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Mayor Emanuel today nominated Lisa Morrison Butler as City of Chicago Commissioner of the Department of Family and Support Services (DFSS) effective August 1, 2015. Morrison Butler would replace outgoing Commissioner Evelyn Diaz who joins the Heartland Alliance for Human Needs & Human Rights as the organization’s new President.
“Lisa will help quarterback some of the most critical items on my second term agenda, from continuing our progress towards universal pre-K for children in need to significantly expanding our youth violence prevention programs,” said Mayor Rahm Emanuel, “She has the executive experience and record of serving Chicago’s youth to deliver on these priorities.”
Morrison Butler currently serves as Executive Director for City Year Chicago, a post she has held since 2004. City Year partners with at-risk schools to help students reach their full potential and graduate high school. During her tenure she has grown the youth service corps from 60 to over 200 members serving annually and increased by ten-fold the number of at-risk Chicago Public Schools students that City Year Chicago serves.
As Commissioner, Ms. Morrison Butler would be responsible for delivering social service programs and resources to over 300,000 Chicago residents, ranging from early childhood education, to reducing homelessness to aiding victims of domestic violence to providing workforce development opportunities to the formerly incarcerated.
“I am grateful to Mayor Emanuel for offering me this opportunity to serve Chicago residents, and I am eager to begin working with the Mayor’s team to expand pre-K opportunities, reach new records for youth summer jobs, and end homelessness,” said Ms. Morrison Butler.
Lisa Morrison Butler holds a B.S. degree from Indiana University and pursued post-graduate studies at the J.L. Kellogg Graduate School of Management, Northwestern University and the University of Chicago. Prior to joining City Year she held senior positions in the telecommunications industry and also established a private strategic communications practice.
Evelyn Diaz will join Heartland Alliance after four years as DFSS Commissioner under Mayor Emanuel. Under her leadership, DFSS streamlined and consolidated programs to minimize the impact of federal and state funding cuts and managed the Mayor’s major new investments in early childhood, summer jobs, homeless services and domestic violence programs. In addition to overseeing the expansion of the Mayor’s One Summer Chicago program from 14,000 to 24,000 youth jobs, Diaz designed the One Summer Plus summer job program proven to reduce violent crime arrests among at-risk youth by 43 percent. Diaz also shaved $2 million annually from a bloated mobile services program and used the savings to quadruple homeless programs for youth.
“Evelyn’s leadership at DFSS has positively impacted the lives of countless Chicagoans, and it has been a pleasure to work with her as we’ve grown our summer job and violence prevention programs for youth and worked to build the city’s first new domestic violence shelter in 20 years,” said Mayor Emanuel. “I want to thank Evelyn for her years of dedicated service to the city, and I look forward to seeing the great work she will undoubtedly accomplish in her new position.”