My long range plan is to turn Chicago into a City that works for everyone. We should all celebrate the fact our Central Business District is growing again, as the nation emerges from the Great Recession. Continuing this growth and expanding prosperity across the entire City will require a real investment in our neighborhoods. That is why I have put forward an agenda to strengthen our neighborhood-based schools and make our streets safer in every community. Great cities have great neighborhoods, and we simply cannot attract new high-growth industries to our city without strong neighborhoods where their workers will want to live.
We have invested heavily in developing the downtown area and making it more attractive for the last 20 years. It is truly a success that we can and should be proud of. We should be pleased this investment is paying off with over 540,000 jobs now located in the downtown area. We want these workers to stay and live in Chicago, raise their families here and pay their taxes here. However, not everyone who works downtown can or will live downtown. That is why we need vibrant neighborhoods for these workers to live in – communities with safe streets, good schools and local retail options for shopping, as well as affordable housing opportunities.
Just as our neighborhoods depend on each other, our City depends on the continued growth of Northeastern Illinois. As Mayor, I will work collaboratively with surrounding communities to fund our airports and other transportation modes, secure stable power sources, and strengthen communications lines, because these are the necessary ingredients to continued economic growth.
Strengthen our neighborhoods by investing in infrastructure, tax free zones, safe streets and strong neighborhoods. I envision a future in which our TIF program is overhauled to benefit our communities rather than corporations. People will receive state of the art job training to develop lucrative skills as we make sure businesses grow and thrive in our neighborhoods. I will make certain our public school system has the resources it needs for students to thrive and is under the auspices of an elected school board that has the interests of students, parents and teachers first and foremost.