Ald. Maldonado's Position on "De-funding the Police"
(JUNE 10, 2020)--Simply put, I will always speak openly of what I want funded—not what I don't.
In March of 2019, I voted "NO" on funding for a new police academy, saying what I wanted funded with these words: "the City needs to get its funding priorities in order. Instead of constructing a brand new police academy, the City of Chicago should make massive investments in our schools, mental health, violence prevention and job training programs on the west and south sides."
I urge the $33 million currently funded for police in our public schools to instead be funding teacher and school resources and applaud the Chicago Teachers Union for their efforts to make this happen.
As we see today, no amount of brutal police tactics will bring peace to the streets and by ways of this country. That's because the public collectively produces peace in order for large-scale commercial activity to be conducted. It is a powerful and vital force. It takes a village to create this peace and tranquility we need to buy goods and trade services comfortably.
The business class is aware of this essential force and has always depended upon the public to do this. They are also keenly aware that the police can't. In other words, armed guards on every corner are bad for business!
In return for this peace, the public is provided with a measure of health, wealth, and justice. This is widely viewed as the social contract. But this unwritten social contract has all but disintegrated, making us poorer, sicker, and insecure.
Liberals and moderates intuitively understand the purpose of the social contract. That's why they advocate for expanding health, wealth and justice in this critical time. Conservatives, on the other hand, are willfully blind to the social contract. They refuse to recognize the essential power the public peace plays in our economy and call for more police and more brutal treatment as a way to generate public peace.
Now it's up to us, the public peace keepers, to speak openly about the power we provide daily and speak openly about re-writing the social contract with what we want funded–what health we want to have, what wealth we want earn, and what justice we want to see.
What I have already done to make a Just Chicago
In 2016, I was one of a handful of Aldermen who voted "No" on mayor Emanuel's police oversight watchdog group, the Civilian Office of Police Accountability (COPA). The only way to restore trust between our citizens and our police is to create an elected body of community members from each of Chicago's police districts empowered to hold police accountable.
In 2017, I was one of a handful of Aldermen who urged the city to fix the police union contract so whistle blowers are protected, police are interviewed immediately when involved in a police shooting, misconduct records are maintained instead of destroyed, and anonymous complaints are investigated.
In 2018, I co-sponsored the Grassroots Alliance for Police Accountability's (GAPA) ordinance that placed the community in the decision-making process for oversight of the Chicago Police and their budget.
That same year, I was one of a handful of Alderman who submitted legislation to protect and preserve the working-class nature of our neighborhoods against a decade long trend of new homes we are priced out of.
If we are to rise to the challenge of this moment and show the world we are a city that works, we must unite civic leaders and citizens to press for police reform, citizen oversight of police, and embark on a massive project to rebuild the working-class nature of the South and West sides.
I know because this has been the 50-year path Puerto Ricans have traveled.
In the summer of 1966, the famous Division Street riots took place after an unarmed Puerto Rican named Aracelis Cruz was shot dead by a police officer on the corner of Damen and Division.
It triggered spontaneous protests against police brutality and mistreatment that Puerto Ricans had faced since the 1950s. It also triggered in Puerto Ricans a burning desire to rebuild a crumbling neighborhood, thus joining the political and social fabric of Chicago as equals.
We all must travel this path once again. We must rebuild the future we see crumbling, redress the grievances we hear, and re-weave the social fabric with equality, opportunity, and unity.
Give 700,000 DACA Youth Permance
RESOURCES FOR THOSE AFFECTED BY COVID-19
Free COVID-19 Testing at Norwegian American Hospital
If you or a member of your family have symptoms of COVID-19, you can now be tested close to home at Norwegian American Hospital, 1044 N. Francisco.
The tests are by appointment only for patients ages 18 and older in response to the disproportionate number of COVID-19 infections and related deaths in under served communities with high minority populations.
People who have coronavirus symptoms can call the hospital directly at 773-292-8363 from 2-4 p.m. Monday through Friday to schedule an appointment.
PrimeCare Northwest Health Care is providing COVID-19 testing. They are located at 1649 North Pulaski Road. Call 773-278-6868 to get a test.
Free Legal Advice, Monthly, on Saturday Mornings
Call - a- Lawyer, hosted by the Chicago Bar Association, on the 3rd Saturday of the month from 9am to 12pm at 312-554-2001.
Every month the Chicago Bar Association hosts a Saturday call in to lawyers in all legal fields offering free preliminary advice to people in need. Everything from child support to employment law, calling in will connect you to a lawyer to speak to directly.
A Shoulder to Cry on During this Uncertain Time
For a listening ear, or to talk through anxious feelings or changes in your life, NAMI Chicago's Helpline is here for you and free to all.
Just call 833-NAMI CHI (833-626-4244) from 9a-8p Monday-Friday, and 9a-5p on weekends.We can also help you connect to mental health resources, food and emergency assistance.
NAMI Chicago is also offering free virtual support groups during this time, for people to connect with others experiencing mental health symptoms.
There are also support groups for health care professionals working on the front lines. For information about how to join, click here.
Free Health Care
You can get health care, even when you are uninsured or don't have any money to pay for the doctor. If you do not have a medical provider, are uninsured, or have limited or no income and believe you need non-emergency medical services, you can contact your nearest Community Health Center (CHC) by phone and inform them of your need.
You can find your nearest CHC here. If you suspect you have COVID-19, Call ahead to make sure that the center can test you. In cases of emergency, please call 911.
Emergency Food, Food Stamps & Medicaid
The Greater Chicago Food Depository has over 700 partners with emergency food at no cost. Search for a location here and make sure to call before you go.
The Food Depository also has a benefits outreach team to help Chicagoans apply for food stamps, now called Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and Medicaid benefits.
Eligibility is determined by household income. Those affected by recent COVID-19 related job losses may qualify. For help filing, call 773-843-5416 Monday-Friday between 8:30 a.m. and 5 p.m. or apply directly with the Illinois Department of Human Services.
Unemployment Filing is Now Scheduled by First Letter of Last Name
Due to the a large volume of unemployment claims, Illinois Department of Employment Security announced yesterday a sweeping set of initiatives designed to accommodate the record-breaking number of unemployment claims:
For Online Filing: Those individuals seeking to file online can use the IDES website.
Comprehensive list of resources and information is here.
Businesses, non-profits can receive up to $50,000 from the City
The Chicago Small Business Resiliency Fund is a new $100 million economic relief package for Chicago’s businesses and non-profits experiencing a loss of revenue during the COVID-19 outbreak. All businesses and non-profits that have less than 50 employees, made less than $3M annually, and have suffered a 25% drop in revenues since the outbreak.
The Resiliency Fund customizes a loan amount for each business based on it's last 3 months of revenue. The maximum loan will be $50,000. Businesses can pay this loan back over 5 years with a nominal payment of only $10 per month for the first 6 months. Check out the requirements here and apply for this unique city loan.
More business help is here.
Federal help is now available for small businesses. The full description is enclosed in the document on the left.
Building Affordability into the 26th Ward
Ald. Maldonado has been keeping the 26th Ward affordable for our neighbors and the next generation. In the last 2 years, his support has resulted in nearly 200 new or rehabbed apartments added to the housing stock in the 26th Ward. He even added 6 single family homes for $247,000 each.
Long-time residents, who rebuilt the Ward, have earned their right to enjoy the fruits of their labor.
Long-time residents, who rebuilt the Ward, have earned their right to enjoy the fruits of their labor.
Rebuilding the Ward, Preventing Crime, Developing Bustling Retail
Since 2009, Ald. Maldonado has accelerated the rebuilding of the 26th Ward, which started when residents united to counteract the lack of city services in the Ward. He has sunk over $10 Million into the Ward, building safe streets, bringing schools near-by and good businesses that serve residents' needs.
"Maldonado has spent over $10 Million to rebuild the 26th Ward with freshly paved streets and alleys, brighter lightening and security cameras--all in an effort to prevent crime. Simply put, blighted streets attract criminal elements."
Tackling Crime Head On
Ald. Maldonado has pressed to fill police shortages, pushed for "hot spot" monitoring to be standard, and pressed to ban all guns. He has shut down shady businesses that cheat customers, keep their stores unsanitary, and allow gang members to loiter.
Are you looking for city services...or want to meet the Alderman on Ward Nite?
When you need a new garbage can, disabled parking, graffiti removed or a block party permit, call our office at 773-395-0143. More here...