Green Proposes Doubling Animal Care Budget To Make Chicago No-Kill City

Chicago’s Animal Care and Control shelter would be expanded under a plan by mayoral challenger Ja’Mal Green to double its budget and turn it into a no-kill facility. | Sun-Times file photo

Mayoral challenger Ja’Mal Green on Monday proposed doubling the $6.4 million-a-year budget of the Commission on Animal Care and Control to enlarge the city pound and finally make Chicago a “no-kill” city where animals are euthanized only if terminally ill.

To bankroll the expansion, Green proposed incentives for the widely ignored dog license and following the lead of Zurich and other European cities by creating a $10 “behavioral test” for dogs before licenses are issued.

To reduce what he called the city’s “alarming” rate of killing animals, Green also proposed a “pets for vets” program to turn dogs held in the city pound into service and emotional support animals for veterans and disabled Chicagoans.

“My dog was mauled by four pit bulls last year. They were dog fighting in the neighborhood and, next thing you know, they jumped over my grandmother’s fence and mauled my dog to death,” Green said.

“We need to find new creative ways to make sure these dogs are registered and not just running loose and attacking people or other animals, which is where that behavioral test would come in. We have an outrageous number of dog bites. … The test will … make sure that the dog is behaving properly. The money would go back to the pound for these programs that I’m talking about.”

In 2012, then-City Clerk Susana Mendoza’s carrot-and-stick appeal to Chicago owners of unlicensed dogs more than doubled registration.

Mendoza succeeded where her predecessors failed by offering free rabies vaccines at citywide events and by holding an online dog registration contest with prizes donated by local businesses.

But those carrots were supposed to be followed by a stick: $30 to $200 tickets for dog owners who have thumbed their noses at the city’s mandatory dog license for decades without consequence.

Instead, the city’s Commission on Animal Care and Control dropped the ball either because it was inundated and understaffed or because Mayor Rahm Emanuel changed executive directors just when a ticket blitz was supposed to begin, including stings at dog parks and beaches.

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Why Ja’Mal Green, Kat Kerwin, and Hadiya Afzal are Running for Office

Twenty-two-year-old Ja’Mal Green never planned to run for office. “It was something that I felt would corrupt you,” he tells Teen Vogue. “I’d always look at leadership and saw that politics were corrupt, and I thought we could do better on the outside.”

But now Ja’Mal is pulling 14-hour days on the campaign trail as a Democratic candidate for mayor of Chicago, challenging sitting mayor Rahm Emanuel. He’s not alone; dozens of other young people in their teens and early 20s are running for office at all levels of government in the United States, ranging from the local school board all the way up to Congress.

In Kansas, six teenagers of different political affiliations made headlines when they entered the gubernatorial race. Eighteen-year-old Gabrielle Anzalone ran for the school board in Lindenhurst, New York, after almost getting suspended for participating in the National School Walkout; she entered the race with a month to go and came up less than 300 votes short of getting elected. And 13-year-old Democrat Ethan Sonneborn is gaining respect from adults in his run for Vermont governor thanks to his policy-driven campaign.
The impact of young people’s activism and political engagement has been at the forefront of the national political conversation. Following the Parkland shooting in February, the power of young people has reached a fever pitch. The March for Our Lives — which took place in March as a response to the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School and the stream of gun violence impacting young people — has been called one of the biggest youth protests since the Vietnam War, with over 450 organized marches around the U.S. and the participant count in the millions.

Of course, while rallies and marches are integral parts of democracy, they can often feel short-term and fleeting. People usually leave asking, “What comes next?” Now young people are setting their sights on making long-lasting change by running for public office. Sure, becoming a lawmaker isn’t that glamorous; the hours are long and filled with nitpicky policy debates, angry constituents, Internet trolls, and endless fund-raising. But these young people say American politics needs an upgrade — and their solution includes getting new faces into the mix… Continue reading at

Activist Ja’Mal Green announces run for mayor of Chicago

Community activist Ja’Mal Green is joining the growing pool of challengers to Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel.

A recognizable figure in Chicago’s Black Lives Matter movement, Green has been a longtime Emanuel critic.

“Millennials all over the world are stepping up and taking charge,” he told the Sun-Times Thursday. “In the environment we’re in today, Chicago needs change, corruption needs to end, we need a modern approach to politics in Chicago.”