Correspondent: C. Dwayne West
Illinoisans have finally secured a balanced budget from the governor and the state legislators, but the long-awaited so-called accomplishment has destroyed families, much-needed community social programs and created such a maligned division between two groups (Dem & Rep) that are supposed to think people first, their own egos, last.
But unfortunately, both of the state's political parties acted in a very immature and unreasonable manner. They seem to have had very little concern for the voters of the state of Illinois, and the condition that millions would find themselves in, negatively, as long as they restricted each other from being labeled the winner in restoring the state's budget. It was horrible and they should be ashamed.
I've been fortunate enough to partner with AARP to present some much-needed dialog about the state's fiasco and how families, individuals, and organizations have been affected as well as the ones who've survived the state's budget shortcomings. And on Tuesday, October 2, AARP Illinois and community leaders will engage in a Town Hall Forum to share stories on how the fiscal crisis has impacted communities.
The Forum is from 5:30 p.m. - 7:30 p.m. at Gallery Guichard, 436 E. 47th Street (Chicago). FREE event and DINNER will be served. All must register at https://aarp.cvent.com/
BronzevilleForum. The prestigious panel will include FM Supreme, a global youth activist who has either organized or participated in dozens of protests and/or marches, who's currently working on her Ph.D. Award-winning journalist, Mary Mitchell, with over four decades in the media industry, and Jim Allen from the Chicago Board of Election, will also participate.
Today, millions have been devastated by the delay of a balanced budget. For too long Illinois suffered through a prolonged state budget crisis that impacted residents of all ages. Everybody suffered from the lack of programs and services – from college students to working families and their children, and from older residents to social service providers. Illinoisans of all backgrounds in every corner of this state mobilized to put pressure on their elected officials to work towards a balanced state budget.
We now have a state budget – but that does not mean we are out of the woods. Illinoisans still face daily challenges: residents are paying the highest property taxes in the nation, paying increasing local and state fees, higher rates for utilities and struggling with an increasing cost of living. Additionally, many lost their jobs as businesses and social service providers closed their doors or reduced their hours and become unable to further extend the credit used to cover the state’s unpaid bills.
The impact to Illinois has been enormous. We need to keep urging the Illinois General Assembly and the governor to put politics aside and continue to work to restore Illinois’ fiscal health. The Forum will be streamed and broadcast live by NPR Illinois.