Chicago Legal Protection Fund
At the December 14 City Council meeting, Mayor Emanuel and the City Council established a Chicago Legal Protection Fund. The Fund, using $1.3 million in unspent property tax rebate dollars, will serve more than 20,000 immigrants through community-based outreach, education, legal consultations, and legal representation.
The Department of Family and Support Services (DFSS) will partner with the Heartland Alliance National Immigrant Justice Center (NIJC) and The Resurrection Project (TRP) and additional organizations throughout Chicago to provide the training, referrals, legal representation and other services made possible by the Legal Protection Fund. Regular reports will be made to DFSS and the City Council Committee on Human Relations will receive a quarterly report on the Fund. Representing a ward with a rich history of welcoming immigrants to the United States and understanding that protecting this diverse population is a key to the continuing success and growth of Chicago, Alderman Laurino supported this measure to guard the rights of some of our most vulnerable residents.
Flavored Tobacco Changes
Also at last week's meeting, Aldermen voted to increase the penalties for the sale of tobacco to minors and changed the age requirement for cashiers selling tobacco products from 18 to 21 years of age. In addition, Aldermen lifted a ban on selling flavored tobacco and menthol cigarettes within 500 feet of an elementary or middle school. These changes will continue Chicago's successful campaign to reduce smoking in children and adults, while also providing some relief for small business owners affected by these recent changes to the tobacco regulations.