August 16, 2019

Mayor Lightfoot Announces State of The City Address and Budget Town Halls

Primetime address and regional budget meetings to engage residents in City’s financial planning for 2020 and long-term
Mayor's Press Office    312.744.3334

CHICAGO—Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot is announcing that the City will appear before residents during a series of scheduled events to update the public on key issues facing Chicago’s finances and to begin a discussion on how her administration plans to address them. First, Mayor Lightfoot will provide an overview of the 2020 budget forecast by outlining the City’s existing long-term liabilities and future fiscal needs as well as ideas the City is considering for addressing its deficit during a primetime speech on August 29th

In September, the Mayor will also lead four budget town hall meetings throughout the city to ensure residents have an opportunity to learn more about the budget process, the upcoming 2020 budget, and some ways the City will address its financial challenges.

 “As we work to build a city government that drives growth and opportunity for all of its residents and neighborhoods, we must ensure we have a roadmap to a sustainable financial future,” said Mayor Lightfoot. “With the City facing financial challenges this year, it is crucial that we have an open and honest conversation with residents from across the city, as well as with departments, city leaders and other stakeholders to develop solutions that will make our government stronger and work more efficiently for all of our neighborhoods.”

The State of the City address will be broadcast and live-streamed from Harold Washington Library on Thursday, August 29 at 6 p.m. To ensure all interested residents have a chance to tune in from wherever they are, the speech will be carried on all major local TV and radio newscasts, with the City of Chicago providing a live-stream feed from its website and its social media channels. Additionally, the City will provide translation services in Spanish language.

The Mayor’s speech is expected to focus on her administration’s vision for a long-term financial plan and investments to strengthen communities for working families. The speech will align with the release of the 2020 Budget Forecast. Similar to previous forecasting done by the Annual Financial Analysis, the 2020 Budget Forecast will include an historical picture of the city’s finances, current costs and obligations and future cost projections that allow the city to plan and budget efficiently. The release of this document will serve as an important tool as the City works to remain open and transparent about the future challenges faced in 2020.

“As the Budget Office works closely with city departments to identify their operational needs and service investments for the coming year, we also want to hear from residents, elected officials and other key stakeholders as we develop strategies for addressing our fiscal challenges,” said Susie Park, City of Chicago Budget Director. “By creating more lines of communication with the public about the state of our finances, we are creating more opportunities to solicit feedback and ensuring that more voices are heard.”

To illuminate key considerations from residents for next year’s budget, and to gain insight on where the public wants to reduce and increase spending, the City will host four targeted Budget Town Hall meetings held throughout the City, including one youth-focused budget discussion. All Budget Town Halls will be carried on a livestream and will allow for virtual participation over social media. The full details of the Budget Town Halls include:

North - Wednesday, September 4 from 6-8 p.m.

Copernicus Center, 5216 W Lawrence Ave.

West - Saturday, September 14 from 9-11 a.m.

Roberto Clemente High School, 1147 N Western Ave.

Southeast - Thursday, September 19 from 6-8 p.m.

Southeast United Methodist Youth and Community Center (The Zone), 11731 S Ave. O

South (Youth) – Wednesday, September 25 from 6-8 p.m.

Lindblom Math and Science Academy, 6130 S Wolcott Ave 

To give the Budget Town Hall meetings a framework of the topics residents want to discuss or learn more about, the City is launching a new public survey at www.chicago.gov/2020budget. Now through September 30th, the survey will act as a tool for the administration to ascertain which priorities residents will want to focus on over the course of the discussion and will survey residents on topics ranging from public safety and infrastructure; to neighborhood services and public health.

As the City prepares for the 2020 budget process, the Lightfoot administration has taken concerted efforts over the past several weeks to work with departments to find internal savings and ways to operate more efficiently. This includes measures to reduce an open line of short-term borrowing which it anticipates will save $22 million in FY 2020; as well as reforms to the workers’ compensation program, which are expected to eventually drive down claims costs and produce savings for the city. These and other savings and efficiencies will be identified to reduce FY 2020 costs and ensure a more viable financial future for all of Chicago.

For updates and details on the State of the City address and the budget town halls, please visitwww.chicago.gov and follow the City on Facebook and Twitter.

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