Cook County Passes 2021 Budget with Small Cut to Sheriff’s Office
Since the summer, we have organized alongside our partners at SOUL, The People’s Lobby, National Nurses United, the Shriver Center on Poverty Law, and 43 additional endorsing organizations to support the Budget for Black Lives. Together, we pushed the Cook County Board to cut the Sheriff’s budget by $157 million and to invest that money into resources for the communities most impacted by mass incarceration. Yesterday, the Cook County Board passed the 2021 budget. While this budget included a 7% ($35 million) decrease in the Cook County Sheriff’s budget, it failed to live up to the promise of the Justice for Black Lives Resolution adopted by the board in July and supported by our campaign.
Although this budget did not meet our demands, it is an important victory on the path to defunding and closing Cook County Jail. Before this year, Sheriff Tom Dart has been able to secure more money in his budget every year—even as the number of people in his custody continued to decrease dramatically. This year’s budget reversed that trend, and these cuts would not have happened without your presence at actions, your pressure on social media, and the phone calls and emails you made to our county commissioners. We thank you for your support throughout this campaign and look forward to working with you next year to win a budget that reflects the real needs of the people of Cook County.