Black, Hispanic groups hold simultaneous protests

Comments:  | Leave A Comment

Proposed state budget cuts will bring harm to social service agencies and the citizens they serve, according to protestors at two rallies held Monday. The rallies were held in separate locations, but the protestors were united in their theme: No cuts to

Proposed state budget cuts will bring harm to social service agencies and the citizens they serve, according to protestors at two rallies held Monday.  The rallies were held in separate locations, but the protestors were united in their theme: No cuts to youth-oriented social services. About 100 parents, youth and local residents braved the cold weather as they chanted “leave us be” outside the Chicago Area Project office, a non-profit social service agency at 605 S. Albany. Simultaneously, a Hispanic group held a protest outside the National Museum of Mexican Art, 852 W. 19th St. Last month Gov. Quinn proposed a $52.7 billion budget to the General Assembly that included cuts to social service programs funded through the state’s Department of Human Services. Under the proposed 2012 budget funding for such programs as addiction treatment, child care services, domestic violence shelters, community youth services, and teenage parent services would be reduced. The state’s 2012 fiscal year begins July 1. Both protesting groups say the cuts would disproportionately affect communities of color. “We need to keep investing in essential, necessary services while cutting programs that don’t work,” Gov. Quinn said to state lawmakers during his budget address last month. “If you don’t agree with our debt restructuring plan, tell us which programs you would eliminate to pay $8.7 billion in overdue bills.” But CAP doesn’t want to see its programs axed.  The 70-year-old agency reaches out to youth, including juvenile delinquents, in an effort to keep them out of trouble through mentoring, financial literacy and other programs. “The Chicago Area Project faces a $5 million shortfall for fiscal year 2012 as a result of these cuts, and if we cannot find new funding we may not be able to offer this service,” said Geneva Peterson-Castleberry, program director for CAP’s Career Development and Employment Center. After school tutoring, health and wellness, sports and recreational, and vocational training are other programs CAP offers. “Education is a favorite here. Youth really enjoy learning with us,” said Howard Lathan, associate executive director of the Chicago Area Project. “If these cuts go through we will see more youth incarcerated than educated. No doubt about it.” Without these programs it would be difficult for youth to get that extra help they need with their schoolwork, said parent Monica Alexander. “These programs have been extremely helpful to my four kids. My oldest daughter has done so well in school since she started going to after school at the Chicago Area Project,” Alexander said. “Mark my word, if these types of programs are stripped away there will be a decreased interest in school from youth.”  “It is not fair that youth have to suffer because of bad decisions made by adults,” Jackson added. Copyright 2011 Chicago Defender

Tags:

Comments

blog comments powered by Disqus
Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 285 other followers