Mayor Lightfoot and City Leaders Announce Near-Term Efforts and Community Collaborations to Reduce Violence
The City will host six community safety town halls in an effort to further engage community leaders and refine violence reduction strategy
CHICAGO – Today, Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot joined fellow City leaders to announce near-term efforts and community collaborations designed to prevent and reduce crime and violence, including six community safety town halls tailored to each Chicago region that will provide residents with the opportunity to ask questions, share feedback, and inform the City’s near-term violence prevention strategy.
"My administration and all of our City departments and agencies are aligned on and committed to our comprehensive community safety strategy," said Mayor Lightfoot. "As part of this strategy, we want to hear from our residents to learn what more we can do to wrap our arms around their communities. The invaluable voices of residents will build upon the CSCC's holistic approach to community safety and help the City rapidly respond to the needs of Chicagoans."
Since the launch of Chicago’s first-ever Community Safety Coordination Center (CSCC) in August, 2021, the City has worked diligently with health care providers, community-based organizations, faith leaders and other partners to implement a whole of government, community-driven approach to violence prevention and reduction. The CSCC’s operations and programming are designed to reduce violence using evidence-based best practices that require cross-sector coordination across City departments or agencies.
“The COVID-19 pandemic taught us that partnering with community leaders is key to our success to co-create and implement equitable and efficient strategies,” said Tamara Mahal, CSCC Chief Coordination Officer. “The CSCC is designed around deep partnership with those most impacted by violence and the mobilization of our city department resources in response.”
As part of Chicago’s whole of city approach, over twenty departments and agencies worked through a process to identify their role in violence prevention. Each of them identified one near-term and one long-term strategy that they could implement to reduce violence and the resources necessary to do so. As a result, the City is implementing targeted, people-based, place-based, and crisis response strategies to address the root causes of violence.
- People-based strategy: Connecting, coordinating, and organizing supports and opportunities around those at the highest risk for violence involvement.
- Place-based strategy: Investing in communities to create more safe spaces, more green spaces, and more vibrant commercial corridors.
- Crisis response: Supporting law enforcement partners with deep engagement with community and strengthening collaborations to build stronger, coordinated pathways to resources for those who are justice-involved.
“We must wrap our arms and resources around our city’s youth, many of whom have been deeply impacted by the disruptions that the COVID-19 pandemic brought,” said DFSS Commissioner Brandie Knazze. “Thanks to Mayor Lightfoot’s commitment to the young people of this city, we will invest 100 million dollars into youth employment, violence prevention, and therapeutic services that help young people heal, work, and thrive.”
“CDOT is a partner in the city’s whole-of-government approach to addressing violence," said CDOT Commissioner Gia Biagi. "We know that our investments in the built environment done in partnership with communities contribute to the overall health and well-being of residents, make it easier and safer for people to move around, and make for neighborhoods that are inviting, safe, prosperous, and vibrant.”
“Making our city safer means ensuring every community has a voice,” said Chicago Police Department Superintendent David O. Brown. “The work of the Chicago Police Department, the Community Safety Coordination Center, and every city department go hand in hand because we all play an important part in preventing violence.”
As part of these near-term strategies, the City is planning several community events and activations.
Community Safety Town Halls
Between March 9 and March 19, the CSCC and CPD will host six virtual community safety town halls tailored to the needs of each Chicago region, with one town hall fully in Spanish. At each town hall, there will be a CSCC and CPD representative to provide an overview and answer questions about the City’s near-term violence prevention strategy. Residents are encouraged to use the following registration link.
- March 9 –North/Northwest Sides Community Safety Town Hall
- March 10 –West Side Community Safety Town Hall
- March 12 –Southwest Side Community Safety Town Hall
- March 15 –City Center/Near North, South Loop, West Loop Community Safety Town Hall
- March 16 – South Side Community Safety Town Hall
- March 19 –Citywide Community Safety Town Hall in Spanish
Symposium on Trauma-Informed Response to Violence
On March 14, the City is hosting a symposium for community leaders and providers in mental health, substance use, and violence prevention to discuss and plan for a trauma-informed approach to violence reduction in communities highly impacted by violence.
Youth Trade Show
A 3-day expo, funded by the Department of Family and Support Services, is scheduled for March 22, 23, and 24 at the McCormick Center. The goal of the event is to expose and connect 3,000 graduating seniors at risk of post-graduation disconnection with the necessary information and tools to explore a career in the skilled trades. Students will have the opportunity to meet with representatives from a myriad of unions/skills trades and participate in hands-on activities to gain a greater understanding of the skilled trades career pathways. The Trade show will provide additional support and opportunities to help students avoid involvement in violence. This includes students who have or are currently participating in the Chicago Public Schools’ program Choose to Change, students from Options Schools, and those who have experienced other risk factors.