Mayor Suggests Reparations Could Lower Violence

( – Chicago Mayor Brandon Johnson, a Democrat, informed CNN that he included funds for “reparations” in his budget to address the underlying causes of the city’s unprecedented rise in violent crime.

In an interview with Poppy Harlow on “CNN This Morning,” Johnson acknowledged the high crime rate in Chicago and emphasized the government’s need to take decisive action to tackle it. He proposed that the city allocate $500,000 to support reparations programs.

Harlow responded to Johnson’s statement using Chicago Police Department statistics, noting that while the murder rate has decreased from 2022, all other types of violent crime have increased by 17% compared to the previous year, Mr. Mayor.

The anchor asked, “Will Chicago be safer in 2024?” Mayor Johnson replied that a thorough government approach and a robust community safety plan would address the underlying causes of violence, incorporating essential investments.

He outlined investments, such as $250 million for addressing homelessness, $100 million for preventing violence, and an extra $80 million for the youth employment program. This summer, the city employed 25,000 young people, showing a 20% increase from last year.

Johnson highlighted his plan to employ 4,000 more young people this summer and mentioned establishing a dedicated re-entry office. This office provides a welcoming space for individuals returning to communities after being incarcerated due to failed policies.

He discussed using city funds for reparations in the black community. He said, “I’ve set aside $500,000 to tackle the cycle of violence, dealing with issues like school closings and the shutdown of mental health facilities. I’ve also put money into reopening two mental health clinics that were closed in the past.”

Johnson told Harlow how the city’s problems affect him personally, saying, “I’m raising three kids on the West Side of Chicago with my wife. We love it for its beauty, but it’s dealing with serious issues like school closures, transportation problems, and a lack of investment. Every day, I wake up in one of the toughest parts of the city.”

Johnson’s reparations proposal is the latest instance of Democratic Party leaders supporting the contentious policy. Recently, Governor Kathy Hochul signed a bill to create a state commission investigating the history of slavery in New York and its effects on African Americans over the state’s history.

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