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*** UPDATED x1 - Governor’s office rebuts *** Mayor doubles down

Friday, Feb 16, 2024 - Posted by Rich Miller

* Leigh Giangreco and Justin Laurence at Crain’s

Illinois and Cook County have pledged about $250 million in funding to aid the ongoing migrant crisis, but the city says it never committed to provide its own share of $71 million.

State, county and city officials identified $321 million needed through 2024 to support ongoing shelter and support services, according to a Feb. 15 state and county joint statement.

A spokesman for the mayor’s office told Crain’s the “city never made that commitment” to provide the additional $71 million.

Mary Ann Ahern

Earlier this month, Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker and Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle met with Chicago Mayor Brandon Johnson at City Hall to discuss the need for more funding.

Multiple sources tell NBC Chicago that all three agreed on what it would take to prepare that funding, but the mayor later distanced the city from the agreement.

*** UPDATE *** Jordan Abudayyeh rebuts…

After a month of meetings where the state, county and city worked to assemble a long term funding plan, it was widely reported that the Governor attended a meeting at City Hall on February 5th.

At that meeting the state, county and city agreed that an additional $321 million was needed to sustain current operations to continue providing much needed humanitarian aid.

The Governor agreed to ask the General Assembly for $182 million to cover more than half of the additional funding, while it was agreed that the county and city would go to the county board and city council for the rest of the funding.

With the understanding of those commitments the staffs from each office, including the Mayor’s Office, met to discuss making the joint funding announcement and briefing our respective legislative bodies.

By Wednesday of that week the city pulled out of a staff level planning meeting and by the weekend the Mayor called the Governor to notify him the city would not be a part of the joint announcement.

* From Isabel…

    * Sun-Times | To trace the origins of busing migrants to Chicago, start with Donald Trump, Tucker Carlson and Ted Cruz: Pritzker said he worried about what would happen after May 11, 2023 — a day “burned in my head.” That was the expiration date for Title 42, the federal coronavirus health order enacted under the Trump administration to allow U.S. authorities to quickly send migrants back to Mexico. “We all knew that that could mean that there would be a big flow into the country — not knowing if the governor of Texas was going to now flood them into Chicago or to some other location,” Pritzker said.

    * WIFR | Winnebago Co. Board discusses resolution for potential migrant crisis: Leaving the floor open to the public, board members took input from residents on how the situation should be handled. Board member Paul Arena says the point of the discussion was to make it clear that the discussed resolution applies only if migrants are abandoned in the county en route to Chicago. “We hope that it eases the public’s mind. That they are made confident that number one we are responsibly using their tax money and secondly to people that are concerned about the welfare of migrants, that we are going to give them proper care, should this happen.”

    * CNN | I asked criminologists about immigration and crime in the US. Their answers may surprise you: Charis Kubrin and Graham Ousey literally wrote the book on immigration and crime. They’ve been researching these issues for decades and analyzed numerous studies for their 2023 book, “Immigration and Crime: Taking Stock.” […] Ousey: Human beings commit crime in pretty much all societies across the globe. But the bottom line is what gets lost in those anecdotal stories — those lead you to a flashpoint of negativity in which you ignore all the potentially good things that immigrants bring to our society. And it’s frustrating to try to bring evidence to the table and try to contextualize things and put it statistically when you’re arguing against this flashpoint that allows people to more or less kind of ignore everything else.

    * NYT | Big Burden of Migrant Influx Strains Denver: In his first six months in office last summer, the mayor of Denver, Mike Johnston, managed to get more than 1,200 homeless people off the streets and into housing. That seemed like a fitting feat for a city that prides itself on its compassion. It would turn out to be a footnote compared with the humanitarian crisis that Denver would soon face as thousands of migrants flooded the city, many of them bused from the southern border by Gov. Greg Abbott of Texas and almost all of them in need of shelter and support.

    * Axios | Most Americans say the feds are doing a bad job with the migrant crisis: About 80% of Americans say the U.S. government is doing a bad job dealing with the large number of migrants at the border, including 45% who say it is doing a very bad job, a new survey finds. […] About 78% of respondents say the large number of migrants seeking to enter the country at the U.S.-Mexico border is either a crisis (45%) or a major problem (32%), according to the Pew Research Center survey.

    * CBS | How much is Massachusetts spending to shelter and feed migrants and homeless? I-Team obtains vendor contracts: Records obtained by the I-Team show the state has 17 contracts for housing totaling more than $116 million. Those contracts are only for fiscal year 2024 and end in June. […] In some cases, the hotels are collecting money from the state for three meals a day, $16 for breakfast, $17 for lunch and $31 for dinner. That means $64 dollars a day per person.

    * Wired | YouTube Livestreamers Made Money ‘Hunting’ for Migrants Along the US Border: “Anybody in there,” said Dennis Yarbery, one of the YouTubers, as he approached a migrant camp at night in Jacumba Hot Springs, California, near the border last week. Yarbery was livestreaming to thousands of people. “Come out, come out wherever you are.” Yarbery is one of three men who split off from the Take Our Border Back convoy in Texas and, according to their livestreams, spent days driving along the border in Arizona and California to harass migrants and volunteers with nonprofit groups.


  1. - Just Me 2 - Friday, Feb 16, 24 @ 1:24 pm:

    How long until a J.B. ally in the GA files a bill for municipal recall?

  2. - Rich Miller - Friday, Feb 16, 24 @ 1:27 pm:

    ===files a bill for municipal recall? ===

    I doubt you’ll see that.

  3. - New Day - Friday, Feb 16, 24 @ 1:29 pm:

    “A spokesman for the mayor’s office told Crain’s the “city never made that commitment” to provide the additional $71 million.”

    Gotcha. So you’re calling Toni a liar. I mean calling a JB a liar is not surprising but biting the hand that feeds you? Wow.

  4. - vern - Friday, Feb 16, 24 @ 1:31 pm:

    Step 1 might look more like “JB goes on the record about what happened in the City Hall meeting”

  5. - Jocko - Friday, Feb 16, 24 @ 1:37 pm:

    CEC calling MBJ ‘left wing Trump’ is spot on.

    We can now add duplicitous, in addition to being inexperienced and thin-skinned. I can’t wait for Mayor Brandon’s next press conference where he complains the mayoralty is cutting into his weekends.

  6. - ChicagoBars - Friday, Feb 16, 24 @ 1:38 pm:

    The short caption for any Chicago municipal recall bill should be ELECTIONS - PETITION CIRCULATOR APPRECIATION DAY imho.

  7. - DuPage Dad - Friday, Feb 16, 24 @ 2:19 pm:

    I don’t understand this move by Mayor. The other two players in this deal have about 50x the political capital he does.

  8. - Regular democrat - Friday, Feb 16, 24 @ 2:19 pm:

    Pretty soon we will start seeing bumper stickers around town with a picture of Lightfoot stating miss me yet? And the Bears think they can use the city as leverage in their negotiations with this clown show in charge. Pretty funny

  9. - Roman - Friday, Feb 16, 24 @ 2:26 pm:

    One of the ways the Johnson Administration seemed poised to be much different than the Lightfoot Administration was the expectation that Brandon would have some sort of game in Springfield. Not so much anymore.

    There will be a price to be paid for this, in both seen and unseen ways.

  10. - Old IL Dude - Friday, Feb 16, 24 @ 2:28 pm:

    When MBJ asked Mary Ann Ahern “Were you there in that meeting?” when confronted with the $70M that the city won’t pony up, the jig was up. Defensiveness, cagey, repeating the same cliches (”I have been clear from the very beginning…”), it all just fell apart. Being Mayor is a job, and so far he has done nothing but be the Best Buddy for CTU and SEIU. Hasn’t delivered at all for most of Chicago.

  11. - VK - Friday, Feb 16, 24 @ 2:31 pm:

    ==I don’t understand this move by Mayor. The other two players in this deal have about 50x the political capital he does.==


  12. - JS Mill - Friday, Feb 16, 24 @ 2:32 pm:

    =I don’t understand this move by Mayor. The other two players in this deal have about 50x the political capital he does.=

    And one of them can fund a slew of candidates for mayor, city council, and the school board with his couch-cushion money.

  13. - Joe Bidenopolous - Friday, Feb 16, 24 @ 2:36 pm:

    Sure am glad the city won’t need anything out of the FY25 budget /s

  14. - Sonny - Friday, Feb 16, 24 @ 2:43 pm:

    *Crying in CTA*

  15. - NIU Grad - Friday, Feb 16, 24 @ 2:46 pm:

    “by the weekend the Mayor called the Governor to notify him the city would not be a part of the joint announcement.”

    It’s telling that they gave him a day before stating for the record that the Mayor spoke to the Governor about this. They gave the Mayor a chance to explain publicly why he backed out and the Mayor did not return the courtesy in any way. The Mayor did not even hint that he spoke with the Governor during yesterday’s debacle of a presser.

  16. - NIU Grad - Friday, Feb 16, 24 @ 2:50 pm:

    “One of the ways the Johnson Administration seemed poised to be much different than the Lightfoot Administration”

    During the Lightfoot days, it was clear that the relationship between the Mayor and Governor was fully broken when the unhinged text exchanges were released in 2021. That was two years into her administration and after a very stressful pandemic emergency.

    Mayor Johnson couldn’t even make it a year before alienating the (arguably) most powerful Democratic official in the state…during a time that he is asking for increased state funding to address multiple challenges. Three more years…

  17. - Thomas Paine - Friday, Feb 16, 24 @ 2:51 pm:

    The timing of the migrant deal with Shotspotter was awful.

  18. - levivotedforjudy - Friday, Feb 16, 24 @ 3:02 pm:

    This is an incredible self-inflicted injury. They have to work together through the DNC convention, but after that, look out. My mayor has created an enemy that he is apparently too ____ to understand what he has done. Oh yeah, if proven that he lied to Preckwinkle too, whoa. She fights MMA style. Might be time for me to move to Evanston.

  19. - Bluey - Friday, Feb 16, 24 @ 3:04 pm:

    Give Jordan a raise.

  20. - Don't lose Sight - Friday, Feb 16, 24 @ 3:11 pm:

    Don’t sell let’s go Brandon short……he has a lot of leverage with JB with the upcoming Demoncratic Convention…..

  21. - DuPage - Friday, Feb 16, 24 @ 3:11 pm:

    ===biting the hand that feeds you===
    I have heard that expression describing political officials before. Often proceeded by the phrase “like a mad dog”. If he keeps biting hands he might become known as Mayor Mad Dog Johnson./s

  22. - CornAl DoGooder - Friday, Feb 16, 24 @ 3:12 pm:

    Sonny has a good point, the other shame of this is that it will likely lead to the City suffering on other issues that residents actually need from them, such as CTA. Wholly botched, and Chicago will be in even more trouble as a result

  23. - Rich Miller - Friday, Feb 16, 24 @ 3:14 pm:

    ===he has a lot of leverage===

    Do tell what that leverage would be.

  24. - Joe Bidenopolous - Friday, Feb 16, 24 @ 3:17 pm:

    -he has a lot of leverage with JB with the upcoming Demoncratic Convention…..-

    That gets him through August, at which point he has 2 years and 9 months left in his term. What then?

    As an aside, CTU used to enjoy tremendous support from parents. If I were them, I wouldn’t necessarily expect that to continue.

    Signed, a CPS parent

  25. - RNUG - Friday, Feb 16, 24 @ 4:12 pm:

    == CTU used to enjoy tremendous support from parents. If I were them, I wouldn’t necessarily expect that to continue. ==

    Parents more skeptical of CTU may not be a bad thing in the long run.

  26. - RNUG - Friday, Feb 16, 24 @ 4:14 pm:

    At this point, on his own, the mayor *may* still have enough political capital to light a single birthday candle …

  27. - JS Mill - Friday, Feb 16, 24 @ 4:16 pm:

    == CTU used to enjoy tremendous support from parents. If I were them, I wouldn’t necessarily expect that to continue. ==

    Parents more skeptical of CTU may not be a bad thing in the long run.=

    Amen to both comments. CTU may have executed the classic “overplaying ones hand” maneuver. What we have learned is that they cannot run a school district or a city with any level of competence.

  28. - Three Dimensional Checkers - Friday, Feb 16, 24 @ 4:22 pm:

    They need to bring back the memorandums of understanding to solve this historically unprecedented communications problem.

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