Our 100 Day Plan to Reimagine Chicago

To: Mayor-Elect Lori Lightfoot and Chicago City Council

From (list in formation): Aldermen-Elect Maria Hadden (49), Daniel LaSpata (1), Matt Martin (47), Carlos Ramirez Rosa (35), Mike Rodriguez (22), Rossana Rodriguez Sanchez (33), Susan Sadlowski Garza (10), Byron Sigcho Lopez (25), Jeanette Taylor (20), and Andre Vasquez (40)

Re: Our 100-Day Agenda to Reimagine Chicago

For the past eight years, the political status quo enriched tech investors, Wall Street financiers, and real estate moguls while Black and Latinx Ch100 icagoans lost their jobs, their homes, and their lives. Like you, we campaigned on a platform to break with this tragic history and make Chicago a city for the many--not just the wealthiest few.

With inauguration fast approaching, we look forward to working with you to reimagine Chicago as a city where working families and communities of color can thrive. As the incoming bloc of progressive aldermen-elect, we are ready to get to work to pass the following legislation within the first 100 days.

  1. Restore public housing with the Homes for All Ordinance. The Homes for All Ordinance will require that all public housing units are preserved on a one-for-one apartment basis in any future redevelopment of public housing, and that family-sized units are produced by the CHA as it rebuilds.  The Homes for All Ordinance protects public housing land for public housing purposes, and integrates at least 20% of future public housing construction into high-wealth, high-opportunity neighborhoods.

  2. Build affordable family housing with the Development for All Ordinance. Current loopholes in the existing Affordable Requirements Ordinance (ARO) have completely undermined the production of affordable housing, especially in gentrifying areas. The Development for All ordinance eliminates these loopholes, including ending “in lieu of fees” that developers pay to avoid building affordable units, ending the “off-siting” of affordable construction in lower-income neighborhoods, and mandating the production of family-sized (e.g. 3 bedroom) units. Developers who need upzoning approval from the city will be required to set aside at least 30% of new construction for affordable units.

  3. Fight homelessness with Bring Chicago Home. 80,000 Chicagoans experience homelessness, including military veterans, survivors of domestic abuse, and 18,000 CPS students. Bring Chicago Home would place a question on the ballot asking voters to approve a 1.2-point tax increase on real estate transactions worth more than $1 million--enough to generate $100-150 million annually for housing and services to address homelessness.

  4. Fund Chicago Public Schools with TIF Surplus Reform. Recent years have seen Tax Increment Financing, initially intended to spur economic development in poor neighborhoods, used instead as a slush fund for mega-developers like Sterling Bay and Related Midwest. This ordinance would require the city to send the available TIF surplus back to Chicago Public Schools on a yearly basis for as long as the school district is in financial distress.

  5. Pay low-wage workers more with a $15 minimum wage by 2021. This ordinance will raise the minimum wage to $15 by the year 2021. The ordinance will apply to public sector, private sector, and tipped workers.

  6. Stop south side displacement with a Community Benefits Agreement Ordinance for the Obama Presidential Center. The Obama Center CBA ordinance will preserve existing affordable housing, provide additional affordable housing options, and prevent displacement of long-term residents from the area surrounding the Obama Presidential Center. Specifically, the ordinance will require developers to set aside 30% of new units for households earning less than half of the average median income and establish a community trust fund to assist long-term residents with property tax relief, affordable housing development, rental assistance, and workforce development. In February, voters in four precincts near the future Obama center overwhelmingly supported these proposals.

  7. Curtail racial profiling with amendments to the Welcoming City Ordinance. Chicago police can arrest or detain immigrants based solely on their immigration status if they are one of the 130,000 people named in the city’s unjust and inaccurate gang database, or if they have an outstanding warrant or a previous felony conviction. The Welcoming City ordinance would remove these allowances and protect people of color from harassment, racial profiling, and deportation by Chicago police.

Many of these ordinances languished under Mayor Rahm Emanuel and his downtown-driven corporate agenda. But it’s a new day in Chicago. We are committed to working with the bold grassroots and labor organizations driving these fights, as well as our new colleagues and Mayor in City Hall, to pass these ordinances in the first 100 days and begin making a city for the many a reality.