Mayoral Candidate Dr. Amara Enyia Says 2015 Budget Continues Disturbing Trend of Cutting Money From Under-served Communities

CHICAGO—(ENEWSPF)—November 19, 2014. Mayoral Candidate Dr. Amara Enyia believes the City of Chicago budget is a reflection of priorities, but the current mayor’s priorities have hurt average Chicagoans.

“Our budget priorities are inequitable and neighborhoods are bearing the brunt,” she said.

The campaign research team conducted a comprehensive analysis of the Mayor’s 2015 budget, even comparing the 2015 budget with the previous 2014, 2013 and 2012 city budgets.   The trend has been disturbing.

“We found that the amount of money in the budget for grants to local neighborhood organizations, has diminished consistently over the last few years,” Enyia said. “Local non-profits, mainly in the Black and Latino communities, have been hit hardest.”

In addition, a closer analysis of organizations receiving city grant funds found that while organizations on the South and West sides, and even some on the North side, are getting less funding, larger organizations that tend to be located outside of those neighborhoods have fared well.

“Clearly, funding is not distributed fairly to all the neighborhoods. It’s inequitable,” Enyia said. “No one understands issues in the neighborhood more than local non-profits. They know the people, the issues, and often have the best solutions. The city should be supporting their work so they can expand capacity to be even more effective.” 

Instead, many of these local organizations struggle as their city funding is cut or diverted to external organizations.

In addition to decreased grant funding, the current mayor has employed questionable tactics to balance the budget such as keeping the allocation for public safety consistent in 2015, despite the fact that the city has already spent through the allotted budget for police overtime.

“That’s dishonest budgeting,” Enyia said.

The 2015 budget also does not address the need for revenue to address pension payments.

“The Mayor continues to use tickets, fines and fees to plug the city’s budget shortfall while being dishonest about the need to raise property taxes,” she said.

Dr. Enyia will be at today’s budget vote at City Council and the campaign will be rolling out additional details on the city’s budget trends.