My Vote on the Fiscal Year 2019 Budget
On Wednesday, I voted yes to approve the proposed fiscal year 2019 budget for the City of Chicago.
The $10.7 billion approved budget includes a number of measures to improve the security and quality of life for Chicagoans and does not levy additional regressive taxes or fees on residents.
The budget includes funding for a new Office of Labor Standards. I have been a champion of the creation of this office from concept to its final passage this week. This office will be responsible for enforcing the minimum wage ordinance, paid sick leave ordinance, and anti-wage theft laws and will be instrumental in protecting Chicago workers from predatory employers. Furthermore, it will be a resource to help employers comply with labor laws.
The budget also includes funding to reinstate the city’s Department of Housing. The resurrection of this department will be integral to creating a more equitable city for all our residents and making sure that affordable housing is spread throughout the city. This move helps Chicago address the widespread affordable housing crisis we now face.
In terms of public safety, the approved budget allocates additional funding to secure more officers throughout the city. The 16th District police department has already received 17 new officers in 2018 to keep up with attrition. As of Tuesday, the district had 264 officers, up from 192 just a few years ago. With the additional officers slated to come next year, the number of personnel at the district will surpass that of the early 2000s. I am confident that the new leadership at the district and the additional resources will assist them in continuing to keep our district the safest in the city.
As your alderman, I am not blind to the work that still needs to be done in addressing the looming pension crisis. I am confident that, working with my colleagues in the Progressive Caucus and on City Council, and alongside the new Mayor in 2019, we will find solutions that will work for the residents of Chicago.