Chicago Mayor Brandon Johnson gets little support for migrant tent camps

Chicago Mayor Brandon Johnson gets little support for migrant tent camps

Voters, community residents and some aldermen are upset with Chicago Mayor Brandon Johnson over how decisions to place migrant tent camps have been handled. Voters polled were 63% opposed to 28% in support of the winter tent plan.

Chicago voters were over 2 to 1 against Mayor Brandon Johnson’s plan to house migrants in tents for the winter, a conflict between city leadership and communities recently leading to protests. Chicago Mayor Brandon Johnson's migrant tent plan

Tent construction in Brighton Park was met Nov. 20 by protesters blocking trucks. Community members in the Morgan Park neighborhood opposed a shelter going on an old parking lot. At least three aldermen have spoken out against plans.

And residents of the Austin neighborhood are worried about losing access and needed services at Amundsen Park. The park was tapped as a potential location for migrant housing.

“Austin has one of the highest rates of violence in the city, and we have youth programming in this park,” said Amundsen Park board member Linda Johnson. “If you’re really concerned about violence, show it by not taking away parks that keep kids off the streets.”

Last month, residents filed a temporary restraining order to get the city to find another place for the shelter. Linda Johnson said there must be a better solution than one that cuts off a neighborhood from its resources.

“We’re not anti-anything. I feel it’s not us against them, it’s us against the way [the city] tries to do things in our community,” she said.

Linda Johnson is not alone. In a recent Lincoln Poll of Chicago voters, 64% disapproved, of Johnson’s handling of the migrant crisis. Only 23% said they approved.

The mayor has also faced criticism from aldermen, including 12th Ward Ald. Julia Ramirez, 21st Ward Ald. Ronnie Mosley and 29th Ward Ald. Chris Taliaferro. They are frustrated they and constituents have had little or no say in where the city plans to put migrant shelters within their districts.

Johnson near bottom of mayoral approvals 1979 - 2023

The mayor’s current approval rating is the lowest of any Chicago mayor in their first year in office, according to the same survey of Chicagoans. You can read the full results of the poll here.


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