CHICAGO— On October 8 the Grassroots Collaborative held a press conference at City Hall to release a groundbreaking new report, “Downtown Prosperity, Neighborhood Neglect: Chicago’s Black and Latino Workers Left Behind,” detailing how the job creation benefits of TIF and city investments go almost exclusively to white, college-educated city residents or suburb-dwellers, and not to the Black and Latino residents of Chicago neighborhoods.
“Our report shows spending billions of dollars of TIF money in downtown has only gotten Chicagoans one out of four of the new jobs created. Prioritizing downtown to the exclusion of neighborhoods is an economic development strategy failing most of the people in the city,” said report lead author Eric Tellez, Research and Data Manager for the Grassroots Collaborative .
The report lays out a sharp racial disparity in downtown job gains and losses. From 2002 to 2011, Black majority city zip codes suffered a median loss of 620 downtown jobs per zip code and Latino majority city zip codes suffered a median loss of 381 downtown jobs per code; meanwhile, white majority city zip codes each added a median of 509 downtown jobs during the same period. Englewood was one of the leading neighborhoods in terms of downtown jobs lost–losing approximately 800 jobs–while Naperville gained over 800 downtown jobs. (more…)