Chicago’s next mayor should make the elusive American dream accessible to everyone – Chicago Tribune

Chicago’s next mayor should make the elusive American dream accessible to everyone – Chicago Tribune
Chicago’s next mayor should make the elusive American dream accessible to everyone – Chicago Tribune

My progressive values ​​are well known and at the core of what I have done to achieve my American dream. The current election is a moment for our city. The best path forward is one that allows everyone to follow the route to achieve their version of the American Dream, as I have. This path will take us to a welcoming, sanctuary city that includes all races, classes, backgrounds, family statuses and identities.

Unfortunately, Chicago continues to be defined by its legacy of redlining, racial covenants, and segregation, which prevent the city from becoming a great, global city. We must remove barriers to economic mobility, education and job training opportunities. It is over time that we envision equitable access to basic services such as transportation, public safety, environmental justice, housing and healthcare, while investing in sustainable sources of income.

During my candidacy, I called for a municipal commission on restitution to find ways to address the consequences of redlining, racial compacts, and other historically exclusionary laws and practices. It’s not impossible — Evanston, for example, has made progress. Chicago can and should do better.

The next mayor must commit to comprehensive development, with a focus on revitalizing underinvested communities. Chicago used to be known as “the city that works.” It is now best described as a city undermined by the siled and uncoordinated work of departments and agencies – particularly planning and development, housing, family services and public transport.

This must be changed. From the start, the new mayor should appoint a deputy mayor for transportation and infrastructure, as other mayors have done, to ensure that these departments and the CTA coordinate planning and funding to establish stable, livable and walkable neighborhoods.

See also  Stout Fest, Pop-up Markets, Lucky Charms Brunch and more

Such neighborhoods require regular, reliable, frequent and safe public transport, as do our businesses. Our regional transportation system is at an inflection point, and all government agencies recognize that we will reach a financial cliff in the next few years.

Public transport is an important part of the city’s social and economic well-being. The next mayor must restore reliability and trust in the system and lead in charting public transportation’s fiscal and operational paths in the Chicago metropolitan area. This may require a restructuring of regional transport. Chicago does not exist in isolation. The public demands regional solutions with transit workers and all other stakeholders at the table.

Such neighborhoods require affordable housing. We need to do more than just invest in affordable housing and housing for the evicted. We need to address the Chicago Housing Authority’s long waiting list. We also need to ensure that people are not driven out of their homes and small businesses by astronomical property tax bills due to gentrification. My plan should be implemented now to provide relief to the Chicago negotiator for her fair share of the proceeds from Springfield.

Neighborhoods should be safe, and we agree that people feel unsafe. We must focus on rebuilding trust between the police and the communities they serve. Police officers struggle with poor working conditions. The next mayor must commit to full implementation of the consent decree. Solutions must include trauma-informed responses, particularly for vulnerable communities, including the LGBTQ+ community and survivors of gender-based violence.

See also  Chicago LAZ parking garage added incorrect fines and fees, some customers say

The next mayor must establish transparent regulatory and permitting processes that give the local communities a sense of industrial development. Black and Latino residents are more likely to live near industrial pollution and have chronic health conditions. My plan went beyond just restoring an environmental department, to also ensure community participation in building a robust green economy.

With that in mind, the next mayor must commit to unimpeded access to health services and healthy communities. This will require creating a new and expanded Ministry of the Environment, a Deputy Mayor for Gender Equality and Finance, in addition to increased staffing in the Chicago Department of Public Health.

US representative Jesús "Chuy" Garcia

The pandemic taught us that our public health and health infrastructure is inadequate. The municipality must integrate its health services with the county health service and local community clinics to ensure that the combined system provides comprehensive health care, including mental health services. Every resident of every neighborhood must have access to comprehensive health and public health services, including gender-affirming care for LGBTQ+ individuals, abortion care, and maternal health care for pregnant women.

Let’s not forget — Chicago’s future depends on continued immigration from all corners of the world. We must welcome immigrants and give them the tools to succeed. Community participation is integrated into this process to ensure seamless integration. All public agencies should work together to provide wrap-around services that will lead to a strong transition, including stable housing for new Chicagoans. We must remove all barriers to participation for our immigrant communities at municipal level.

See also  Johnson would not say how he would fund programs if Council, Springfield does not help

While not a monolith in Chicago, it is important to recognize that Latinos are emerging as a crucial voting bloc. We have been actively working with grassroots organizations to expand the electorate and build the next generation of progressive Latino leaders who advance a working class agenda to bring equity and justice to all of our communities. The increase in representation must be matched by the Chicago administration with equitable opportunities and investments.

Let me be clear: Any candidate who hopes to champion the needs of the people I represent should demonstrate that commitment publicly—in practice, policy, and the people hired to lead.

Chicagoans deserve a leader who is ready to champion and deliver a progressive and inclusive agenda rooted in fairness and justice for all.

U.S. Representative Jesús “Chuy” García represents Illinois’ 4th District and is a former 2023 mayoral candidate.

Submit a letter, of no more than 400 words, to the editor here or e-mail [email protected].

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *