How will you solicit and follow citizens' and community groups' recommendations on City matters?

General

Participatory budgeting has proven to be an effective form of engagement in some wards, and this is an approach that should be expanded. Last year the city held a series of hearings on school closings at which residents made impassioned and well-reasoned arguments against closures that were overwhelmingly ignored – and often poorly attended – by school officials. This is unacceptable. City departments routinely ignore the strong sentiments of majority stakeholders in communities on development issues, and advance planning scenarios that directly contravene or flat-out ignore the sentiments of local residents. This, too, is unacceptable. I do not naively assume that neighborhood residents will always reach consensus on local civic projects or development plans, but city officials deny the insights that local residents have to offer – and often undermine the wellbeing of existing residents – when the concerns of community members are simply ignored. I am committed to an open, transparent, responsive system of public input and review for development projects, budgeting and civic planning across the city.

I have proposed having “Ward Nights” in every Ward across Chicago when I am mayor. As I have said previously: The 5th Floor will belong to all of us when I am mayor.