Defund The Police / Reopen Mental Hospitals March & Rally
Emanuel was hounded for his cost-cutting decision, which came in the wake of a state funding dip, with protesters pestering him at City Hall after they had camped in the clinics until they were arrested. And while some of the complaints of advocacy groups are anecdotal, there is evidence that at least some of their fears have proved true — such as a significant number of mentally ill people appearing at the Cook County Jail.
[Most read] Northwestern University president apologizes and reduces tuition after shifting 1st- and 2nd-year students to remote learning: ‘I understand that anger’ »
The new mayor has promised to increase access to mental health treatment for city residents with funds from a new real estate transfer tax. Her advisers believe she will increase seed funding for private centers and try to boost Medicaid reimbursement. Asked about the possibility she will not reopen the clinics, Lightfoot provided this statement:
“Decades of disinvestment and neglect have left many of Chicago’s neighborhoods without adequate mental health services. That is unacceptable, especially at a time when gun violence is traumatizing families and entire communities. My administration is committed to ensuring that all Chicagoans have access to strong mental health care — along with safe streets and economic opportunity. We are carefully examining the evidence to determine which strategies will best improve the mental health system for our city’s most vulnerable residents.”
Advocacy groups said if Lightfoot eventually announces she will not reopen the clinics, they plan to renew their push to pressure her and aldermen who are part of a task force now studying the issue.