Organization Calls on Mayor Lightfoot to Tackle Root Causes of Violence

Lawndale News Chicago's Bilingual Newspaper - Local News

Lawndale News Chicago's Bilingual Newspaper - Local News

Courtesy of United Working Families

After more than a hundred shot and 18 killed in deadliest Chicago weekend of the year, Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s anti-violence strategy continues to fail neighborhoods crying out for recovery funds for housing, health care and living-wage work employment.

The Right to Recovery Coalition and United Working Families urge Mayor Lori Lightfoot to reprioritize COVID-19 relief fund expenditures as she meets with President Joe Biden this afternoon:

“Chicagoans just experienced our deadliest weekend of 2021 to date, with more than 100 people shot and 18 dead. This is a crisis in desperate need of meaningful solutions that tackle the root causes of our city’s longest-running pandemic — its violence.

“President Joe Biden’s historic American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) COVID-19 pandemic recovery includes vital funds for putting Chicagoans to work, providing housing and lifting treatment over trauma — all of which are proven means of reducing violence. But instead of investing a billion dollars in current ARPA funds into resources to support neighborhoods struggling in the wake of the pandemic, Mayor Lori Lightfoot has publicly said she instead wants to use those funds to pay off debt to Wall Street banks.

“This is immoral and unacceptable. Our communities are crying out for relief from trauma and a 16-month global health crisis, and anything less than that relief is a betrayal of the public trust.”

Local elected officials joined United Working Families and the Right to Recovery Coalition in calling for meaningful next steps to support pandemic recovery for every neighborhood and resident in Chicago.

“As Chicagoans, we understand that we have both long-term and immediate crises that need to be addressed,” 40th Ward Alderperson Andre Vasquez said. “After the most violent weekend in 2021, it is clear and urgent that we need to use ARPA funds to address the root causes of violence.”

“Investment in violence prevention/street outreach and treatment, not trauma, is vital to our city’s present and future. When our mayor talks to the president, the focus needs to be on that rather than only on debt reduction and sending more taxpayer dollars to big banks.”

“President Biden and Congress intended for ARPA funds to support housing, jobs, small business, public health and violence prevention,” 49th Ward Alderperson Maria Hadden added. “Wall Street doesn’t need our help. Chicagoans do.”

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