Can you name ten issues in the City of Chicago? Does it include potholes on busy streets, violence, not enough rights for workers, bad healthcare, and even homelessness? According to Chicago's Office of Budget and Management, every year, "the city prepares an annual budget that accounts for revenue from taxes and other sources and sets forth a plan for how the City intends to utilize those resources over the following year."
Sounds great, right? Well, on October 11, Mayor Brandon Johnson released his plan, "The People's Budget," which his office calls "bold and balanced."
What makes this plan the one? Johnson claims to have found a sweet spot, a plan that keeps his promise of "making strategic investments" and not raising property taxes while handling the City's $16.6 billion budget.
Here's a breakdown of "The People's Budget" for FY2024:
Economic Vitality, Workers Rights and Labor— Over $76 million towards youth jobs and programming, expanding summer and year-round youth employment programs within city departments and organizations, and enrichment and engagement programming.
Health and Human Services— More than $15 million per year in the mental health safety net system while expanding the size of the CDPH mental health staff working in public clinics and 911 response teams by almost 75%.
Environmental Strategy and Services— Re-establish the Department of Environment to coordinate the City's ecological and resiliency efforts.
Housing— A $250 million investment in homelessness support and expand the Department of Housing's Home Repair Program with an additional $10 million investment, offering critical support to low-income homeowners needing repairs.
Community Safety— Establish the first-ever Office of Community Safety within the Mayor's Office. Includes over $100 million investment in efforts like anti-violence programming, restorative justice, re-entry work, domestic violence and gender-based violence prevention, and more.
Infrastructure and Services— Over $53 million towards the City's six Lead Service Line Replacement programs.
Financial Responsibility— A $307 million supplemental payment to the City’s four pension funds, ensuring the continued growth in each pension funds funded ratio.
Numbers might change, but do you think there's an area that's missing? Can this plan improve Chicago?