CHICAGO — There was a hope that delaying the start of a city council meeting, there would be enough aldermen present to vote on a homelessness relief plan.
The Bring Chicago Home plan would plan to increase the city transfer tax on property sales more than $1 million, generating approximately $160 million a year to fund homelessness programs in the city.
The resolution planned to also offer mental health and employment services for the estimated 65,000 homeless people living in Chicago.
In the end, the city council fell one alderperson short of having quorum — meaning the vote did not pass.
While the Mayor chaired the earlier meeting, it was allegedly clear that she did not want the meeting heard. Members of the progressive caucus called her out as she tried to adjourn the meeting.
“The issue is not Bring Home Chicago, the issue is the people who did not show up to vote because they’d rather do what the mayor tells them to, rather than their job,” April Harris from the Chicago Coalition for the Homeless said.
Despite the attempts at getting enough aldermen to vote on the bill, the delay did not help the cause. Only 25 council members were in the chamber an hour later, meaning they could not hold the vote on if the “bring Chicago home” plan would be on the ballot for Chicago voters to decide on.
There is still a chance that this referendum could make it onto the February ballot and that comes Tuesday when the rules committee meets to discuss the referendum planning to be on the ballot in February.
“We are not giving up this fight — ever,” Harris said.