On Tuesday, Sept. 27, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel joined the MPC Board of Governors and Executive Advisors for a dialogue on how the region's civic and business communities can support the mayor’s key priorities, including strengthening the city’s economy, infrastructure, and quality of life.
Mayor Emanuel recognized the deep challenges facing Chicago, chief among them the need to create jobs, tackle the ever-growing backlog of capital infrastructure maintenance, and grow the economy in the face of a shrinking budget. Daunting, yes, but the mayor repeated what has become one of his mantras: “Never allow a good crisis to go to waste. It’s an opportunity to do things you might never have done.”
He highlighted several key strategies, including supporting coordinated capital investments in rail, roads, schools and water; providing incentives to private institutions, such as universities and hospitals, that invest in Chicago’s neighborhoods; and making place-based investments in Chicago’s public spaces and natural areas that attract young families.
“Change is coming,” the mayor said. “The question is, are we going to shape it and make it our friend, or are we going to run away from it?”
MPC is ready to shape it, along with Mayor Emanuel, the rest of the region’s mayors who are facing similar challenges, and our many community, civic, and business partners. As MPC Board Chair King Harris summed up, “We have got to go all out to help. Under these circumstances, we cannot be divided.”
Read more about the mayor's visit to MPC in September's Re-Connection.