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Mayor Announces Resilient Families Task Force To Combat Poverty In Chicago

9/26/2018, noon | Updated on 9/26/2018, noon
The Mayor of Chicago, Rahm Emanuel, along with several Chicago Alderman, recently approved the creation of the Resilient Families Task ...
The Mayor of Chicago, Rahm Emanuel (pictured), along with several Alderman, recently approved the creation of the Resilient Families Task Force to analyze current strategies and recommend new ways to reduce the number Chicago families that are living in poverty.

Mayor Announces Resilient Families Task Force To Combat Poverty In Chicago

BY KATHERINE NEWMAN

The Mayor of Chicago, Rahm Emanuel, along with several Chicago Alderman, recently approved the creation of the Resilient Families Task Force to analyze current strategies and recommend new ways to reduce the number Chicago families that are living in poverty.

Specifically, the Task Force will develop a Universal Basic Income pilot program for 1000 Chicago families and explore the possibility of a Chicago based Earned Income Tax Credit program.

The ordinance creating the Resilient Families Task Force was first introduced in July by Alderman Ameya Pawar who represents the 47th Ward of Chicago. The ordinance was sponsored by over 30 other Alderman including Michelle Harris (8th Ward) and Roderick Sawyer (6th Ward) who each represent parts of Chatham and the surrounding communities.

“Our number one priority as public servants is to find meaningful ways to help our constituents improve their quality of life. This task force speaks directly to that mission and I am excited to begin exploring ways to reduce poverty and the financial burdens felt by so many of our residents,” said Aldermen Harris.

The Task Force will be charged with improving and expanding access to the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) program, exploring the possibility of guaranteed income programs, and looking for other ways to reduce poverty and financial burdens for low-income residents in Chicago.

“Chicago has the opportunity to lead the way in groundbreaking poverty-reduction programs, and this task force will help us lay the path toward that goal,” said Emanuel in a press release announcing the Task Force. “From my work on the EITC in the Clinton White House and Congress to the creation of a $13 minimum wage, I have dedicated my career to finding more ways to help families work their way out of poverty and strengthening their economic security.”

If successful, the Resilient Families Task Force will lead the nation in launching a Universal Basic Income initiative and by exploring a Chicago only Earned Income Tax Credit program to make sure that working people and families can become resilient to day-to-day financial emergencies, pay their rent without worry, cover childcare, and have unbarred access to food.

The Universal Basic Income pilot program that will be developed by the Resilient Families Task Force will provide 1000 Chicago families with a minimum of $500 per month, no strings attached, to help with everyday expenses. The Task Force will partner with city departments and outside stakeholders, foundations, advocacy organizations, philanthropists, and leading public policymakers to launch a Universal Basic Income Initiative in Chicago, according to a press release from the Mayors Office.

The task force will be led in partnership with the Economic Security Project, a national organization committed to fueling the conversation around guaranteed income in the United States, and with the Social IMPACT Research Center at Heartland Alliance, according to a press release from the Mayor’s Office.