Community Groups Vow to Continue Fighting Broken TIFs Despite Court Ruling

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A judge has granted the City of Chicago’s motion to dismiss the lawsuit filed by Chicago Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights and national Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights on behalf of  Grassroots Collaborative and Raise Your Hand for Illinois Public Education over the creation of a new TIF district for the Lincoln Yards luxury development and the systemic racial inequity caused by the City’s administration of the program.

“We are disappointed with today’s ruling,” stated Aneel Chablani, Chief Counsel for Chicago Lawyers’ Committee.  “Although our complaint was dismissed based on legal standing, the ruling did not actually address the substance of our arguments that Chicago’s administration of TIF is discriminatory and illegal and that the Lincoln Yards TIF should never have been approved. We will be evaluating all legal options to address today’s court ruling and continue this challenge.”

Amisha Patel, Executive Director of Grassroots Collaborative added, “Nothing about today’s decision will stop our decades-long fight to end the racist abuse of the TIF program by the City of Chicago. We are going to continue to pursue both our legal and legislative options to stop the abuse of the program. We hope that the Lightfoot administration will join with us in the push for TIF reform instead of fighting us. We continue to call on her administration to hold hearings on the TIF program in the low-income neighborhoods that the TIF program was originally intended to help.”

“The $1.3 billion mega-TIF for Lincoln Yards is a perfect example of how our broken TIF system takes public funds away from families in under-resourced communities who need the most support, particularly hurting people of color,” stated Jennie Biggs with Raise Your Hand for Illinois Public Education. “Our public schools can’t afford for these abuses to continue. Inaction on this issue is not an option.”

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