Housing activists interrupted Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel's speech at the Crain's Future of Chicago Conference Wednesday morning.
Those with the Chicago Housing Initiative (CHI) heckled the mayor over his apparent lack of support for their proposed Chicago Housing Authority (CHA) reforms.
Protesters also sought to "raise the profile of the housing crisis facing low-income communities of color, who are being displaced from countless Chicago communities and the city as a whole as market rents skyrocket and wages fail to keep pace," according to CHI.
Since 2014, CHI has been pushing for an ordinance that would give the city council greater oversight of the CHA, but the proposal hasn't moved in the council.
The so-called "Keeping the Promise Ordinance" was introduced in response to a report showing that the CHA was stockpiling reserve funds and hoarding housing vouchers.
"The mayor is systematically failing to keep the Plan for Transformation's promises to rebuild public housing after demolition, instead continuing to demolish, convert, and privatize the city's remaining public housing," claimed protester Liz Brake of CHI and the Jane Addams Senior Caucus. "Unless the mayor changes course, he will deepen the city's affordable housing crisis, which is displacing people of color. Our loss of black and Latino families is why Chicago is losing population overall. It's not sustainable or equitable."
CHI organizers said Emanuel agreed Wednesday to meet with them to discuss the Keeping the Promise Ordinance.