Black Voices

Chicago Aldermen Say 2022 Budget Is a Small Step Toward Equity


Chicago Aldermen Say 2022 Budget Is a Small Step Toward Equity

The newly approved 2022 Chicago budget includes several investments proposed and backed by progressives.

“I think it has a lot of what people have been asking for,” said Ald. Leslie Hairston (5th Ward), who’s also a member of the Progressive Reform Caucus.

Thanks to our sponsors:

View all sponsors

Some of the key components include a universal basic income pilot program that will give $500 a month to 5,000 low-income families for a year, $6.3 million to hire 29 employees at the city’s public mental health clinics, $5 million to expand efforts to renovate single-room occupancy hotels to help prevent homelessness and investments in affordable housing, violence prevention and job programs.  The budget was approved by a vote of 35-15.

Although most progressive aldermen voted in favor of it, some did not, including Ald. David Moore (17th Ward) who said he thinks the spending plan is a start, but was hoping for more specifics.

“For me what was important, it was broad and although you want to be trusting of the administration, I want as much detail I can get in terms of where this money is going in the community,” Moore said, ”you want something to be able to touch and say to your community, this is what I’m bringing back.”

Ald. Jason Ervin (28th Ward) voted yes, although he would have liked the $31.5 million being used for direct cash payments to be spent on violence prevention or job programs instead. He says even though he didn’t get everything he wanted in the budget, it’s still a step toward equity.

“I think with everything that’s on the table here, when we talk about affordable housing, we talk about child care, we talk about violence prevention, some of the various needs that communities have not just in black communities, but all over the city of Chicago,” Ervin said. “I think that this budget does do a great job of getting us there.” 

Ald. Hairston agrees and says achieving equity is a “process,” and “We’re not going to get out of this overnight, but what it (the budget) does do is address some of the root causes that we faced in the city of Chicago.”


Thanks to our sponsors:

View all sponsors

Thanks to our sponsors:

View all sponsors