This is the written version of the public comment given by Catlyn Savado at the 11/23/20 Chicago city council meeting. A recording of her comments can be found here.
Hello again, Madam Mayor, city council, my name is Catlyn Savado. I am a 13 year old activist and organizer.
In this city, we have built an establishment where the black and brown communities become poorer and poorer and the white communities are given more resources and live in greater prosperity. This budget is regressive, and it hurts the citizens of this city. The institution of racist law enforcement has continued to act as a predator towards our black and brown communities. Our school children are given less resources, moms and dads aren’t being paid livable wages, along with that comes a struggle for ensured affordable housing and health care, and an even larger problem is our environment. But these are things you should know.
Today, I am advocating for the folks in our black and brown communities. It’s funny though, because that is YOUR JOB. To advocate and lead our communities. But instead we push for a racist, classist, ableist, pro-capitalist budget. Because, big shocker, we have decided to put money and property over human life once again, and I am starting to believe that is something some of us in this call, enjoy doing.
But you know what, I actually know why you are pushing for this budget. Because it pleases white people. It makes white people comfortable. You can say that investing into aspects that actually benefit the citizens of this city costs too much money. But you didn’t say that when you decided to overly and obsessively fund the CPD which is a predator to our black and brown communities. You didn’t say that when our kids were sent to school with teachers who were being underpaid, along with questionable conditions. Talking to this body is like talking to a brick wall. Year after year, you watch as our black and brown communities die, Englewood, Chatham, Grand Crossing. While, Beverly, Mount Greenwood, Lincoln Park, continue to thrive… Why? Because those are white neighborhoods. The segregation of the city of Chicago cannot be hidden. The systemic racism that kills our black and brown people everyday will not be hidden.
Last week, I joined this conference call and I asked you all to invest into our children, communities, mental health… and what did you do? You turned around, and you pushed for this incompetent budget. It urges me that I watch as my brothers and sisters will grow up in conditions where they were as smart as their white counterparts, but didn’t receive any opportunities because of this segregation and racist institution. Now I question how I, a 13 year old black girl, have come to this realization, but you, adults, grown folks, who pay bills and taxes, haven’t even dared to open yours eyes. If this budget follows through, the people of this city will be angry. People have fallen into poverty. Moms and dads struggling to put food on the table. We are at a life or death situation. But you all are playing with people’s lives. So I urge you to vote no on this malicious budget, thank you for your time.