Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker has issued a disaster proclamation for numerous counties throughout the state to help with recovery efforts following looting and civil unrest over the weekend.
The proclamation covers Champaign, Cook, DuPage, Kane, Kendall, Madison, Macon, Sangamon and Will counties, Pritzker announced during a press conference Monday.
“(This order) will allow us to coordinate with state agencies and resources to assist local governments with response and recovery efforts,” Pritzker said.
The Illinois National Guard, which was already called in to help Chicago police deal with protests and looting over the weekend, will be utilized to help with recovery efforts in other parts of the state, along with Illinois State Police, according to Pritzker.
Pritzker announced that an additional 250 National Guard soldiers will be activated to help deal with the unrest and with recovery efforts, and more than 300 more Illinois State Police troopers will be deployed throughout the state.
“It’s difficult to put into words the damage that has been done to our communities this weekend,” he said. “This is a difficult second rebuilding to ask of people on top of the pandemic-induced economic strife we’re dealing with.”
Pritzker says that the looting and damage to businesses will disproportionately affect small business owners, and says that the destruction has to stop.
“Property can be rebuilt, but the pain will fall disproportionately on the backs of small business owners, working families and communities of color, and it has to stop,” he said.
“Let me be clear: we cannot allow those who have taken advantage of this moment to loot and smash, to also steal the voices of those expressing a need for real meaningful change,” Pritzker said. “This will not be our story here in Illinois.”