City Policies and Practices Drawing Red Lines Around the City’s Most Vulnerable

Dorothy brown statement on Mayor Rahm Emmanuel Affordable Housing Plan CPS Crisis and the Ticket Travesty

Statement from Dorothy Brown  city policies and practices “drawing red lines around the city’s most vulnerable”

 – Current Mayor legislating via press conferences with no concrete plans

Each day brings blaring headlines that speak to the unfair and inequitable treatment of Chicago’s most vulnerable.  The litany of injustices continues to pile up with those with the least, bearing the brunt of the abuse.  Here’s just a short list:

Ticket Travesty – Study finds city’s ticketing practices unfairly burden low-income, minority communities.  Tickets were 40% more likely to be issued to motorists in low to moderate income areas than those in higher income neighborhoods according to a study by the Woodstock Institute.  There was also a 40% disparity for drivers from predominantly minority neighborhoods, and motorist from low-and moderate income and minority neighborhoods were also more likely to have their driver’s licenses suspended, triggering hefty penalties; and 50% more likely to be driven to bankruptcy, according to the study.  Low- and moderate income ZIP codes make up 43% of the city but have 54% of all the speed cameras and 50% of all relight cameras, the study also showed.

Key component of Emanuel affordable housing plan falls short – This report details the failure of the Mayor’s 2015 Affordable Requirements Ordinance (ARO), and how lower income residents are being forced out of rapidly gentrifying neighborhoods.

We’ve already detailed the roundup of the homeless from ‘the triangle’ under lower Wacker Drive and the disparate treatment of those with mental illnesses.

Add to these headlines the continuing sex abuse scandal in CPS, a school system whose majority consist of students from these same low to moderate income neighborhoods.  And Just this week two principals have been removed from their posts at Simeon and Goode STEM.  Clearly, there is a need for a Mayor who will work hard for fair and equitable treatment for all Chicagoans.

As the CPS crisis was unfolding I called for an independent investigation, and while I applaud the re-appointment of Inspector General Nicholas Schuler to a new four year term, and turning over the sexual abuse investigations to him, I remain firm in my position that any connections to the current legal team at CPS has the potential to taint the investigation.  Therefore, the indication that the Inspector General reporting to the School Board will be alongside the CPS law department seems to imply a connection that should definitely not be.

Yes, the administration has held press conferences announcing new programs to build affordable housing and offering vacant lots for sale in some south and west side neighborhoods.  But why has it taken nearly two terms in office for these plans to materialize?  Free Pre-K for all Chicago children was just such a promise and here we are nearly eight years later with nothing to show for it but a decrease in the number of children in Pre-K and another photo op.

Our city is changing.  Our population is becoming younger as more millennials are calling the city home.  As your Mayor I want to find fair and equitable housing solutions that keep our city accessible for all.  There is no doubt that a vibrant city benefits from the contributions of a cross section of its population.  We embrace the vibrancy that millennials bring, just as we embrace the contributions of our seniors and those of the multi-generational families that have called Chicago home for decades. We should not sacrifice one for the other.  Residents shouldn’t be punished when their neighborhoods begin to change for the better. No one should be forced to leave an area where you’ve raised your family, built your life and cultivated lasting relationships.

A Dorothy Brown administration will seek to build a Chicago for all Chicagoans and not two cities – separate and unequal.

Statement attributable to Dorothy Brown, candidate for Mayor of the City of Chicago 

June 27, 2018


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