Last Tuesday October 30, 2012, the progressive caucus of the City of Chicago Council met at South Shore High School (1955 E. 75th Street). The caucus held the last of 3 community budget hearing meetings. The meetings were held because Mayor Rahm Emanuel has chosen not to hold community hearings on the budget and the caucus felt that residents needed to have input on the budget. The caucus members are:
Ald. Bob Fioretti (2)
Ald. Leslie Hairston (5)
Ald. Roderick Sawyer (6)
Ald. Toni Foulkes (15)
Ald. Rick Munoz (22)
Ald. Scott Waguespack (32)
Ald. Nicholas Sposato (36)
Ald. John Arena (45
All members were present , but Alderman Leslie Hairston left citing meeting conflicts. Different than the other two meetings, this one was moderated by “the governor” Cliff Kelley of WVON radio and streamed over the internet.
From the very beginning, community residents voiced their displeasure with budget cuts proposed by the mayor Rahm Emanuel. A contingent of health care workers, doctors, patients and advocates voiced their displeasure and concern over the closings of the City of Chicago mental health clinic closings. Many feel that in a time when we have a slow economy and high unemployment the need for mental health services have increased and the city needs to open more clinics.
School closings were another hot button issue. There were calls for an elected school board. In some wards this will be a proposal on the ballot. Also, Chicago Teacher Union(CTU) members called for no school closings and the discontinuance of adding charter schools.
Crime and outsourcing were the other hot button issues. Many asked why no additional police were being added as well as voiced their displeasure about the quality of policing throughout the city. A City of Chicago employee and a SEIU union representative voiced their displeasure over proposed outsourcing of the 311/911 call centers.
Lastly, the crowd was introduced to the “RahmFather”, a name that was affectionally attached to the Mayor. Overall, the citizens at the meeting were displeased with the Mayor’s decision to not listen to their concerns and also put the Alderman present and other Alderman on notice that if the budget passes 50-0 they will remember them in 2015.
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Tags: 6th ward, 75th street, alderman, budget, charter schools, chicago police department, chicago public schools, city council, city of chicago, crime, economic development, education, foulkes, Joh Arena, mayor, mental health clinics, Nick sposato, outsourcing, politics, Rahm emmanuel, rahmfather, rick munoz, rode, roderick sawyer, Scott Wauguespack, toni, unions