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Mayor Daley Stimulates Chicago

By Kevin Robinson in News on May 7, 2009 2:00PM

Source Photo by Samantha Abernethy/Chicagoist
In spite of all the previous secrecy around Mayor Daley's "wishlist" for American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funds, the mayor finally announced plans to spend nearly $20 million in federal funds Wednesday. $2.3 million of the federal funds will be used to prevent the closing of four mental health clinics in the city. The rest of the funding will go to help the unemployed, homeless, poor workers and military veterans access social services that track people into job training and placement, as well as substance abuse programs. Nearly $2 million will go to support small businesses with hiring.

The mayor encouraged Chicagoans to take advantage of the programs. "A lot of people do get embarrassed. Something happens in their life, and they're afraid to share it with other people," Daley said at a press conference. "They're very upset. They're very mad. They wonder, 'Why did it happen to me?' They maybe try to blame themselves. They don't want to talk about it. . . . That's why we're asking them to reach out as quickly as possible. If you really believe you have an issue dealing with foreclosure or any other issue, reach out to one of these centers and get help immediately," he said.

Daley also defended his decision to keep his list of public works and social service projects secret, telling the Tribune:

"Many cities put a huge list out. Remember that? And really, everybody got encouraged. They thought all these programs are going to be done. And of course it was just a wish list and, you know, many people were disappointed now because [city leaders] said, 'Here's what we're going to do,' and of course 90 percent of them were not going to be done. We kept cautioning mayors not to do that because, first of all, the federal government hasn't put the rules and regulations together --- in a lot of these programs they have not done that as yet, unfortunately."