The Student Newspaper of DePaul University

The DePaulia

The Student Newspaper of DePaul University

The DePaulia

The Student Newspaper of DePaul University

The DePaulia

Mayor Brandon Johnson announces 2024 budget

Ashlee Rezin, Chicago Sun-Times via AP
Chief Larry Snelling, center, and interim Chicago Police Department Supt. Fred Waller look on as Mayor Brandon Johnson speaks during a news conference at City Hall to announce Snelling will be the next CPD superintendent, Monday, Aug. 14, 2023.

Mayor Brandon Johnson announced the “People’s Budget” Thursday, allocating $16.6 billion to city funding without raising property taxes. 

Johnson’s proposed budget invests in expanding mental health services and aims to create services to aid in Chicago’s migrant crisis, environmental, housing issues and investments in public safety. 

The forefront of Johnson’s campaign was centered around Chicago’s people, calling for investments in communities and safety. 

More than 17,000  asylum seekers have arrived in Chicago since Aug., 2022 creating an emphasis on Johnson’s budget in allocating investment to aiding newly arrived families.

Johnson reserved $150 million in “new arrival services” plans to add staff to Chicago’s Department of Family and Support Services, with an additional $1.2 million in funding dedicated to the Office of New Arrivals. 

Part of Johnson’s plan to increase mental health support includes plans to invest more than $15 million in mental health resources. These funds will support the Chicago Department of Public Health, so the city can invest resources into opening more mental health clinics, and will grow mental health support staff and 911 response teams by 75 percent.

Johnson has also endorsed Treatment Not Trauma, a program that will deploy mental health professionals to mental health-related 911 calls instead of police officers. 

This comes after Johnson increased the Chicago Police Department budget by 2.9 percent.

Johnson has proposed alternate public safety plans, including the modernization of CPD and will invest $100 million in anti-violence programming, restorative justice and domestic/gender-based violence programming. 

Johnson’s modernization of CPD includes training and promoting 200 new detectives to improve homicide clearance rates. 

Funding will also go to youth services, giving $76 million to increase youth employment opportunities year-round within City departments. 

Johnson’s budget will continue to promise police officers, firefighters and municipal employees growth in their pension funds, by making a $307 million payment to the City’s four pension plans. 

The budget proposal plans to establish the Office of Community Safety within the Mayor’s office, the first of its kind.

The Office aims to form a comprehensive and collaborative safety strategy in communication with communities through appointing the City’s first Deputy Mayor of Community Safety.

Johnson also plans to invest in housing and environmental issues with the new budget, and plans to spend $1.8 million to reinstate Chicago’s Department of the Environment, which former Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel dismantled in 2011

The Department is said to coordinate the City’s environmental and resilience efforts, addressing environmental racism throughout the City and replacing lead service lines. 

As an estimated 68,440 people are facing homelessness in Chicago, Johnson plans to invest $250 million in homelessness support and will increase operational support for Chicago’s shelter network. 

Johnson’s announcement of Chicago’s 2024 budget comes after the announcement that the City is facing a $538 million gap, which Johnson says he is dedicated to closing while maintaining support for communities and essential services. 

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