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The Illinois Atlas of Austerity

Sunday, May 29, 2016

* Ms. Heil is a graduate student at UIUC’s Department of Geography and GIS…

Dear Mr. Miller,

I was given your information by [redacted], who suggested I contact you.

My name is Melissa Heil, and I wanted to share with you a website I’ve recently developed. It is called the Illinois Atlas of Austerity (www.illinoisausterityatlas.com), which chronicles the various impacts the state budget impasse has had on social service agencies, higher education, youth programs, and public health. I had two goals for putting together this project. First, I wanted to create a resource that shows the breadth of the consequences of the budget impasse in an accessible way for the general public. Secondly, I hope it can be a useful tool for advocacy groups and affected organizations to communicate with their own constituents.

The website itself is not meant to be a comprehensive listing of all of the budget impasse’s effects, but rather to provide an array of “snap shots” to raise public awareness of the wide variety of consequences the impasse has for Illinois residents and organizations. Since the impasse is evolving, I hope to continue updating the site, particularly as more information about the impacts become available. It currently features information and graphics to describe 15 topics impacted by the impasse (for example, reduced services at rape crisis centers and health departments).

Please let me know if any of the maps and graphics on the site can assist in your coverage of the budget impasse. They are available to use under a creative commons attribution license.

All the best,

Melissa Heil

Creator, Illinois Atlas of Austerity

Click here to see it. Very impressive work. Also depressing as heck.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

19 Comments
  1. - Dome Gnome - Sunday, May 29, 16 @ 12:11 pm:

    This is significant. Thank you for the link.


  2. - Annonin' - Sunday, May 29, 16 @ 12:28 pm:

    Is It ok to mention TeamBigBrain wants enhance local control with a 5% cut in the income tax goin’ to cities and $100 million shift of probation cost to local funds after F* the Chicago pension bill and startin’ the $2 million hate speech ads or is that too mean?


  3. - Oswego Willy - Sunday, May 29, 16 @ 12:36 pm:

    Like Sherman’s “March to the Sea”, it’s a map of a path of destruction in its wake


  4. - jw - Sunday, May 29, 16 @ 12:58 pm:

    willy you just scored a x 10


  5. - Way Way Down Here - Sunday, May 29, 16 @ 1:02 pm:

    Thank you Melissa. Important work.


  6. - Wensicia - Sunday, May 29, 16 @ 1:13 pm:

    This should be a must read for every registered voter in this state. It should be a forced read for the governor and the GA. Excellent work!


  7. - PublicServant - Sunday, May 29, 16 @ 1:15 pm:

    Uh-oh, UIUC’s state support gonna take another hit, I’d suspect. Typical liberal institution with nothing better to do than build a partisan database of lies. /s


  8. - PublicServant - Sunday, May 29, 16 @ 1:17 pm:

    Seriously, Melissa, it’s important and timely work. Keep on shining a light on the hostage-taking.


  9. - Anon221 - Sunday, May 29, 16 @ 2:00 pm:

    If there isn’t a Golden Horseshoe Award category for work such as this, I recommend creating one and nominate Melissa for the inaugural award! Much needed compilation and graphics. THANK YOU Melissa !!!


  10. - Union Leader - Sunday, May 29, 16 @ 2:49 pm:

    Thanks Melissa, great job.


  11. - Tom K. - Sunday, May 29, 16 @ 3:55 pm:

    Two things occurred to me: One, it is disingenous to say that spending my tax dollars on social services provides more “economic activity” than my own spending of those same tax dollars at Home Depot or my local Ford dealer.
    Secondly, what would happen if we fired all 169,000 social services workers, and took their salaries, their pension contributions, the dollars spent on their offices and the utilities and upkeep of same, and gave that money directly to, say, the 25 most efficient social service providers in the state (Catholic Charities, Lutheran Services, Salvation Army, etc.)? And/or, made direct payments to lift people out of poverty, which is probably the root cause of most of the problems faced by the people using social services, anyway? Why not cut out a very expensive “middleman” and increase the actual dollars the people who need help get?


  12. - Oswego Willy - Sunday, May 29, 16 @ 3:59 pm:

    ===And/or, made direct payments to lift people out of poverty, which is probably the root cause of most of the problems faced by the people using social services, anyway? Why not cut out a very expensive “middleman” and increase the actual dollars the people who need help get?===

    You’ll then complain that direct monies are NOT given to you think are the RIGHT people… See you in church.

    ===Two things occurred to me: One, it is disingenous to say that spending my tax dollars on social services provides more “economic activity” than my own spending of those same tax dollars at Home Depot or my local Ford dealer.===

    Let em eat cake?

    You’re “simple” way of seeing things is neither simple or easy.

    Lil embarrassed for you…


  13. - Demoralized - Sunday, May 29, 16 @ 4:00 pm:

    Tom

    I certainly hope you weren’t serious with your comment. What if we fire 169,000 people? Are you kidding me?


  14. - Demoralized - Sunday, May 29, 16 @ 4:02 pm:

    OW

    People like Tom don’t care. They are too busy lamenting about “their” tax money. Its just sad.


  15. - up2now - Sunday, May 29, 16 @ 4:04 pm:

    Very impressive work.


  16. - Demoralized - Sunday, May 29, 16 @ 4:05 pm:

    Tom

    Also, after you’ve fired those 169000 people you will have added 169000 people needing services. Brilliant plan Tom


  17. - Big Ern - Sunday, May 29, 16 @ 5:03 pm:

    Nice work!


  18. - MyTwoCents - Sunday, May 29, 16 @ 6:43 pm:

    Tom K., in case you don’t realize it those 169,000 people are employees of private social service agencies including Catholic Charities, Lutheran Social Services, etc. and not State employees and they are not paid entirely with tax dollars, just primarily because there is no way private donations alone can support the social safety net in Illinois.


  19. - G'Kar - Monday, May 30, 16 @ 12:52 am:

    Impressive, Melissa. If you plan to keep working on it, I would like you to consider adding the impact to community colleges.


Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.


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