Chicago neighborhoods neglected for violence prevention funds for having “too much wealth”: the lawmaker
Illinois lawmaker highlights shootings and other violence in parts of Chicago known to be wealthier areas and says these neighborhoods are overlooked or deemed ineligible for state and federal violence prevention grants for having “too much wealth”.
Representative Jaime Andrade, a Democrat representing the 40th District, took to Twitter earlier this week to highlight the conditions of violence in an area he has likened to the “Wild Wild West”: Chicago’s Albany Park neighborhood, where he says he and his constituents face concerns for their safety amid gunfire and gang violence day and night.
“It’s just out of control,” the Deputy Majority Leader told Fox News Digital on Tuesday.
“We try to maintain that sense of security, but now I have people who have cars stolen during the day, during the day. We have storefronts that have been shot down and bullets go through them during the day.” , did he declare. added later. “I can’t even feel comfortable in my office because two blocks west of me, US Bank was shot in the front window… at 2:39 PM”
“The more taxes you pay, the less services your community receives.
But despite the concerns of Andrade and his constituents, Andrade said his hands were tied due to a “fairness formula” that deemed the North Side too rich to allocate resources to thwart the violence.
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“They say in north Chicago there is too much wealth,” he previously told CBS Chicago, which first reported on the matter. “So we can’t get violence prevention funds here.”
Speaking to Fox News Digital, he further explained that while some zip codes are inhabited by wealthy people, voters from all economic backgrounds are also settling or having businesses in those areas.
“It’s crazy,” he said. “The more taxes you pay, the less services your community receives.
He later added, “Under all of these guidelines, there is too much wealth in the neighborhood. But most of the people who have the wealth don’t need help.”
The north side of Chicago is often characterized as a wealthier part of the city. He cited Irving Park and Albany Park as examples. Some grants are awarded specifically based on census tracts and equity, Andrade said.
“Unfortunately, we don’t get any of this money,” he said.
“This is fairness for all, “he continued.” Yes, I want fairness, but it should be fairness for all, even for the poor and the small businesses who live in a community with higher income. “
In a statement provided to Fox News Digital, a spokesperson for Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s office said the mayor and administration “are committed to reducing violence in all of Chicago’s 77 diverse communities through reduction methods. holistic and data-driven violence “.
The spokesperson pointed to “the more than $ 400 million allocated to support the ‘Our City, Our Safety’ violence reduction plan in the city’s historic budget for fiscal year 2022 recently adopted.”
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“The city funds violence prevention programs throughout the city and devotes a great deal of time, energy and resources to solving problems and incidents specific to the north side,” the spokesperson continued. The mayor, along with members of his team and the police superintendent, have visited North Side districts on several occasions, including that of Representative Andrade, to meet with residents and community leaders to address their concerns. . “
Separately, Andrade referred to House Bill 2791, for which an amendment passed in the Senate late last month that would allocate additional resources to parts of the state based on the number of fatal and non-fatal shootings in each region.
But the lawmaker said some areas have been overlooked as many shootings are treated there and classified as “property damage” because no one is injured.
“All these shooting incidents that are being filmed by people’s cameras. All these incidents which, there are casings found in everything and the shots,” he said. “None of this is recorded as gun violence.“
A spokesperson for the Chicago Police Department told Fox News that a shooting incident is classified as an incident in which “an individual is shot.”
“Reports of gunshots causing property damage, but no casualties are considered criminal property damage,” the spokesperson said. She noted that an incident may fall under another type of classification – such as “reckless discharge and illegal use of a weapon” – depending on other circumstances.
Andrade acknowledged that crime statistics might not show an increase in shootings due to the way shootout crimes are classified.
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In one of the police districts he identified, District 17, two murders were recorded in the last seven-day reportable period, compared to the zero reported year-over-year, according to police statistics. One shooting was reported during the same period, compared to zero reported during the same period in 2020.
Meanwhile, in another 19 district, murders and shootings were also down 100% for the most recently reported seven-day period, police said.