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"I am proud to pass the People's Budget – a budget based on our values that is not balanced on the backs of working people and working families," said Mayor Johnson. "I have long said that where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. From making historic investments in our young people to making critical investments in mental health care and public safety, this budget is close to the heart and soul of who we are, and what we represent as a city."
"The mayor made it clear that he wanted a budget that addresses the needs of disinvested communities while committing to fiscal responsibility," said City of Chicago Budget Director Annette Guzman. "This budget delivers on both of those priorities while setting the City on the right path for transformational investments in the future."
This budget makes critical investments in public safety which affects the quality of life of all Chicagoans. This budget invests over $100 million in anti-violence programming, restorative justice work, and gender-based violence prevention and intervention. This investment will also serve the City's Community Safety Coordination Center to help coordinate efforts across departments to improve public safety.
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A budget amendment added a new Office of Re-entry to support the unique needs of formerly incarcerated Chicagoans and prevent recidivism. The office will have a budget of $5 million of which $4.7 million will be granted to delegate agencies.
Mental Health Care
This budget makes crucial investments in the city's mental health care system to provide support for emotional, traumatic, or behavioral mental health illnesses. The City is investing more than $66 million towards expanding CDPH's mental health staff working in public clinics and 911 response teams by almost 75%, and more than doubling the number of staff on the CARE 911 alternate response teams.
This budget also builds capacity for the re-opening of additional mental health facilities across the cities. Existing clinics will continue to receive funding while two additional clinics will open in existing CDPH spaces. These investments lay the groundwork for the Treatment Not Trauma ordinance which aims to significantly expand the city's non-police crisis response to mental-health related emergencies and to reopen Chicago's shuttered mental health facilities.
Youth Jobs and Programming
More than $76 million in this budget is dedicated to youth jobs and programming. This budget supports summer and year-round youth employment programs within city departments and organizations throughout the city. This investment builds off the summer 2023 One Summer Chicago program which increased youth employment by almost 20% from the previous year. Investments in the 2024 budget will allow the city to increase youth employment by 4,000 jobs over 2023.
This budget makes comprehensive investments in improving the infrastructure of the city with an investment of over $1B. The city is investing over $500 million into capital improvements and bike lane infrastructure with another $53 million for lead service line replacement programs. $25 million is allocated to Home Repair programs and another $4.3 million towards Home Modification programs.
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Crisis Management and Homelessness Response
This budget helps to secure our residents' right to housing with an over $250 million investment in homelessness supports, including an increase in the City's investments in our Flexible Housing Pool and successful rapid rehousing program. The City is investing another $150 million in the Department of Family and Support Services and the Office of Emergency Management and Communications to manage the New Arrivals Mission which resettled and reunited over 10,000 individuals while standing up over 25 shelters to provide food and temporary housing for more than 13,000 asylum-seekers since Mayor Johnson took office.
This budget re-establishes the Department of Environment which will coordinate the City's environmental and climate resiliency efforts to build a just and equitable future for our city. Climate justice efforts will focus on disinvested areas of the city that are disproportionately impacted by extreme weather events, such as the catastrophic flooding that hit the West Side in July. This budget includes $15 million to de-carbonize 1-4-unit homes for low and moderate-income homeowners, $6 million for non-profits and small businesses to help the city meet environmental goals, and $6 million for the City's compositing system.
The principles of equity are found throughout this budget, from the Equity Line Replacement program in lead service line replacement to the overall focus on directing investments towards historically disinvested communities. Through a budget amendment, this budget now provides over $500k for a new Commission on Restoration and Reparations. The Johnson administration will work with the Aldermanic Black Caucus to identify a subcommittee within City Council that will use the funding to leverage consultants and other contractors to support the Commission's work.
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