In the November 6th election, voters are going to have two very easy questions to answer on the back page of the ballot: “Should we build a mental health center?” and “Are you willing to pay for it?” (Paraphrased, exact questions at end). The work has been done by The Coalition To Save Our Mental Health Centers who have successfully reinstated two mental health centers in Chicago already. Logan Square’s previous mental health center was closed six years ago due to budget constraints. Before work can begin on building this new center, it has to pass a vote. So I’m here to either convince you it is worth the very small tax hike, or more likely to convince you that after you cast a vote for governor- there are still important things you need to vote for, you’ve already put the time in going down to the polling place and I know you’re excited to go bowling, or eat potato chips, or spend 5 minutes in peace by yourself in the car with out your kids tying the dog’s tail in a knot, but please just flip the ballot over and quickly check two more boxes (actually fill in the little line thingy).
Residents have shown an overwhelming support for building the facility. They’ve collected over 8800 signatures, partnered with neighbors, religious groups, local non-profits, schools, and held press conferences. And of course this is the sort of thing that residents would be in support of- better access to mental health for residents in the community is like a politician promising “fair taxes”, or “better schools”, or “no killing kittens”, it’s just the sort of feel-good thing that everyone can get behind. (As a politician, I have a strong “no killing kittens” platform).
The only deterrent to this is obviously raised taxes. The center is unique because the communities served will pay for the center directly; every dollar is by law, guaranteed to stay in the community. A second question on the ballot will be “are you OK with having your taxes raised?”. The increase will be 0.025% or about $4 for every $1000 you pay annually in property taxes. This center will be providing out reach programs at schools, family counseling, therapy, and other services regardless of the recipients ability to pay, and I get it, “all taxation is theft”, but how many more double-shot-double-whip-soy-almond-half-caff-cappuccinos do you need every year, Susan? Are five of them really more important than little Timmy and Tina having family counseling? Are they?
As a veteran, I’m strongly in support of this center getting built. I’ve mentioned in previous posts that approximately 20 veterans per day commit suicide nationwide. When I returned from Afghanistan I would drive 45 minutes once every three months just to ‘keep an eye’ on my Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) symptoms for three years; I work on math and other problems to self-medicate symptoms, that works for me but not everyone. I know countless veterans who struggle with PTSD. Easy access to mental health can literally be the difference between a suicide attempt and seeking help. This facility would mean easier access for veterans and everyone in the community and would provide access for people who don’t have it now. And if you’re thinking, “well, Veterans fought for the country and these other people didn’t do anything so the Vets ‘deserve’ mental health care and these other people don’t”, then I think you need help most of all, because that line of reasoning is insane.
Finally, the question remains- why am I pushing for this on my campaign for Alderman site? Some of you may remember the Cambridge Analytica thing from last election. Well, Facebook and Twitter were a bit embarrassed and to keep that from happening again they now have 1000 hurdles you have to jump for doing anything political. Since I’ve already passed most of those hurdles on Facebook and Instagram, I wanted to use my platform to shout about something I care about. I will say, aside from being one of the 8800 signatories, this article, and some advertising to raise awareness, I’ve had no involvement in this coalition, so if you don’t like it- yell at me not them.
Snapchat on the other hand has a shockingly low bar for political stuff, so I made this filter which is running all weekend in the 60622 and 60647 zipcodes. Ahh Snapchat, teenage dirt bag of the social media world- never change.
For more information checkout Coalition to Save Our Mental Health Centers.
Remember to vote yes! to Mental Health on November 6th, and to come out and vote for someone in your local elections on February 26th.
“Shall there be established, to serve the territory commonly described on this ballot or notice of this question, a Logan Square, Avondale, and Hermosa Expanded Mental Health Services Program, to provide direct free mental health services for any resident of the territory who needs assistance in overcoming or coping with mental or emotional disorders, where such program will be funded through an increase of not more than .025% of the equalized assessed valuation of all properties within the boundaries of the territory?”
“Under the Property Tax Extension Limitation Law, may an aggregate extension not to exceed $850,000 be made for the Logan Square, Avondale, and Hermosa Expanded Mental Health Services Program for the 2019 levy year?”