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Lori E. Lightfoot Chicago
USA

“Mayors have a responsibility to look forward and envision their city as a place where all residents can live in safe and prosperous communities. To advance racial equity and inclusive growth, Mayors must address the racial, social, health, and economic inequities plaguing their most vulnerable communities. I am excited to join the OECD Champion Mayors for Inclusive Growth Initiative because it gives global leaders an opportunity to convene and share ideas for advancing the social and economic wellbeing of our residents and collectively discover new ways to improve our cities.”

– Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot

biography

Lori E. Lightfoot was elected into office on May 20, 2019, and is Chicago’s first LGBTQ, black woman Mayor. Before becoming Mayor, she served as an Assistant U.S. Attorney, Chair of the Police Accountability Task Force, and senior equity partner in the Litigation and Conflict Resolution Group at Mayer Brown. As Mayor, she has expanded opportunity and inclusive economic growth across Chicago. Some of her accomplishments include passing worker protection legislation, increasing Chicago’s minimum wage, establishing a pilot universal basic income program for low-income families, and investing resources in public safety, environmental justice, mental health care, affordable housing, equitable public transit development, and community development initiatives.

How is the
Mayor promoting
Inclusive Growth ?
INVEST South/West

Chicago’s South and West side communities have experienced decades of public and private disinvestment. To address this issue, in October 2019, the Mayor launched the INVEST South/West initiative to bring more than $1.4 billion in public and private investment to 10 neighbourhoods on the South and West sides. This community revitalisation project targets and supports disinvested commercial corridors by restoring historic buildings, transforming vacant properties, improving public infrastructure, installing public art projects, and providing financial support to small businesses. The City convened government departments, businesses, philanthropies, and community leaders to design and construct projects that bring equitable and inclusive economic development. As of 2022, the City of Chicago has invested more than $525 million in public funding, while private and non-profit funders have committed over $575 million.

 

 

 

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The City of Chicago has not had a citywide plan since the 1966 Comprehensive Plan. In July 2022, Mayor Lightfoot announced ‘We Will Chicago,’ a citywide draft plan with 40 goals and 150 objectives to uplift Chicago residents, especially those suffering from social, racial, and economic challenges. This plan was developed by a diverse group of residents and community leaders throughout Chicago, including artists, nonprofit directors, community organisers, policy researchers, city agency staff, and other community stakeholders. ‘We Will Chicago’ acknowledges the city’s historic systemic inequities and puts equity and resiliency as the guiding principles to transform Chicago into an inclusive city. The research teams developed eight focus areas which include arts and culture, economic development, housing and neighborhoods, public health and safety, transportation and infrastructure, and environment, climate and energy.

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Chicago Recovery Plan

The COVID-19 pandemic had a damaging impact on Chicago’s economy and residents. Businesses closed, tourism and travel decreased, mental health issues increased, and food and housing insecurity rose. These issues were felt worst by low-income people of color. As a result, the Chicago Recovery Plan was created to distribute $1.2 billion to programs that boosted COVID-related recovery efforts. This plan focused on investing $776.1 million to help local communities thrive by promoting programs that focused on violence prevention, affordable housing, health, and other community services. In addition, $450.9 million were allocated to provide economic relief, and neighborhood development to communities and industries hit hardest by the pandemic.

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