Emanuels biggest cut: services for the poor

Megan Cottrell | The Chicago Reporter

Look at any area of the city's 2012 budget, as proposed by Mayor Rahm Emanuel, and you won't see any bite larger than from the area labeled "community services."

Most section of the budget is getting cut. Finance and administration down by 3.1 percent..

Legislative and elections down 9.5 percent. Infrastructure down 1 percent. City development, public safety and regulatory? Reduced 2.9, 1.4 and 10.7, respectively.

Community services? Their budget has been reduced by nearly a fifth, down 17.7 percent.

For poor residents in Chicago, it means they'll have even less help than before. While corporations get a cut in their head tax, poor Chicagoans will see the city services they rely on--health centers, child care, workforce development, mental health treatment, library services and the like--get smaller and, in some cases, disappear.

Take public health. During the first six months of next year, the department will close all of its health clinics and "transition the patients of its seven primary health care clinics to community-based federally qualified health clinics."

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