City Council News

City Council Update October/November 2018

The City Council has been busy meeting throughout October and November to consider next year's budget. I'm happy to announce that the 2019 budget produces no new taxes but will add additional city services and increase critical city investments.      

This budget funds the newly created Chicago Department of Housing, a new City department exclusively focused on supporting access to housing as a core component of all neighborhoods. The new department will implement Chicago’s affordable housing strategies and create a long term institutional framework that addresses the unique and constantly-changing needs of housing. The new department will also help the City continue to address its housing needs as Chicago’s economy continues to strengthen, avoiding many issues seen in other major cities.     

The 2019 budget increases the current funding for children and youth and allows for the expansion of youth programming. This includes new investments to expand and sustain youth and workforce programs that have had shown success in violence reduction. Approximately $1.38 million of the new investments will expand the Mayor’s Mentoring Initiative to universally cover 7th grade boys.     

This budget will also expand the number of young people who will be able to participate in One Summer Chicago, the City’s summer youth job program, with $500,000 in additional funding, bringing the total investment to $18.1 million for 2019.      

To reduce energy costs, the City launched the Chicago Smart Lighting Project, which converts the City’s outdated and inefficient High-Pressure Sodium lamps to higher quality, more energy-efficient LED lights, creating electricity budgeted savings of $4.1 million in 2019 compared to 2017. To support clean and healthy neighborhoods, the budget adds $1.3 million to purchase new garbage and recycling carts, and an additional $500,000 for rodent abatement materials.

To sustain a cleaner, greener environment, an additional $500,000 will be used to plant trees next year.     

Other items of note from the November City Council meeting include:     

  • Alderman Laurino introduced a resolution calling upon the Illinois General Assembly to enact legislation requiring greater equitable representation of women on corporate boards.      
  • Alderman Laurino and Alderman Ed Burke also introduced a resolution calling for hearings and an independent investigation on allegations of physical and sexual abuse at Aurora Chicago Lakeshore Hospital.