September 11, 2014

Mayor Rahm Emanuel Launches Online Community Forum To Engage With Chicago Residents

Building on Success of Previous Public Comment Efforts, New Portal Will Solicit Ideas From the Community to Improve City Services

Mayor's Press Office    312.744.3334

Mayor Rahm Emanuel today announced the launch of CHIdeas, an online community forum to engage Chicago residents and businesses in a discussion on how to improve services at City Hall, create programs and initiatives in our neighborhoods, and enhance quality of life across the city. Similar to portals used by the administration during the transition and budget processes, CHIdeas will provide a structured platform to seek ideas from the public and promote community dialogue around key issues.

The City will pose specific questions on the site and ask residents to respond with constructive ideas and solutions and comment on other ideas from fellow residents. In the past, resident ideas have helped cut the structural deficit and streamline City processes. More than 2,500 ideas and 7,000 comments were posted by 3,000 people on the budget portal, including ideas that were implemented, such as publicly posting City employee salaries to increase transparency and cracking down on free handicap parking abuse. Most recently, the Minimum Wage Working Group developed their recommendations to implement a citywide minimum wage of $13 per hour, following six weeks of research, analysis, and public engagement that included five public meetings across the City and more than 200 comments submitted online.

“Solutions don’t just come from government – they come from our residents who live, work, and play in Chicago,” said Mayor Emanuel. “CHIdeas is another way we can hear directly from the public and also provide an opportunity for residents to engage directly with each other to improve our great city.”

CHIdeas will launch with the following four questions pertaining to minimum wage, early learning programs, library services, and public art installations:

• Minimum Wage: The minimum wage in Illinois is $8.25/hour. What do you think would be a sufficient minimum wage for Chicago, and why?
• Early Learning: What programs and opportunities will provide support for our youngest learners?
• How Libraries Can Strengthen Communities: How can your local Chicago Public Library play a role in strengthening your community?
• Public Art: How do you define public art, and how can it enrich our community?

"This is yet another example of Mayor Emanuel`s innovative efforts to hear first-hand from residents across Chicago,” said Craig Chico, Back of the Yards Neighborhood Council. "Members of my community welcome the opportunity to engage in a direct dialogue with their fellow residents on ways to improve our neighborhood and the city."

Any visitor to the site will be able to view the questions, comments, and dialogue posted. In order to post on the site, residents will be required to register using their name and email address or can sign up directly via their Facebook, LinkedIn, or Google accounts. New questions will be added to the site regularly and residents are encouraged to check back often.

Visit to add your voice to the conversation.