The Chicagoist will be launching later but in the meantime please enjoy our archives.

Groups Call On City Council To 'Unbury' TIF Surplus Ordinance

By aaroncynic in News on Oct 30, 2013 7:30PM


More than 60 people rallied on the second floor of City Hall yesterday to demand the TIF Surplus Ordinance be discharged from the City Council’s rules committee and brought to the floor for a vote. “The TIF Surplus Ordinance would put millions of dollars of our money back into our communities,” said Amisha Patel, Executive Director of the Grassroots Collaborative. “Instead of being debated and voted on, this ordinance is stuck in Rules Committee. There it’s buried along with many other good ordinances.”

Some demonstrators dressed as vampires and donned sashes that read “DePaul University” and “Bank of America,” two repeated targets of TIF funding critics. While the City repeatedly claims it can’t find money to put into public services like schools or mental health clinics, TIF money often goes to subsidize projects from corporations and organizations that already have plenty of money.

The City Council’s Rules Committee has long been criticized as a place where good legislation is sent to die. Patel said that the Aldermen in charge of the Rules Committee “deliberately avoid” bringing ordinances up for consideration. “These Aldermen are listening not to the voices of the people of Chicago, but to the dictates of Mayor Emanuel. Thirty-two Aldermen are co-sponsors of the TIF Surplus Ordinance, why can’t we get a vote?”

Some demonstrators also held tombstones naming other ordinances they would like to see “unburied” from the Rules Committee. Christel Williams, a CPS parent and CTU member said:

“It’s not just the TIF Surplus Ordinance that’s buried. There’s an ordinance sitting in the Rules Committee that would stop all new charter school construction in Chicago until we fund our public schools...There’s a resolution calling for an elected school board. For the sake of our children and our communities, we need the Rules Committee to stop burying this critical legislation.”

New Study Shows Downtown Reaps Benefits Of TIF Funds While Neighborhoods Suffer