial Justice (WCRJ) is amplifying community demands for a city spending plan that reflects the true priorities and values of Chicago residents.
Several weeks ago, the city of Chicago quietly released the results of a public survey on the 2021 budget. According to the report, 87% of the 37,000 respondents support spending cuts for the Chicago Police Department (CPD) and a reallocation of those funds to city programs that promote real safety, equity, and opportunity in our communities.
Despite the overwhelming constituent support for equitable redistribution of CPD's bloated budget, Mayor Lori Lightfoot has put forth a 2021 spending plan that represents a troubling continuation of Chicago's failed approach to public safety investment. The mayor's proposal would maintain the city's reckless overspending on ineffective, inhumane, and racially targeted systems of law enforcement. Moreover, Lightfoot's budget would perpetuate dangerous austerity conditions on vital human services such as housing, public health, and family services.
WCRJ has advanced a community-driven proposal for Equitable Public Safety Reinvestment that addresses the key city spending concerns voiced by the tens of thousands of Chicagoans who participated in the city's budget survey.
WCRJ's three year plan calls for a series of funding reductions to CPD, as well as concurrent budget increases to 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.
Your advocacy is essential to ensuring that our budget priorities are included in Chicago's 2021 spending plan.