Chicago mayoral candidate Lori Lightfoot and fifteen aldermanic challengers held a press conference today to announce the People First Pledge, a series of ethics reforms to build the most transparent and accountable City Hall Chicago has ever seen.

“On August 21, 2018, I released a plan to clean up City government,” said Lightfoot. “We’ve continued to speak out about critical anti-corruption measures ever since. And so today, I’m honored to be standing with other people of good will, people who are running for office because they love our city, but recognize the need for change.

“It’s not about the office we’re running for or the area we seek to represent. It’s not an endorsement. We’re standing here to say that we believe in the fundamental truth that government must serve the people. I’ve been speaking out consistently on the need for ethics reform, and I’m standing here today, to reject a broken political system that serves only itself. This is a machine that ignores and undermines people who look like me, who come from families like mine, and who deserve representation and opportunity just like anyone else.”

The People First Pledge reads:

On February 26th, 2019, we have an opportunity to build a City government that serves the people, not the special interests and machine politicians of the past. This pledge transcends any individual candidate, neighborhood, or government position. It’s about our shared commitment to building the most transparent and accountable City Hall Chicago has ever seen.

As a candidate for office in Chicago, I pledge to:

  1. Run for only one elected office at a time;
  2. Ban elected officials, other City employees, and their immediate family members from holding outside jobs that conflict with their city responsibilities; and fix Rule 14 to ensure that if conflicts of interest do arise, aldermen immediately disclose them, and on the record; and recuse themselves from any City Council proceedings related to the conflict;
  3. Implement term limits for the mayor (two terms) and for chairmanships in City Council (two terms);
  4. Create a non-partisan City Council ward map redistricting process that is open, transparent, and respects ward boundaries as community boundaries;
  5. Improve transparency and opportunities for public engagement, such as running the workers’ compensation program in public view and holding multiple budget town hall meetings each fall;
  6. Limit aldermanic prerogative to ensure that aldermen do not have unilateral veto power over important affordable housing developments and other far-reaching decisions in their wards;
  7. Comply with FOIA and end FOIA abuse to ensure public access to information and prevent financial consequences of noncompliance;
  8. Build a unified Office of Inspector General to oversee City departments, City Council and its committees, sister agencies, and City contractors, and allow the Inspector General to investigate alleged ethics violations, including through the use of subpoenas.

Signed by (as of Jan. 8, 2019):

Lori Lightfoot, Candidate for Mayor of Chicago
Alexandria Willis, Aldermanic Candidate for the 3rd Ward
Jedidiah Brown, Aldermanic Candidate for the 7th Ward
Jaime Guzman, Aldermanic Candidate for the 14th Ward
Rafael Yañez, Aldermanic Candidate for the 15th Ward
Andre Smith, Aldermanic Candidate for the 20th Ward
Cynthia Bednarz, Aldermanic Candidate for the 27th Ward
Katie Sieracki, Aldermanic Candidate for the 33rd Ward
Amanda Yu Dietrich, Aldermanic Candidate for the 35th Ward
Dianne Delaiden, Aldermanic Candidate for the 40th Ward
Maggie O’Keefe, Aldermanic Candidate for the 40th Ward
Leslie Fox, Aldermanic Candidate for the 43rd Ward
Jacob Ringer, Aldermanic Candidate for the 43rd Ward
Jeff Jenkins, Aldermanic Candidate for the 47th Ward
Heather Way Kitzes, Aldermanic Candidate for the 47th Ward
Matt Martin, Aldermanic Candidate for the 47th Ward