Chicago/ Politics & Govt
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Published on May 15, 2024
Mayor Brandon Johnson Hails Progress in Chicago on Economic, Safety, and Social Fronts in Year One ReviewSource: TDKR Chicago 101, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Mayor Brandon Johnson is trumpeting a year of leaps and bounds in Chicago since taking the helm of the Windy City on May 15, 2023. The Johnson Administration attributes advancements in economic development, safety, and community investment directly to its policies, with a focus on the promising progress made in just one year's time. They credit a landmark investment of $1.25 billion in neighborhood rejuvenation and a noticeable decline in violent crime rates to their hands-on approach, but residents of Chicago are waiting to see sustainable results, as reported by the City of Chicago.

Johnson proudly proclaims a surge in commitments from corporate giants such as Google and JPMorgan Chase, betting big on the city's thriving potential. Thriving in a city that touts the most generous paid leave statute nationwide, affecting an estimated 1.38 million workers, while simultaneously eliminating the subminimum pay for tipped employees. Unfortunately, while heralding these changes, the lives of over 100,000 workers who previously depended on tips, now face a new economic reality.

"We got better by addressing our city’s homelessness crisis, passing a budget with $250 million in support for Chicago’s unhoused, and announcing the creation of our first-ever Chief Homelessness Officer,” Johnson declared, as per the city's announcement. This bold move seems to symbolize a compassionate approach to one of the city's most pressing issues, while also contributing to the establishment of a new municipal management role.

Not resting on its laurels, Johnson's team has been busy highlighting its past year's accomplishments. These achievements range from economic growth and labor improvements to significant steps in environmental justice—each crafted to portray a narrative of transformation and dedication. Additionally, Mayor Johnson's approach has been to involve communities directly in fiscal decisions, as seen with the expanded strategies for public participation in the city's FY2025 budget planning process.

With eyes on the future, and claiming more work to be done, Mayor Johnson seems confident that Chicago is on the right track under his leadership. As stated by the City of Chicago, he said, “I am deeply proud of the incredible strides we have made, and I look forward to another year of working with the people of Chicago to create safety, unity, and prosperity in the greatest freaking city in the world.”