A Step Forward, More Work to Do
Over the course of multiple administrations, neighborhood groups, labor unions, and community leaders have come together to fight for the resources that working families need to heal and thrive. Daley, Emanuel, and Lightfoot, in turn, repeatedly expended political capital to try and squash these grassroots efforts.
This budget cycle was unique because of the huge sums of federal relief money included and because Lightfoot was forced to include some of our demands in the budget – namely increased staffing for Chicago’s public mental health clinics including 10 more clinicians and $5 million for Single Room Occupancy affordable housing units. These critical funds were included in the budget because of nearly a decade of organizing by fierce neighborhood leaders in the mental health movement and neighborhood champions in the City Council who fought hand in hand with community groups to make sure their voices were heard.
“Our membership plans to build on the advances made in this year’s budget as well as continuing to hold Mayor Lightfoot to her yet unfulfilled campaign promises. The momentum to reopen the mental health clinics, remove Chicago’s lead service pipes, and invest in proven anti-violence programs outside of policing and surveillance is only going to grow from here,” said Jung Yoon, Grassroots Collaborative’s Campaign Director following the budget vote.