What tangible steps would you take to ensure that Latino residents are equitably represented in executive, leadership and decision-making positions in City Hall and departments of city government?

General

As mayor of Chicago I will be committed to having a diverse staff. I want the decisions makers to reflect the diverse population of our city. I would begin by making sure that my personal staff is reflective of all minorities. I would then make sure agency leadership is also diverse.

My administration will include Latinos at the highest levels in city government. I will appoint a fair number of Latino men and women to serve as city department heads. Additionally, I will appoint Latinos to Boards and Commissions and ensure their roles are significant and Latino influence is expansive.

The face of all of Chicago must be represented in City Hall. I will reach out to all communities; but especially our marginalized and under-represented communities to let them know that my administration welcomes their participation and input. I would restore the ethnic advisory councils to the Chicago Commission on Human Relations, including the Latino Advisory Council. I saw how these Councils were meaningful forms of communication between Chicago’s ethnic communities and city government under Mayors like Harold Washington. Their power and influence over time has been reduced, and under this administration they were disbanded. Under my administration, a Latino advisory council would be considered an integral part of creating and implementing city policies that reflect the needs of Latinos, and a direct line of communication between Latinos and government. This body would also be key to ensuring that qualified and talented individuals from the Latino community are considered for leadership positions in the city and are represented when it comes to decision-making.

I believe City Hall should reflect Chicago’s diversity, which is why my administration’s leadership comes from all parts and all communities of the city. My senior staff and Cabinet includes Latinos from neighborhoods across the city – including my Director for Legislative Counsel and Governmental Affairs, Fire Department Commissioner, Commissioner of the Department of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection, Commissioner of the Department of Family and Support Services, and Chief Small Business Officer, and this trend will continue in my second term. I also created the City’s first Office of New Americans, which is housed in the Mayor’s Office to ensure issues affecting new Americans are integrated into every decision we make.

The City of Chicago is supposed to be an equal opportunity employer, and yet we see a lack of Latino employment across the board. As Mayor, I would make sure that all Chicagoans have equal access to all city jobs including those in executive, leadership and decision-making positions by making employment announcements readily available in English and Spanish. We can increase awareness of job opportunities by collaborating with community organizations to expand our outreach to qualified candidates. It’s especially important that we set this precedent for Latino success for our children and future generations by providing job fairs and workshops to further prepare Latinos to apply. We must invest in programs that specifically target the community to develop leadership pipelines into executive positions. It is critical especially for Latino youth, that they see their representation in positions of influence not just in government, but also in business, the arts, and the non-profit sector. Therefore, supporting existing leadership development programs and creating new ones geared toward attracting and retaining Latino talent, must be a priority.