Chicago mayor is putting big bucks into new reparations commission to help fight crime

Chicago Mayor Brandon Johnson thinks he knows a way to bring down his city’s soaring crime rate: Throw some money at the descendants of slaves.

Though the mayor can boast that murder is down 13% in Chicago, according to the Daily Mail, crime in general — especially car theft and robbery — is up 17% in the Windy City.

Johnson says reparations will help, and, in addition to $100 million for the prevention of violence, he has included in his 2024 budget $500,000 to establish a Commission on Restoration and Reparations.

As Chicago is being overwhelmed with illegal migrants thanks to progressive policies, Brandon told CNN’s “This Morning” on Thursday that his recently released “Community Safety Plan” gets at “the root causes of violence in the city of Chicago.”

(Video: YouTube)

“We’re making critical investments,” he said. “Those investments look like what I’ve presented in my last budget: a quarter of a billion dollars to address homelessness, $100 million for violence prevention. We added 80 million more dollars to our youth employment program, of which we hired 25,000 young people just this summer.”

“That’s a 20% increase from the previous year,” he added. “I’m going to hire 4,000 additional young people this summer.”

“We have stood up an entire office dedicated to reentry,” Brandon continued, “so individuals who are returning to our communities who have been incarcerated because of failed policies, we’ll have a welcoming space for them.”

And the $500,000 for “restoration and reparations” he said, will “address again the cycle of violence which looks like school closings, closing of mental health facilities, of which I’ve invested in now.”

The mayor noted that Chicago will open “two mental health clinics that were closed from two previous administrations ago.”

“And so, in order for us to build a better, stronger state for Chicago,” he explained, “it requires investments, and that’s what this budget has done — a $16.77 billion budget without raising property taxes. And we’re just getting started in the city of Chicago.”

Illinois already has an established history of doling out so-called “reparations.”

In March 2021, the city of Evanston voted 8-1 to approve a plan to make reparations available to black residents — a first in America.

The plan promised $400,000 to eligible households, each of which would receive up to $25,000 for home repairs or down payments on property,

According to the Daily Mail, “Crime exploded across Chicago last year under [Brandon’s] predecessor Lori Lightfoot, rising from 46,572 total complaints to 65,421 – though this was almost entirely driven by massive increases in car theft, burglary, and robbery.”

“This year did not reverse the city’s fortunes as crime was up 64 percent from two years ago, 68 percent from three years ago, and 55 percent from four years ago,” the outlet adds.

While murders and shootings are down, they are still “up compared to before the Covid pandemic – murders up 24 percent in 2019 and shootings up 15 percent.”

But Chicago is still contending with a rise in robberies and car thefts.

“Robbery is up 23 percent on last year and 39 percent from 2019, while theft was stable this year but up 41 percent since 2019 and 94 percent since 2020,” the Daily Mail reports. “By far the biggest jump in crime was thefts related to vehicles, which jumped 38 percent this year and a staggering 227 percent in 2019.”

“I wake up every single day in one of the most toughest parts of the city,” Brandon said. “And so there is no one in this city who thinks about public safety more than someone like me who was raised in a family on the west side of Chicago.”

Melissa Fine

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