"Since I launched my campaign for mayor over a year ago, I vowed that I would chart a new course for our city where the values of equality and inclusion stood as our guiding principles and north stars, and these conversations are central to that effort," said Mayor Lightfoot. "By working with residents as collaborators, we are able to better develop strong, sustainable solutions to the challenges facing our communities, ensuring comprehensive neighborhood investment, sound economic planning and true access to the community building blocks needed for our families to thrive."
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Today's meeting served as an opportunity for Mayor Lightfoot and the One Chicago for All hosts to discuss what they learned through this process, and how this partnership can turn discussion into action by addressing some of the most immediate and impactful ideas raised by community partners. Mayor Lightfoot and the alliance members committed to meeting regularly and to routinely engage new community stakeholders in discussions and partnerships between the City, its sister agencies and other community leaders focused on common issues.
Each meeting on the listening tour was hosted in a different region of the city: West, South, North, Northwest, Southwest and Far South. At each meeting, Mayor Lightfoot, her cabinet and alliance members met with 30 community leaders with a vested interest in their community, schools and infrastructure to convene a discussion centered around local issues and opportunities to partner with City Hall.
Several key themes arose from the community meetings, including, but not limited to: increased investments in economic and neighborhood development; youth and education; affordable housing; and public safety. These community priorities align closely with Mayor Lightfoot's agenda for driving development, opportunity and equity for all of Chicago's communities.
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"Our South Chicago partners agreed that this was a refreshing indication that Mayor Lightfoot truly wants a different kind of relationship with us by prioritizing meeting directly with community organizations so early on," said Angela Hurlock of Claretian Associates. "We've seen mayors at ribbon-cuttings or events, but never had this kind of face-to-face meeting where she took the time to listen and discuss what we're focused on."
The "community listening tour" was made possible through LISC Chicago with generous support from the Steans Family Foundation, Pritzker Traubert Foundation, The Polk Bros. Foundation, The MacArthur Foundation, The Chicago Community Trust, McCormick Foundation, Woods Fund and JPMorgan Chase.
Moving forward, members of Mayor Lightfoot's cabinet will meet with community organizations on a regular basis to ensure the City hears from and finds ways to integrate insights from communities into the government's decision making.
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