Aldermen speak out ahead of City Council vote on $51M in funding for Chicago migrants

Sarah Schulte Image
Tuesday, May 30, 2023
Chicago aldermen speak out ahead of vote on $51M in migrant funding
Members of the Chicago City Council are speaking out ahead of Wednesday's vote on $51M in funding to address the migrant crisis.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- On Wednesday, Chicago City Council will vote on $51 million in funding to address the city's mounting migrant crisis.

People on both sides of the debate on city funding to help Chicago migrants are speaking out ahead of the vote.

Ogden Park on the city's Southwest Side has been around since the early 1900s.

Since then, its large field house has been updated, but that was over 50 years ago.

Ald. David Moore refuses to approve $51 million in migrant aid until he gets at least $10 million to build a new field house in the 17th Ward.

"I had a meeting, I listened to my constituents, and they say if we are not getting anything in return for it, for me not to vote for it, so I have to listen to my constituents," Moore said.

Moore is one of a small number of aldermen who plan to vote "no" when City Council meets Wednesday to vote on migrant funding.

Former mayoral candidate Ja'Mal Green echoes Moore's concerns.

He said the South and West sides need to be treated with the same sense of urgency as the migrants.

SEE ALSO: Over 300 Chicago migrants placed at Wilbur Wright College shelter

"We are not comparing struggles; we are basically saying that neighborhoods and people in these neighborhoods need priority," Green said.

Over 10,000 migrants have arrived in Chicago since August. Hundreds continue to sleep on police station floors.

Alderman Michael Rodriquez of the 22nd Ward said doing nothing is not an option.

"Nobody has an alternative here, the fact is the responsible thing to do is support the migrants," Rodriquez said.

Rodriguez said financially helping the asylum seekers is an investment in the neighborhoods.

"They will be students in our under-enrolled classrooms, they will be residents in our housing, they will be taxpayers in our city," Rodriguez said.

City Council is expected to pass the funding, which is only enough through the end of June.

The strain on Chicago finances will continue to mount. The city is not getting as much money from the state as anticipated.

In the new budget, Springfield approved $42.5 million in migrant aid for the entire state, not just Chicago.