Chicago Ald. Scott Waguespack (32nd) says he thinks he has solved the city’s budget for next year.
“We’ll just add an additional tax on every item that the Cubs sell this season,” Waguespack joked Thursday during a City Club of Chicago panel discussion on the city’s 2017 budget.
“I’ve never seen so many people wearing Cubs gear, not only in Chicago but just nationwide,” the alderman said. “It’s a good thing to see a team doing so well, because it does add to the bottom line. It adds to Chicago’s stature at a time when things are pretty difficult, when we see so much increase in crime and violence throughout our city, that we can have one thing to look at and say this is a good thing.”
A group of Chicago aldermen proposed a package of ordinances Wednesday to generate revenue for the city’s cash-strapped public schools.
The Chicago Public Schools (CPS) district has a $300 million budget gap, and schools are reportedly facing a 7 percent funding cut in the upcoming academic year.
“We’ve received some money from the state, but it’s just not enough,” Ald. Roderick Sawyer (6th) said at a press conference before the council meeting with fellow aldermen, the Chicago Teachers Union and other education advocates.
“We need to find more progressive and more viable solutions to increase revenue so that all of our schools can be adequately financed, so that we can give quality teachers an opportunity to teach in our schools,” he continued. “When I had a conversation with a principal yesterday, she was perplexed that she could not hire a 20-plus year veteran school teacher because she could not afford it. That’s not right.”
Police accountability and housing activists are pushing back against city government as Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel attempts to replenish his campaign coffers at his first fundraiser since the Laquan McDonald shooting video was released.
The activists are picketing at Emanuel’s pricey Monday night fundraiser, which costs individuals $5,400 while corporations are required to cough up $10,000. The event is being held at the home of real estate developer Robert Winslow.
Affordable housing advocates are calling on the mayor to make “substantive reforms” to the Chicago Housing Authority (CHA), including a complete overhaul of the agency’s policies. While Emanuel tapped Eugene Jones Jr. to take over the housing agency in January, CHA critics say that is not enough.
The Chicago Housing Initiative (CHI) has pushed back against CHA for its practices, blasting the agency for reportedly hoarding about 6,000 housing vouchers and 2,800 vacant units while more than 120,000 needy families sit idle on the agency’s waitlist.