Lori’s Plan for Economic Development

For years, we have been presented with a false choice: invest in our downtown business district or in our neighborhoods. And we have seen the results of this false choice. As the downtown, north and near west sides thrived, neighborhoods on the west and south sides suffered. People there left the city, schools and businesses closed, and crime skyrocketed. The economic impact has and continues to be devastating.

Chicago cannot become a truly global city if we continue to invest in some areas of the city while ignoring others. Instead, we must invest in all of Chicago, and that is what I will do.

Working together to achieve a stronger and fairer Chicago economy, my administration will:

  1. Make Chicago friendly to small businesses and startups
  2. Increase access to capital for local businesses and startups
  3. Decentralize city operations by relocating city agencies to our neighborhoods
  4. Localize supply chains through community partnerships
  5. Expand opportunities for minority, disabled and women-owned businesses, small businesses andreturning citizens
  6. Use federal Opportunity Zones to drive development in distressed communities
  7. Offer small businesses planning advice and technical support
  8. Grow professional apprenticeship programs
  9. Support the integration of the regional economy
  10. Eliminate tax benefits that incentivize vacant storefronts

Lori’s Plan for Public Health

Chicago is a city of vast opportunity juxtaposed with vast inequity. For the city’s affluent, jobs, housing, access to health care resources — and even a long life — are all but guaranteed. However, hundreds of thousands of citizens are living in areas that have been systematically depressed and disinvested in for decades.

By prioritizing public health, we can make important strides toward reducing the health inequity that plagues our city and ensuring Chicago is a place that serves and provides opportunity for all its citizens.

We can do this by:

  1. Prioritizing mental health services by expanding capacity with behavioral health providers and increasing access to services.
  2. Eliminating lead contamination drinking water through assisting in removal and replacement of remaining lead service pipes, as well testing and resources for children affected by high concentrations of lead.
  3. Treating violence as a public health crisis and working to both tackle its root causes
  4. Tackling racial disparities among children and adults affected by asthma
  5. Addressing Chicago’s opioid crisis.
  6. Reducing maternal morbidity and mortality rates.
  7. Expanding access to health care through public health clinics.

Lori’s Plan for Equitable and Efficient Transit

Equitable, efficient, safer and robust transit is essential to our quality of life. Transit connects people to schools, local businesses and jobs, and it connects communities. And transit is essential to Chicago’s growth, attracting people and businesses to Chicago and promoting economic development. I am committed to growing Chicago’s transit system and making it more equitable, efficient, safer and robust.

Working together, we will do this by:

  1. Designing safe streets and incentivizing pedestrians and bicyclists
  2. Instituting fair traffic enforcement
  3. Improving and growing Chicago’ bus system
  4. Expanding bus rapid transit
  5. Electrifying our bus fleet
  6. Encouraging equitable transit oriented development
  7. Leveling the playing field between taxi and ride-hailing services

Lori’s Plan to Help Returning Citizens Succeed in Chicago

The power of a second chance is something that I deeply understand. As the sister of someone who spent much of his adult life in prison, I know how important it is that we reduce recidivism by helping people and neighborhoods. This means abandoning failed incarceration and rehabilitation policies and practices, and turning instead to evidence-based programs with track records of success, and policies that remove barriers to opportunity for people with arrest and conviction records.

It is imperative that we provide employment training and job assistance, increasing access to employment, and increasing access to safe, stable, and affordable housing.

We can dramatically reduce recidivism by:

  1. Creating the Office of Returning Citizens Affairs and streamline reentry services
  2. Supporting community-based social service programs
  3. Advancing policies and legislation that remove barriers to obtaining housing
  4. Restructure city spending to address social determinants of health
  5. Provide returning citizens access to affordable educational opportunities

Advancing Arts and Culture in Chicago

The arts are powerful. Now more than ever, it essential that we lift up and invest in our unparalleled Chicago artists.  A robust Chicago arts community inspires us, engages us, questions the status quo and has the power to bring our diverse city together in conversation around the critical challenges of our day. The arts are an economic engine that generate thousands of jobs and spur diverse business development in the Loop and our neighborhoods. We need a mayor who understands that a vibrant city is one that values and invests in its artists.

In an effort to ensure all Chicago can participate in and enjoy the arts, regardless of their zip code or economic status, we will:

  1. Prioritize funding for the Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events for increased equitable grantmaking and microfinancing to individual artists, arts organizations and arts corridors.
  2. Audit and streamline city licensing and permitting regulations, including the Public Performance and Amusement license.
  3. Develop an Artist-in-Residence program to build job opportunities for artists and mentorship opportunities for young people.
  4. Bring together ideas and resources from the city, philanthropy, culture and the arts to develop policies and strategies to keep artists living and working in Chicago.
  5. Build investment in Chicago’s public art program by overhauling the Percent for Art ordinance.
  6. Enhance the voices of socially-active artists to encourage civic engagement and support developing creative conversations and solutions to our city’s biggest challenges.

Lori’s Plan to Transform Chicago Public Schools

A world class city needs a world class public education system. Working together, we will create a pre-K-12 school system that provides equal opportunities for students, regardless of income, address or background, and which erases the achievement and graduation gaps between students. We will develop a diverse, vibrant, skilled workforce that fuels growth in every neighborhood and leaders who will shape Chicago’s future.

We will do this by transforming Chicago Public Schools into a system where: 

  1. Structural, racial and other inequities disappear
  2. Communities and stakeholders are included in decisions regarding schools
  3. Every neighborhood has high quality elementary and high schools
  4. Children enter kindergarten at the same level as their peers
  5. Schools are staffed with full-time nurses, social workers and librarians
  6. Kids receive trauma-informed instruction and mental health services
  7. Chicagoans have the opportunity to elect an independent school board
  8. CTA is more accessible for qualifying CPS students
  9. There are expanded career pathways for high school students
  10. The Community School Initiative continues to grow
  11. CPS recruits, develops and retains highly effective and diverse teachers
  12. All students have access to after school programs and experiences
  13. Diverse learners receive the resources they need to learn and succeed
  14. There is accountability in CPS’ central office
  15. Chicago Public Schools are funded

Lori’s Plan for a Cleaner Environment

Chicago city government has an absolute responsibility to take the lead on protecting residents from environmental harms. This starts with being a fierce advocate regarding the dangers of climate change and ensuring that residents have clean air to breath and safe water to drink no matter where they live.

Working together, we will:

  1. Bring back the city’s Department of Environment
  2. Become a local and regional leader on environmental issues
  3. Promote environmental justice through inclusive decision making
  4. Expand lead water testing in homes, schools, and public facilities to ensure testing is truly representative
  5. Implement and utilize information-gathering processes for air and soil quality
  6. Create a brownfield initiative to identify, remediate, and redevelop lands that are underutilized because of potential contamination
  7. Reaffirm Chicago’s commitment to reaching 100% renewable energy usage by 2025
  8. Improve Chicago’s abysmal recycling rates by holding city waste contractors accountable
  9. Require Chicago’s building code to be revisited every five years to ensure Chicago is utilizing the best available practices while not burdening development with obsolete requirements

Lori’s Plan for Affordable Housing

For too long, Chicago city government has failed to help create enough housing that is affordable all over the city, so that individuals and families can continue to live here. City government’s track record on addressing homelessness is no better. These failures have exacerbated segregation and forced low-and moderate-income Chicagoans out of their neighborhoods and even out of the city.

The Lightfoot administration will address these issues by:

  1. Limiting aldermanic prerogative by passing the Affordable Home Equity Ordinance
  2. Modifying the Affordable Requirements Ordinance to create more housing that is affordable
  3. Creating a transparent, accountable Qualified Allocation Plan to effectively distribute Low Income Housing Tax Credits and promote the city’s housing priorities
  4. Amending overly restrictive zoning and building codes to promote the use of innovative construction techniques, building materials and technologies
  5. Replacing the regressive real estate transfer tax with a progressive tax to provide a revenue source for housing and homelessness initiatives
  6. Pushing CHA to provide more housing opportunities, transparency and accountability
  7. Devoting resources and services to prevent homelessness
  8. Focusing on innovation and collaboration

Lori’s LGBTQ+ Policy Framework

Lori’s identity and experiences have helped shape how she sees the world. As an out and proud black lesbian, Lori understands the importance of safeguarding the civil rights of the LGBTQ+ community and recognizes that while significant progress has been made, more important work must be done. Although all members of the LGBTQ+ community continue to face struggles in today’s society, the challenges are especially acute for youth, members of the trans community, and LGBTQ+ people of color.

Lori’s immediate priorities to support Chicago’s diverse LGBTQ+ community include:

  1. Guaranteeing visibility and participation in city government
  2. Bolstering safety and justice for the trans community
  3. Protecting and supporting LGBTQ+ youth
  4. Promoting wellness and health
  5. Addressing the needs of LGBTQ+ seniors
  6. Ensuring LGBTQ+ veterans get a fair deal

Lori’s Plan for Public Safety

Chicago city government has a fundamental obligation to ensure its residents are safe, live without fear, and have uniform access to public safety services. However, all across our city, our government has failed to meet its obligations. Lori Lightfoot is the only candidate with a comprehensive plan to keep our communities safe. The plan addresses both urgent challenges and systemic issues to provide the resources, expertise, and attention needed to meaningfully reduce violence and build trust between police and our communities.

Lori’s plan for public safety outlines that we must:

  1. Address violence as a public health crisis
  2. Create a new Mayor’s Office for Public Safety
  3. Engage with state and federal partners in a proactive and focused way to tackle the illegal gun problem
  4. Increase the homicide clearance rate
  5. Bridge the divide between officers and communities
  6. Reform policing practices
  7. Invest in communities
  8. Educate Chicago youth

Lori’s Plan to Clean Up City Government

Lori is running for mayor to build a Chicago that works for every person and every community. For years, Chicagoans have felt the effects of an “us versus them” style of governance that caters to the wealthy few and politically connected while ignoring everyone else. These inequities foster a deep-seated mistrust and a perception of city government as a corrupt and mismanaged bureaucracy. To restore public confidence, we need to build a transparent, ethical, and accountable Chicago.

Lori is the only candidate with a plan to get it done.

As mayor, Lori will:

  1. Implement mayoral term limits
  2. Ban profiting from public service
  3. Improve workers’ compensation oversight
  4. Strengthen government oversight
  5. Make FOIA work for all Chicagoans
  6. Bring transparency to tax increment financing (TIF)
  7. Merge county and city election administration
  8. Eliminate legal conflicts of interest, and
  9. Hold budget town halls


A copy of our report filed with the State Board of Elections is (or will be) available on the Board’s official website (www.elections.il.gov) or for purchase from the State Board of Elections, Springfield, Illinois