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September Town Halls Allow City Residents To Learn More About The 2020 Budget

9/11/2019, noon | Updated on 9/11/2019, noon

September Town Halls Allow City Residents To Learn More About The 2020 Budget

Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot is leading a series of budget town hall meetings throughout the city to ensure residents have an opportunity to learn more about the budget process, the upcoming 2020 budget, and some ways the city will address its financial challenges.

“As we work to build a city government that drives growth and opportunity for all of its residents and neighborhoods, we must ensure we have a roadmap to a sustainable financial future,” said Mayor Lightfoot. “With the city facing financial challenges this year, it is crucial that we have an open and honest conversation with residents from across the city, as well as with departments, city leaders and other stakeholders to develop solutions that will make our government stronger and work more efficiently for all of our neighborhoods.”

The State of the City address was broadcast and streamed live from the Harold Washington Library on Thursday, August 29 at 6 p.m. To ensure all interested residents had a chance to tune in from wherever they were, the speech was also carried on all major local TV and radio newscasts, with the city of Chicago providing a live-stream feed from its website and its social media channels. Additionally, the city provided translation services in Spanish.

“As the Budget Office works closely with city departments to identify their operational needs and service investments for the coming year, we also want to hear from residents, elected officials and other key stakeholders as we develop strategies for addressing our fiscal challenges,” said Susie Park, budget director for the city of Chicago. “By creating more lines of communication with the public about the state of our finances, we are creating more opportunities to solicit feedback and ensuring that more voices are heard.”

To illuminate key considerations from residents for next year’s budget, and to gain insight on where the public wants to reduce and increase spending, the city is hosting three more targeted Budget Town Hall meetings. The Budget Town Halls will be carried on a livestream and will allow for virtual participation over social media. One Budget Town Hall was already held on Chicago’s North Side on on Wednesday, September 4 at Copernicus Center, 5216 W Lawrence Ave.

Upcoming town halls include:

West - Saturday, September 14 from 9-11 a.m.

Roberto Clemente High School, 1147 North Western Ave.

Southeast - Thursday, September 19 from 6-8 p.m. Southeast United Methodist Youth and Community Center (The Zone), 11731 S Ave. O

South (Youth-focused budget discussion) – Wednesday, September 25 from 6-8 p.m.

Lindblom Math and Science Academy, 6130 S Wolcott Ave

To give the Budget Town Hall meetings a framework of the topics residents want to discuss or learn more about, the City is launching a new public survey at www.chicago.gov/2020budget.

Now through September 30th, the survey will act as a tool for the administration to ascertain which priorities residents will want to focus on over the course of the discussion and will survey residents on topics ranging from public safety and infrastructure; to neighborhood services and public health.

As the city prepares for the 2020 budget process, the Lightfoot administration has taken concerted efforts over the past several weeks to work with departments to find internal savings and ways to operate more efficiently. This includes measures to reduce an open line of short-term borrowing which it anticipates will save $22 million in FY 2020; as well as reforms to the workers’ compensation program, which are expected to eventually drive down claims costs and produce savings for the city. These and other savings and efficiencies will be identified to reduce FY 2020 costs and ensure a more viable financial future for all of Chicago.

For updates and details on the budget town halls, please visit www.chicago.gov and follow the city on Facebook and Twitter.