Protesters angry with Mayor Rahm Emanuel for privatizing primary care at seven health clinics plan to rally outside of city hall after his budget address to city council on Wednesday.
“All the clinics that are being privatized are in communities in color and communities that are getting the short end of the stick,” said Matt Ginsberg-Jaeckle, spokesman for the Mental Health Movement, an advocacy group supported by the Chicago Board of Mental Health. “The mayor knows privatized care won’t serve those who need it most. Only the public sector has a no turn-away policy.”
The mayor’s office has indicated that it will use surplus TIF (Tax Increment Financing) funds to cover a $635 million budget shortfall, but Ginsberg-Jaeckle said the mayor is taking away funding for social services.
“He's going to say that there is not enough in those TIF funds to keep the clinics public, but there is enough to help the major corporations and banks on LaSalle Street,” Ginsberg-Jaeckle said.
He said that he expects a few hundred protesters from the Mental Health Movement to come to City Hall Wednesday. They will be joined by labor groups participating in Stand Up Chicago’s Take Back Chicago week of action. After gathering outside City Hall, the group hopes to deliver more than 4,000 letters to the mayor’s fifth-floor office.
“The mayor knows better,” Ginsberg-Jaeckle said. “It's just a question of him not wanting to hurt his political and economic influences.”