Last evening, President Toni Preckwinkle joined the Center for Neighborhood Technology (CNT) in celebrating the completion of their plans for the Calumet Corridor in south suburban Cook County and issued a “Call to Action” to the packed auditorium about potential cuts to federal funds and the impact in our communities.
President Preckwinkle began her remarks on the work the County is committed to, so far, as part of this plan. Highlights include:
• In Riverdale, supporting a major flood relief project in the northeast section of the village, one of the most impacted parts of the community. Construction on this project will begin later this year.
• The County has initiated a Residential Resilience Program, which will allow eligible homeowners who were impacted by the 2013 flooding to receive resources to address remaining damage and also better protect their homes against future flooding. All six communities – and any other suburb – can benefit from this program.
• Additionally, the County will be launching a new grant program to support the design and engineering of projects that address flooding and stormwater management in areas that were impacted during the 2013 flood event. Through our Disaster Recovery work, the County identified this type of program as a major gap.
President Preckwinkle then issued a significant “Call to Action” to the full house in attendance, about potential cuts to federal funding for programs like the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Program and HOME.
“The disaster recovery programs that I’ve talked about are funded with federal dollars. Our annual Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Program is a critical resource that assists many of your municipalities and serves our most vulnerable populations,” stated President Preckwinkle. “Yet the White House’s Budget Blueprint specifically targets the CDBG program. It states that “the program is not well-targeted and has not demonstrated results.” That’s nonsense. Under my administration, our CDBG program has supported more than 130 capital improvement projects in the south suburbs. These are critical infrastructure needs – roads, sewers, water mains – and facility improvements that have provided a better community and quality of life for thousands and thousands of residents. So I challenge each of you this evening to be sure that you contact your federal elected officials – your Senators and Members of Congress and, especially, the White House. Let them know that the federal government must continue to fund programs like CDBG, because the impacts are felt directly in our communities and neighborhoods. You stepped up in the RainReady efforts across the Calumet Corridor and I congratulate you. I ask you to step up again to protect federal programs that make a difference in our communities.”