More Money Pissed Away
- On a chilly afternoon this fall, teenagers across Chicago's South Side were busy at work, earning $8.75 an hour to hand out fliers with a message of non-violence.
"Our message that we're giving out today is about being healthy," said 18-year-old Lucia Eloisa. "One of the key pointers is about taking time to reflect and seek inner peace."
Eloisa's part-time job was paid for by an ambitious state-funded program to keep at-risk teenagers out of trouble. It pumped nearly $55 million into Chicago's toughest neighborhoods and three of its suburbs to stem unrelenting gang violence.
A four-month CNN investigation found that not only did the Neighborhood Recovery Initiative (NRI) pay teens to hand out fliers promoting inner peace, it also paid these at-risk teens to take field trips to museums, march in a parade with the governor, and even attend a yoga class to learn how to handle stress.
Earlier this year, state legislators passed a resolution demanding the state conduct an audit on the program. That audit is under way.
Gee. An audit. How wonderful. We'll probably hear something about it in a year or three.
In the meantime, that $55 million could have built a second park memorializing Maggie Daley or Marie Antoinette or someone.
Labels: money questions