Report released aimed at helping Chicago’s COVID-19 recovery effort

CHICAGO – Mayor Lightfoot Thursday released an advisory report aimed at guiding Chicago’s recovery from COVID-19 in the future.

The report was together by a Task Force co-chaired by the mayor an former White House Chief of Staff Samuel Skinner. More than 200 industry experts, policymakers and community-based partners were involved in creating the report.

They have been working on it for the past ten weeks and the mayor released the findings during an event on Thursday morning.

“I am deeply grateful for the hard work of the Recovery Task Force, and their commitment to doubling down on our mission of building a better Chicago that ends economic hardship, confronts racial inequities and unites all of the city’s residents,” said Mayor Lightfoot.

The Task Force developed a set of 17 recommendations and four existing initiatives to advance a targeted set of outcomes for Chicago.

Outcome #1: Address new and old traumas

  • Create the most advanced healing-centered region in the country
  • Increase access to mental and emotional health resources and services in communities
  • Create a culturally sensitive, diverse mental health workforce

Outcome #2: Expand economic opportunity, quality employment, and financial security

  • Reimagine the region’s workforce infrastructure and create a plan to invest in displaced and young workers
  • Increase ownership and employment for Black and brown residents in the regions’ contracting and construction industries
  • Create the most vibrant small and medium-sized business and Black- and brown-owned business community in America
  • Expand relief programs and pilot innovative approaches to improve and strengthen the social safety net

Outcome #3: Build on our region’s strengths

  • Expand the region’s transportation, distribution and logistics sector by leveraging new trends in the localization of supply chains
  • Strengthen Chicago’s healthcare and life-sciences ecosystem
  • Build on the region’s assets in food and agriculture

Outcome #4: Capture opportunities created by COVID-19

  • Build on the region’s historic strength in manufacturing
  • Prepare the region to capture HQ2s and corporate development and specialty centers
  • Capture film and TV production opportunities given the lack of studio space in California

Outcome #5: Reignite activity throughout Chicago by sharing our story

  • Introduce Chicago’s master brand
  • Lead the re-imagination of regional tourism, travel, and hospitality
  • Develop new and existing community hubs to encourage tourism in neighborhoods
  • Show the world Chicago is open for business

Outcome #6: Accelerate investments to eliminate inequities

  • INVEST South/West
  • Solutions Toward Ending Poverty (STEP)
  • We Will Chicago / Citywide Plan
  • Chicago Connected

“Thanks to the efforts of many people within many units of local and state government, non-for-profit organizations, organized labor and small and large business organizations we have an outstanding plan of action for the recovery and growth of Chicago and the greater Chicagoland region,” said co-chair Samuel Skinner. “It is now time for all of us to work together to implement this plan of action with upmost speed. Chicago, the city of big shoulders, has successfully faced great challenges before, and we will do so again.”

Illinois reported its highest COVID-19 case total Wednesday in a month.