When Chicago elected the first openly gay Black female mayor in its history, I, like most of us, was excited. She came in hot using her inauguration speech to bash the corruption that is intrinsic to the Chicago political scene.
But things started falling apart quickly. Coronavirus hit and her hopes of ending poverty in her city got thrown out of whack. That was not Lightfoot’s fault, but her aggressive and vengeful way of running the show didn’t help matters. Lightfoot started beefing with everyone from Black pastors to aldermen. The memes, while funny AF didn’t help matters.
And because Lightfoot is lighthearted, she also dressed up one year as the “Rona Destroyer,” which was kind of weird but whatever.
Now, Lightfoot finds herself in the middle of it all, again, as it looks like the Rona Destroyer had a different meaning as her administration reportedly took some $281.5 million in federal COVID-19 money and spent it on the Chicago Police Department’s payroll, , the Chicago Tribune reports.
From the Tribune:
The number came to light as Lightfoot seeks City Council approval to transfer about $65 million in unspent federal COVID-19 money into the 2021 budget, after the Biden administration waived Federal Emergency Management Agency local funding matches and extended the deadline to spend federal dollars until the end of the year.
Ald. Daniel La Spata, 1st, last summer called on the mayor to put federal money toward housing relief or other programs to help struggling residents. He said he and other aldermen heard from residents that they didn’t want federal money targeted toward police payroll.
“We asked for assurances they wouldn’t spend it all on police,” La Spata said Wednesday. “That’s the last thing people wanted, to infuse hundreds of millions more dollars into the Police Department right now.”
Speaking to aldermen in June, city Budget Director Susie Park said no relief money had yet been spent on police funding.
But the Office of Management and Budget on Wednesday said specific coronavirus-related police costs between March and May were later identified for federal reimbursement once coronavirus relief money started arriving, for things such as police performing wellness checks on residents, airport security when travelers had to be screened for COVID-19, security at the McCormick Place coronavirus field hospital and security at virus testing sites.
Activists aren’t happy with the news and are planning to speak out against the reallocation of the funds.
During the early months of the pandemic the city received some $1.2 billion in COVID relief to “defray additional costs as the city’s economy cratered.” the Tribune reports.
“Money went to the city’s public health response to the disease, to homeless services and to O’Hare and Midway airports. Homeless services programs got funding, as did senior citizen assistance,” according to the Tribune.
Well it’s great to see that some things in Chicago remain the same and let’s hope that social media has a meme for that.