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TIF funds for housing, schools

With the city’s inspector general reporting that over a million dollars in Central Loop TIF funds were lost, SEIU members will rally tomorrow at City Hall with alderman who support a Sweet Home Chicago Coalition proposal to dedicate 20 percent of the city’s TIF revenues to affordable housing.

The rally takes place on the 2nd floor of City Hall at 9 a.m., Wednesday, June 30.

“Union members are feeling the impact of the foreclosure crisis in their neighborhoods and see the ordinance as a way to reverse the trend of crime and abandonment,” according to a release from SEIU Local 1 and SEIU Healthcare.  The unions represent tens of thousands of Chicago residents.

Chicago Jobs With Justice is also participating in the rally.

A hearing on the ordinance at a joint meeting of the City Council’s finance and real estate committees is set for July  7.

The ordinance has 25 aldermanic cosponsors, according to Eithne McMenamin of the Chicago Coalition for the Homeless.  (For more on the ordinance see last October’s Newstip.)

Meanwhile the Raise Your Hand Coalition, which has received no response to a letter to Mayor Daley asking for a meeting on recapturing TIF funds for public schools, is preparing to launch a mass letter-writing and e-mail campaign to support the call, said Amy Smolensky.

The group, which includes parents at over 250 CPS schools, recently generated 120,000 letters and e-mails opposed to higher class sizes.  They were invited to a press conference yesterday where CPS chief Ron Huberman announced elementary class sizes would remain at current levels.

The coalition, which is dedicated to a long-term solution to Illinois schools’ chronic funding crisis, supports the Chicago Teacher’s Union call for greater budget transparency, Smolensky said.

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Category: CPS, housing, school funding, TIF

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