Economic Development for ALL
Chicago is a world class city. While global cities are usually defined by their economy, education institutions and tourism, in Chicago, we have something more – our people. Chicago is the gateway to America’s heartland and has had an indelible mark on the nation’s culture and history. However, Chicago has real problems. The global pandemic exacerbated social inequities and had a devastating impact on Black and Brown communities and on women. A shrinking city will die.
But, there is hope. Chicago remains at its core a world class city that is at an inflection point. We need to address public safety – I have a plan for that. AND we need a city that works for ALL and a Mayor who listens.
We will support the business community, link direct investments in workforce development, community economic development, affordable housing and environmental justice, with a larger vision that incorporates our efforts in public safety, public health, housing, education, parks, and transportation. We need an equity-focused economic recovery so that we can have a Chicago that works for all. My plan will result in an economically vibrant and more equitable Chicago. Together we will reclaim Chicago’s status as a world class city.
Support Chicago’s dynamic businesses
The center core of our city is the center. We need a successful core and we need new successful investment in other Chicago neighborhoods. I look forward as mayor to engaging with the Chicago business community to listen and advocate for a strong economic foundation. As mayor I will prioritize creating the basis for sound economic development and attracting capital and jobs. I look forward to partnering with Gov Pritzker in attracting companies to our city. I want Chicago to be the ideal place for entrepreneurship and startups. We want to make Chicago the destination of choice for young new startups.
- Use the Bully Pulpit to Advocate for Chicago as a Place for Investment – I will work tirelessly to make our city attractive for people and for additional capital. I will happily carry the title of Chief Marketing Officer for the City of Chicago. I will work with business leaders and the Consular Corps to boost regional and international investment and trade.
- Convene a Chicago Council of Corporate and Community Leaders (C4L) to advise on the revitalization of downtown by:
- Focusing on Public Safety
- Invest in CTA to expand access to jobs, and retail in the larger downtown regions. We must acknowledge the expansion of downtown and connect The Loop, River North, Fulton Market and the West Loop. Our focus cannot remain solely on LaSalle Street; it is time for a more comprehensive view of what is downtown and that it should encompass a much broader geography.
- Work with Academic Institutions to expand Student Housing downtown; Create Year-Round Art and Cultural Events including open markets and food halls
- Chicago must embrace a comprehensive strategy to grow manufacturing within the city. My administration will take concrete steps to attract green technology manufacturing, like electric cars and battery productions. We need to better leverage assets like mHub, the Illinois Manufacturing Extension Center, and our universities to help foster the growth of new manufacturing as well as the transfer of new technologies to Chicago’s existing manufacturing community.
- As Mayor, I will charge the Department of Planning and Development to establish a working group on manufacturing in Chicago.
- I will work with the Assessor and the County to more quickly process and provide incentives to bring existing manufacturing buildings back into use as new manufacturing and other businesses especially focusing on green industries, high tech businesses, and new technologies
INVEST IN LOCAL ECONOMY
As Mayor, I will increase access to government capital and technical assistance, assess regulations, and promote new opportunities for underrepresented businesses, entrepreneurs and a diverse workforce.
Our Academic Institutions Can Serve as Economic Engines in Order to Meet Our Challenge Together. As Mayor, I recognize that we have a vibrant, successful, and world-renowned academic community. A strong focus on academic research and community engagement will not only help attract the best minds to Chicago but can also be leveraged to help solve some critical challenges the City is facing. My job as mayor is in bringing them together to address the most pressing issues as part of their shared civic responsibilities to Chicago and the region.
Support Entrepreneurship in All Forms. The Chicago entrepreneurship ecosystem has many essential pieces in place, but it can do better if it had the coordinated support of City Hall, academic institutions, philanthropy, and major civic and economic development-focused organizations.
- Direct the Department of Planning and Development (DPD) to facilitate a comprehensive effort to grow successful entrepreneurship in all forms.
- Create an Incubator and Accelerator Program within the city for Community Based Organizations and nonprofits.
- Launch a Chicago Green Bank following the lead of Washington DC and Illinois’ new Climate Bank under the Illinois Finance Authority. This bank will focus on inclusive finance by attracting funds from the federal government, the City of Chicago, pension funds, the Illinois Climate Bank, philanthropy, and other institutions to create innovative financing products and bring the green economy to Chicago’s neighborhoods.
- Support the Social Equity Cannabis Industry: I will convene Chicago based Social Equity Cannabis License holders to support them in ensuring Chicago can benefit from the additional revenue and jobs.
- Build an inclusive tech ecosystem: The City can fund in-demand reskilling and upskilling programs from our Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) dollars, while convening employers, private sector and academic partners in allocating apprenticeships and full-time roles for program graduates.
INVEST IN PEOPLE
As Mayor, I will strengthen our workforce development system and leverage Chicago’s homegrown talent to create diverse pathways to well-paying jobs. We must refocus our economic and workforce strategies on the needs of families and workers.
- Adopt a “life course” vision of how workers traverse their careers.
- Expand apprenticeships across all sectors and build inclusive pathways to good jobs through pre-apprenticeship programs.
- Provide incentives to businesses that hire returning citizens, formerly incarcerated workers and to local businesses hiring local residents.
Attain Chicago’s Rightful Place as a Global City
- Support International Tourism
- Expand Cultural Tourism within Chicago
Maintain and Expand Chicago’s Global leadership in moving freight and commercial goods. We are an international leader in passenger aviation, the largest port on the Great Lakes and intermodal freight and I will work with the State and industry to make the investments needed to maintain and expand this economically important industry and a major source of well-paying jobs.