Mayor Lightfoot Launches "Our City. Our Safety." Initiative To Promote Resources, Programming And Activities For Memorial Day Weekend

May 23, 2019

New initiative designed to promote city resources and community engagement opportunities across the city to ensure children, young adults and families stay safe and engaged this weekend

Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot today joined city departments and agencies to launch "Our City. Our Safety.," a citywide initiative to promote more than 100 youth programs, activities and community events happening across Chicago this Memorial Day Weekend. Created in collaboration by several city departments and agencies, "Our City. Our Safety." is designed to centralize the city's key resources, making it easier for residents to access city services, youth programming and community events with a new website that is more accessible, transparent, and user-friendly. Mayor Lightfoot directed all city departments and agencies to coordinate and collaborate as part of the citywide initiative to ensure all residents of Chicago have access positive programming, resources and community engagement opportunities throughout Memorial Day weekend.

“From block clubs and faith groups to businesses and school communities, Chicagoans from every neighborhood and background are coming together to unite against gun violence and ensure residents have a safe and fun holiday weekend," said Mayor Lightfoot. "This citywide coordination represents an 'all hands on deck' effort to ensure that every child in Chicago has the safe and nurturing environment they deserve to grow, learn and thrive."

The wide range of programs and activities are provided by the city’s departments, community-based organizations and cultural institutions to keep residents safe and engaged throughout the holiday weekend. Residents, community and church leaders are also encouraged to gather together in their communities to create a safe environment throughout our city.

"The Chicago Police Department relies heavily on our partners in the community, as well as our relationships with local businesses, schools, parks, houses of worship and more to keep our communities safe," said Superintendent Eddie T. Johnson. "These partnerships are key to giving at-risk individuals safe and productive options throughout the summer. We encourage everyone to enjoy the warm weather safely and call 9-1-1 to report any suspicious activity."

With the new initiative, young adults and families are able to locate hundreds of in-person community engagement and alternative programming opportunities all in one easy-to-access location at: The new site will be updated in real-time throughout the entire summer so families can locate opportunities and events happening in their neighborhoods and communities. All events have the common goal to provide positive alternatives for youth to take advantage of this weekend and throughout the summer.

"The health and safety of students, both inside and outside of the classroom, is always our district's top priority," said Chicago Public School CEO Dr. Janice K. Jackson. "During the upcoming long weekend and summer, this collaborative effort among city agencies will ensure that our students and their families always have the opportunity to engage in meaningful activities in their communities."

“As we prepare for another Chicago summer, the Chicago Park District is committed to making our neighborhoods safer and stronger,” said Chicago Park District General Superintendent & CEO Michael P. Kelly. “Chicago parks are where millions of residents and visitors go for play, programs and relaxation. We look forward to playing an important collaborative role in keeping our communities safe.”

To ensure city services are delivered to all residents in the most efficient, cost-effective manner possible this weekend, the Chicago Department of Streets and Sanitation (DSS), the Chicago Department of Transportation (CDOT) and the Department of Water Management (DWM) are conducting a service blitz through Memorial Day. The blitzes allow city agencies to efficiently fulfill service requests from residents at one time and address issues like potholes and tree trimming on a larger scale, representing an important community investment to maintain the best quality of life for residents of Chicago.

“Clean and safe communities are our top priority,” said Commissioner John Tully, Chicago Department of Streets and Sanitation. “Streets and Sanitation continues to work with Chicago Police and other city agencies to deliver vital resources to neighborhoods as efficiently as possible to ensure residents can enjoy their weekend safely.”

A summary of program and engagement opportunities as well as city resources and departments initiatives available this weekend is below:

Chicago Park District
From Lincoln Park to Washington Park, Chicago Park District is hosting a number of parades, festivals and carnivals this weekend to celebrate Memorial Day. Chicago Parks will also be open during normal operating hours on Monday, May 27th, and all services and programs will be free for all residents of the city.

Chicago Public Library
As a cultural and educational destination for children, young adults, families and adults, the City's Chicago Public Libraries hosting a myriad of family-friendly events in neighborhoods across the city for residents to celebrate Memorial Day, including free early educational programming, foreign language classes, arts and crafts, movie screenings and more!

Department of Family and Support Services
The Department of Family and Support Services is partnering the YMCA, Boys & Girls Club, Young Chicago Authors and a wide variety of other non-profits and community organizations to promote youth programming and educational development opportunities happening throughout the city this weekend. DFSS also operates the City’s six Community Service Centers where individuals and families in need can access a wide range of resources from shelter, food and clothing to domestic violence assistance, job training/placement and services for the formerly incarcerated.

Chicago Public Schools
Chicago Public Schools is working in conjunction with the Chicago Park District and DFSS to ensure students are aware of youth programming services, eligibility, registration deadlines happening within their school communities.

Department of Streets and Sanitation
The Department of Streets and Sanitation (DSS), the Chicago Department of Transportation (CDOT) and the Chicago Department of Water Management (DWM) kicked off the week early on Tuesday with a city service blitz which will continue through the holiday weekend. The blitzes deliver a comprehensive amount of resources to neighborhoods most in need of city services, like pothole repair, hand cleaning, graffiti removal, street light replacement, catch basin cleaning and more. The neighborhoods were selected based on the number and severity of pending requests for services.

Chicago Police Department
The Chicago Police Department will provide support to street cleaning, tree trimming, cleaning blitzes throughout the city. In addition, the Police Department CAPS office is supporting events, attending and engaging with their communities to foster transparency and trust. Chicago residents and visitors can expect to see more police throughout the city as the department is deploying additional resources in hot spot areas and at least an additional 1,200 officers throughout the Chicago over Memorial Day weekend, with an increased presence on CTA trains and bus lines.

Office of Emergency Management and Control
With the Memorial Day weekend on the horizon, the Chicago Office of Emergency Management and Communications (OEMC) is reminding residents, participants, spectators, motorists and pedestrians to be cognizant of their surroundings for the safety of all while enjoying the many events throughout the city. As part of the City’s preparations for the busy weekend, OEMC has activated Chicago’s Emergency Operations Center to ensure coordination and communication among key City, Sister Agency and private sector partners for the safety of everyone who lives, works and plays in Chicago.

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