CHICAGO, IL â€“ The Chinese American Service League (CASL) will be holding a press conference today, Thursday April 9th, at 2:00 PM.
During the press conference, CASL Leadership, community leaders and program recipients will discuss the impacts Governor Raunerâ€™s budget cuts will have on CASL clients and staff as well as the Chicago community at large.
Brief remarks regarding the immediate cuts and proposed future cuts will be given by Bernie Wong, CASL President, as well as Esther Wong, CASL Executive Director. Darryl Tom, Chicago Chinatown Chamber of Commerce President, will also speak in addition to Ray Chin, Chairman of the Board for the Chicago Chinatown Chamber of Commerce. Endangered CASL programs will be represented by clients, who will share success stories.
The Governorâ€™s budget cuts will impact CASL clients tremendously, and have far-reaching implications for the well-being of the community as a whole. Immediate repercussions for CASL clients include:
Family and Community Services will be forced to reduce its Teen REACH program by 60 teens, resulting in these teens out on the streets without tutoring and mentoring, and without the community support that ensures their successful transition into adulthood and reciprocating community contributions. In addition, the Immigrant Family Resources program will be forced to eliminate services for 400 clients in need of counseling on, and assistance with, public benefits.
Employment and Training Department will face a reduction in services to 200 job-seekers who utilize Digital Divide Services, a program that provides technological resources to those seeking employment. In addition, the Chef Training Program will no longer be able to offer job placement and follow-up services to 8 graduates. Revoked assistance to Chicagoâ€™s job-seekers severely degrades the economic and social health of our community.
Elderly Services Department will suffer the elimination of services to 150 immigrants in need of assistance with naturalization and legalization through the New Americans Initiative. Drastically limiting citizenship education and counselingâ€”thus deterring appropriate naturalization protocolâ€”is against the principals upon which the United States was founded, and creates unhealthy disparity among citizens and new immigrants.
CASLâ€™s new fiscal year, beginning July 1st, will see many more dramatic cuts in crucial community services