Mayor Lightfoot Announces Budget Address to Be Held on Wednesday, October 21, 2020
The address will detail the City’s fiscal plan to address the economic impact of COVID-19 on Chicago’s finances
CHICAGO – Today, Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot announced that the annual Budget Address will be given on Wednesday, October 21 at 10:00 am, along with the release of the Mayor’s 2021 Budget Recommendation. Facing the largest budget gap in the City’s history due to the overwhelming and persisting impacts of COVID-19, the Budget Address will detail the reforms, efficiencies and investments that make up the 2021 Budget.
“This year we have come face to face with not only the devastating health consequences of this pandemic, but the economic destruction left in its wake, all while having to navigate the uncertainty around how long this will continue,” said Mayor Lightfoot. “We must make the difficult decisions under the conditions we are currently in, and this means confronting a potential absence of additional federal funding.”
To make the 2021 Budget process informative and inclusive even during the COVID-19 pandemic, the City expanded its new community engagement and public education process beginning in late August with “Budget Week”, a weeklong series of virtual townhall meetings where Budget Director Susie Park sat down with key City leaders to review the critical functions of each department, update the public on key issues facing the City’s finances and respond to questions submitted by residents through the website portal. Budget engagement efforts also included an online survey also made available physically at Chicago Public Library locations, as well as the introduction of Community Round Tables, a grassroots effort to solicit feedback for the 2021 budget. Last week, at a culminating town hall event, the Mayor and Director Park answered questions submitted by residents through the portal and discussed the outcomes of the public engagement process.
In addition, the City’s Chief Financial Officer, Jennie Bennett and subject matter experts participated in two City Council Committee Revenue hearings more than a month prior to the Budget Address in an effort to educate the public and aldermen on the state of the City’s revenue sources and discuss potential revenue ideas.
The Office of Budget and Management will work closely with Alderman Pat Dowell, Chairman of the Committee on the Budget and Government Operations to set the departmental hearing schedule.