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Chicago mayor responds to criticism over migrant spending, ShotSpotter

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(The Center Square) – Chicago Mayor Brandon Johnson is fighting back against critics of his actions and policies.

Migrant spending and gunshot-detection technology are among the issues that have led the city council to push back against the mayor. Aldermen voted 34 to 14 in favor of a measure aimed at keeping ShotSpotter, after Johnson announced that the city would stop using the technology in September. Johnson said he has demonstrated his willingness to collaborate.

“Where I compromised was actually offering the extension. This was at the request of the superintendent, so that data could be collected. That is actually what is already in the order,” Johnson said, referencing Chicago Police Superintendent Larry Snelling.

The mayor disagreed with the idea that he makes unilateral decisions without broad community discussion.

“It’s not like Meigs Field. It’s not like raiding pensions. It’s not like closing public housing, closing schools, selling off the Skyway, selling off the parking meters,” Johnson said.

Johnson and the city council have allotted more than $350 million to migrant care, but the mayor says he has saved taxpayers more than $200 million.

Johnson insisted that the migrant situation is an international crisis that requires a federal response, but he chose not to call out President Joe Biden.

“Trump Republicans have to stop using this as a political moment and actually dig a little bit deeper and perhaps actually exercise the faith that they ostensibly subscribe to by speaking to the least of these while also investing, particularly in Black Chicago and brown Chicago and places around the globe,” Johnson said.

The mayor said Chicago’s migrant operation, centered around people’s humanity, is working.