As we head into summer, there’s nothing more important than keeping every Chicago community safe.
That’s why I recently announced a bold, transformative, all-city approach to violence prevention this summer. With a new, whole-of-government approach, we’re focused on the 15 areas of the city facing the most violence according to data from the last three years. City departments like Public Health, Family and Support Services, CPS, the Park District, the libraries and others are all flooding these areas with supports for youth and families. We’re partnering up with local community groups, the faith community and more. If we make meaningful, sustained progress in these areas, it will have a ripple effect across the entire city. And we’re sending a message–public safety is everyone’s responsibility.
Here’s what I know for sure: Chicago has an incredibly painful history with violence—especially during the summer. And for too long, we’ve been over-reliant on the police alone to address these challenges, when what we really need is a holistic approach. Our young people need a safe place to learn and have fun. Our communities need access to job opportunities, social services, and resources—especially as we emerge from the pandemic.
We’ve seen far too many times what happens when our young people and their families don’t have access to opportunity within their own neighborhoods. Disinvestment deepens. Cycles of poverty continue. And violent crimes increase.
But as long as I am Mayor, I will not allow this history to preordain Chicago’s future. We’re deploying resources from every department and every agency to flood communities most impacted by violence with support.
It’s not enough to simply say we want to create a safer Chicago. We must take bold, transformative action. And that’s what we’re doing every day this summer.
Thank you for doing your part.
Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot