2023 Budget Equity Goals: Human Infrastructure

Chicago Council on Human Relations

The Chicago Commission on Human Relations (CCHR) is charged with enforcing the Chicago Human Rights Ordinance and the Chicago Fair Housing Ordinance. The Commission investigates complaints to determine whether discrimination may have occurred, and uses its enforcement powers to punish acts of discrimination. Under the City's Hate Crimes Law, the agency aids hate crime victims. CCHR also employs proactive programs of education, intervention, and constituency building to discourage bigotry and bring people from different groups together.

CCHR’s biggest win was taking a deeper dive into equity through the Racial Equity Cohort training. This gave us a lot of insight as we were working through our commitment from last year and preparing the department to think more holistically about equity moving forward. For example, prior to the cohort, our outreach efforts were not very strategic. If we identified an opportunity to get in front of people to talk about our work, we took it. As a result, we tended to be engaged with many of the same groups and our outreach did not extend into many underserved areas. Thus, we are now focusing on targeting our outreach to the Black and Brown communities of the south and west sides, specifically Roseland, Riverdale, West Garfield Park, and North Lawndale.

To advance the citywide desired result around community engagement, CCHR’s FY23 goal is to develop channels of communication with Black and Brown communities in the South and West sides, with the priority areas being Roseland, Riverdale, West Garfield Park, and North Lawndale.

To advance the citywide desired result around public health and human services, CCHR’s FY23 goal is to develop and strengthen partnerships with other city departments to address issues of discrimination by reaching residents who have not accessed the services of our department, particularly communities in Roseland, Riverdale, West Garfield Park and North Lawndale.

To advance the citywide desired result around data, CCHR’s FY23 goal is to provide quarterly statistical reports for each area of CCHR’s work on our webpage.

First, having conducted our own version of community engagement for many years, which focused on educating the community about what we do, we realize we must create spaces for dialogue so we can hear from community residents about what they need. This is particularly true for the Black and Brown communities of the South and West sides which is our focus. Thus, we will launch a listening campaign in these communities for the purpose of asking how CCHR can be a better partner and lay the groundwork to build relationships toward community-driven collaborations. We will also significantly change the focus and direction of our Intergroup Relations Unit (IGR) which will spearhead these outreach efforts. A new IGR Director will be hired who will lead the campaign with a focus on grassroots organizations in the South and West sides. Also, a Public Information Officer will be hired who will support the campaign and elevate the Commission's presence on social media. Finally, we will launch a CTA ad campaign later this year which will extend into 2023 which will provide information about the CCHR and our services on the bus and train lines servicing these communities.  Through these efforts we hope to gain a better understanding about how we can make our services more helpful and accessible to the community.

Secondly, the CCHR knows our limitations in terms of resources and areas of expertise. Therefore, to bring value to the community, we will work closer with our sister departments that have the resources and expertise we lack. Collaborative efforts with BACP, the Mayor’s Office of Gender Based Violence, and other departments will help CCHR to be a better resource to the community. We will continue and further develop our work with BACP to address discrimination and labor violations against immigrant workers. We will also build upon our work with the Mayor’s Office of Gender Based Violence and BACP to further address sexual harassment in employment.

Finally, CCHR realizes that we must improve how we maintain and track our own data and share it with the broader community. We regularly make hate crime and discrimination complaint data available. However, the audience for this data has been very selective and limited. Similarly, we regularly produce annual reports which are posted on our web page, but we must develop better ways of making the information more readily available. Utilizing our case management system, we will provide more data of about discrimination complaints filed with CCHR. We will also expand the use of the case management system to better track data of the work of our IGR Unit, including community tension mediations, workshops, and hate crime assistance. We believe this data will help us better strategize our work in Black and Brown communities of the South and West sides. It will also inform the public about our work in their communities.


Chicago Department of Public Health

CDPH works with communities and partners to create an equitable, safe, resilient and Healthy Chicago.

Recognizing the toll that COVID-19 and ongoing violence have taken on our city, particularly for Black and Latinx populations, CDPH has greatly expanded access to mental health services to ensure all Chicagoans can receive care when and where they need it, regardless of ability to pay, immigration status, or health insurance through: 

  • Expansion of publicly funded outpatient mental health services 
  • Coordination of trauma-Informed victim services for persons impacted by violence 
  • Expansion of crisis prevention and response programs for people living with serious mental illness and co-occurring disorders 
  • Facilitation of systems coordination 

The Crisis Assistance Response and Engagement (CARE) Program embeds CDPH mental health clinicians into the City's 911 response system. CARE provides an alternative to traditional police or fire response for 911 calls with a mental health component, and currently operates in nine community areas on the North, South, and Southwest Sides of the City: Uptown, Lakeview, Auburn Gresham, Chatham, West Elsdon, West Lawn, West Englewood, Gage Park, and Chicago Lawn. These community areas were chosen based on their high number of mental health-related 911 calls, and the majority of them are also high economic hardship areas and communities that are majority Black or Latinx. Initial program data indicates that the CARE Program primarily serves Black and Latinx individuals (amongst those for whom race/ethnicity is recorded). The CARE Program connects individuals in crisis to community-based behavioral health and social supports, disrupting cyclical utilization of emergency systems and ensuring holistic management of unmet behavioral health needs. 

The opioid crisis disproportionately effects Black Chicagoans and is one of the top drivers of the Black-white life expectancy gap in the City. In 2020, 58% of fatal overdoses were among Black Chicagoans. In particular, the West Side of Chicago is impacted by opioid overdose. Approximately 35% of all overdoses and 20% of fatal overdoses occur each year on the West Side of Chicago, in community areas home to just 9% of the city's population. The Narcotics Arrest Diversion Program (NADP), begun in 2018 and expanded citywide in 2022, provides treatment instead of arrest for possession of illegal substances. NADP began on the West Side of Chicago as a pilot program, and still serves the most participants in that area. NADP successfully links highly vulnerable populations to treatment, and the majority of the program's participants are from demographics disproportionately impacted by opioid overdose: 57% of NADP participants are Black and 25% are Latinx. 66% are unemployed, 12% are experiencing homelessness, 35% have overdosed at least once before, and 21% meet the criteria for a mental health condition.

CDPH’s mental health budget grew from $12 million in 2019 to $89 million in 2022. We continue to invest in CDPH-run clinics and now fund a total of 50 community-based safety-net providers, including Community Mental Health Centers and Federally Qualified Health Centers. We anticipate funding at least one no-barrier outpatient clinic in each of our 77 neighborhoods by the end of the year, allowing all Chicagoans to access mental health services from trusted community-based providers where they live. These investments will allow us to serve 60,000 Chicagoans in 2022 – more than 15 times the number of people we reached in 2019. In addition, we have significantly grown our programs that bring mental health and substance use services outside of clinic walls, to people experiencing homelessness and who have other barriers to care. This expansion will bring supports to neighborhoods and populations that have been historically underserved, with a particular focus on predominantly Black and Latinx communities.


CDPH has selected three goals that broadly represent our department’s efforts to implement Healthy Chicago 2025, our citywide plan to address the 10-year life expectancy gap between Black and white Chicagoans, and the significant decrease in life expectancy among Latinx Chicagoans since 2012: 

To advance the citywide desired result around workforce diversity, CDPH’s FY23 goal is to create learning and development opportunities for staff that align with the department’s anti-racism value: We are committed to dismantling systemic racism to create an organizational culture that actively supports anti-racist efforts and is committed to recognizing, addressing, and eradicating all forms of racism within the department and in the community.  The department began offering training to all staff in 2022 on Dismantling Racist Systems which is a series of six customize workshops in a graduated sequence that focus on race equity as the primary theme for Healthy Chicago 2025. These workshops unpack the history of systemic racism in the U.S. and examine how disparities and the present-day manifestations of racism have fostered this countries narrative of racial difference.  The goal is to have all of CDPH staff complete the Dismantling Racist Systems Series.  To date there are over 250 staff members who completed the foundational training that helps equip them with the knowledge, tools and resources to be more comfortable talking about race and to take action in order to transform policies and processes that foster anti-racist, multicultural systems.  

To advance the citywide desired result around community engagement, CDPH’s FY23 goal is to increase investment in structures that enable community leadership in key CDPH initiatives, including Healthy Chicago Equity Zones and Family Connects Community Alignment Boards (CABs). These structures are designed to build community voice and power, with a focus on community areas and populations that are most affected by health and racial inequities.   

To advance the citywide desired result around environment, climate and energy, CDPH’s FY23 goal is to conduct a citywide cumulative impact assessment to provide a more comprehensive inventory of pollution sources, describe how overall pollution burden varies across community areas, and characterize community-level experiences of and vulnerability to pollution. This will inform decision-making in policy areas such as land use/zoning, permitting, and enforcement to promote environmental justice.  

CDPH’s mission is to work with communities and partners to create an equitable, safe, resilient and Healthy Chicago. Every five years, we partner with hundreds of community and cross-sector organizations to conduct an assessment and develop a citywide community health improvement plan to address the needs and priorities identified through this process. Our most recent plan, Healthy Chicago 2025 (HC2025), is a roadmap to close the city’s racial life expectancy gap by addressing the root causes of health – including structural racism. Additional data on the health status of Chicagoans is available in the Healthy Chicago 2025 Data Compendium, State of Health for Blacks in Chicago, and our report on the impacts from the COVID-19 pandemic

Advancing opportunities for everyone in Chicago to thrive and achieve their optimal health and wellness is what CDPH does every day – from our work on behavioral health and public safety, to disease control (including COVID-19 response), lead prevention, and food protection. For this budget equity initiative, we selected goals that represent a cross-section of our work in line with HC2025 and our internal strategic plan. Each goal is connected to the drivers of Chicago’s racial life expectancy gap, with an emphasis on ways that we are promoting policy and systems-level change. 

  • Goal 1A: CDPH’s strategic plan calls for an internal transformation to become an anti-racist organization. We hope to lead by example through continued training for our workforce on Dismantling Racist Systems and offering new training on Cultural Competence and Responsiveness, Implicit Bias, Inclusivity and Belonging, new employee training and staff and leadership development. The COVID-19 pandemic has emphasized the critical important of a robust public health system and also magnified long-standing weaknesses and created new challenges in the public health infrastructure.  In order to prepare for other public health emergencies that arise in the future, sustainable strategic investments to strengthen public health capacity related to adding new staff, retaining, and better training and professional development opportunities are necessary to meet the evolving and complex public health needs of the communities we serve. Particularly disproportionately and medically underserved and communities of color. 
  • Goal 1B: Community co-leadership of public health interventions is a guiding principle of Healthy Chicago 2025. Through structures such as the Healthy Chicago Equity Zones and Family Connects Community Alignment Boards (CABs), we are working with community partners to understand how they are affected by health and racial inequities, and to build power and capacity within communities to take action on locally determined priorities. 
  • Goal 1C: Healthy Chicago 2025 centers strategies to advance health and racial equity in all policies. Recognizing that the physical environments has a significant impact on people’s health and well-being, CDPH is working with communities most burdened by pollution – which are predominantly Black and Latinx – to conduct a cumulative impact assessment that will help inform land use/zoning, permitting, and enforcement policy changes. 

These initiatives – and many of CDPH’s racial equity focused efforts – are funded through grant resources. We will continue to work with the Mayor’s office and City Council to seek long-term, sustainable fundings sources that reflect the shared value of promoting racial equity through departmental budgets. 


Chicago Public Library

Chicago Public Library encourages lifelong learning by welcoming all people and offering equal access to information, entertainment and knowledge through materials, programs and events, and cutting-edge technology. Chicago Public Library serves all Chicagoans with locations citywide: Harold Washington Library Center, three regional libraries and more than 77 neighborhood branches.

CPL’s biggest win last year that advances racial equity was the expansion of Sunday hours at all 81 locations. This win delivers on the City of Chicago and CPL’s commitment to remove barriers and provide all Chicagoans equitable access to critical library resources.

Because CPL has locations in all Chicago neighborhoods, the expansion of Sunday hours means that every Chicago community now has access to library services 7 days a week. This allows Chicagoans to access the library’s many resources – free spaces, books, computers and Wi-Fi, academic resources, and more – on whatever days of the week work well for them. It allows Chicagoans with work or religious restrictions to utilize in-person essential library services on their schedule.

In addition, expanded Sunday hours provide residents, especially young people, additional opportunities to explore their interests, learn, and grow in safe, engaging environments.

The expansion of Sunday hours is one of several CPL initiatives focused on racial equity. CPL has also focused on equity through elimination of overdue fines and partnership initiatives to revitalize libraries on the South and West Side, including the establishment of the first regional library to serve the city's West Side in nearly 50 years. Together, these initiatives improve library access for all Chicagoans, particularly youth and those in historically disinvested communities.

To advance the citywide desired result around lifelong learning, CPL’s FY23 goal is partnering with Chicago Public Schools (CPS) to provide all 330k students and 21k teachers with Chicago Public Library accounts and access to CPL materials for in-classroom instruction and learning through the Student Success Program.   

To advance the citywide desired result around community engagement, CPL’s FY23 goal is to conduct an equity assessment informed by community engagement in order to establish CPL’s equity goals and identify access barriers needing to be addressed.  

To advance the citywide desired result around public health and human services, CPL’s FY23 goal is to partner with Chicago Department of Public Health (CDPH) to establish a Mental Health Clinical Liaison Program at CPL whose sole role will be to work with CPL to address the range of mental health-related needs of library staff and patrons. Considering that Black Chicagoans have higher rates of behavioral health hospitalizations and drug-related mortality than any other racial or ethnic group in the city, and that Black and brown Chicagoans are disproportionately impacted by recent and historical disinvestment in public mental health services, this Program will promote racial equity by linking those who most need care to mental health services and professionals.

Goal A builds on CPL’s recent initiatives to improve access to the library: expanded hours and eliminating fines. CPS and CPL’s Student Success Program is a logical next step in advancing the desired result of ensuring all Chicagoans gain meaningful knowledge and skills to thrive as these are the largest educational institutions in the city. Considering >85% of CPS students are Black and brown, and ~70% of CPS students are economically disadvantaged, providing all CPS students with CPL accounts promotes racial equity by ensuring that the highest-need youth in the city will always have access to the library, its books, computers, Wi-Fi, and various online resources.

With locations in every neighborhood and online, CPL offers free and easy access to every resident. We will leverage this alongside the Student Success Program and CPL’s existing relationships with schools to encourage CPS students to make more regular use of libraries. In addition, by reducing administrative burden on CPS teachers and CPL staff of ensuring student access to library resources, we will encourage more meaningful engagement between CPL staff and CPS students and teachers. Through improved access and meaningful engagement, the Student Success Program aims to improve educational outcomes of CPS students.

Goal B reflects the City’s equity statement of principles that equity is a process, in addition to an outcome. The equity assessment will create the foundation for ongoing assessment of information access needs. Racially equitable access to information is fundamental to advancing the wellbeing of all Chicago residents.

Goal C is premised on a commitment to meeting the resource needs of all Chicagoans, and on an understanding that libraries are a refuge for residents who live in historically disinvested communities with the greatest barriers to accessing mental health resources. This CDPH and CPL program will improve access to mental health services for those most in need. We aim for this program to improve mental health outcomes of all Chicagoans, especially Black residents, who are disproportionately burdened by negative mental health outcomes.


Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events

The City of Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events (DCASE) supports artists and cultural organizations, invests in the creative economy, and expands access and participation in the arts throughout Chicago’s 77 neighborhoods.

One of DCASE’s primary objectives is to increase the percentage of grant funds distributed to BIPOC artists and BIPOC-led organizations and in LMI areas that have traditionally received less support. In 2022, DCASE’s cultural grants budget received a significant increase, including a $10M dedicated revenue stream from the City’s corporate budget, as well as $16M in ARPA investments that will support recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. 

With new investments, DCASE goals were to provide targeted financial relief for artists and organizations not able to access other forms of federal aid; support projects that engage communities to produce cultural projects throughout the city; and provide a sustainable increase in the overall amount of support going to the arts and culture sector.

In 2021, DCASE conducted an analysis of the department’s grant programs and convened focus groups to understand barriers. The assessment revealed that Latinx and Black individuals were underrepresented, and that most grantees were located on the North Side of Chicago.

With the increase in grant funds available, it was important to understand the issues that were preventing BIPOC artists and organizations serving South and West Side communities from accessing grant funding. Issues included a lack of awareness about grant programs, as well as burdensome and restrictive applications that prevented artists and organizations from accessing the resources that they need. 

DCASE has made significant progress in improving equity in our grantmaking by implementing new outreach strategies, establishing more flexible guidelines to increase program eligibility, and by launching new programs like the Neighborhood Access Program and Chicago Presents that are tailored to meet the needs of communities. Through these efforts, DCASE has increased distribution of funds to BIPOC artists from 38% in 2016 to 60% in 2022, and increased distribution of grants to south and west side from 48% in 2021 to 53% in 2022.

To advance the citywide desired result around arts and culture, DCASE’s FY23 goal is to ensure that opportunities for artists and arts organizations are widely known and understood and equitably accessed. 

To advance the citywide desired result around community engagement, DCASE’s FY23 goal is to include a broader spectrum of voices in the planning and distribution of programs and services.

To advance the citywide desired result around data, DCASE’s FY23 goal is to collect and analyze data to identify disparities and inform decision making that improves equitable outcomes in the arts and culture sector.

In addition to grantmaking, DCASE also offers several cultural programs and services that benefit and support local artists and organizations. Every year, we engage hundreds of artists representing all the arts disciplines, and offer dozens of programs and festivals in Millennium Park, the Chicago Cultural Center and throughout our neighborhoods. While DCASE has done great work in centering equity in our grants program, we want to ensure that equitable outcomes are guaranteed across all program and service areas. To achieve this, DCASE must create the infrastructure to collect and evaluate data, comprehensively, about who we serve. In 2023, we look forward to benchmarking our data, conducting specific outreach and community engagement with those we are not reaching, and increasing access to opportunities to those who have not collaborated with us or participated in our programs in the past.


Department of Family and Support Services

Working with community partners, we connect Chicago residents and families to resources that build stability, support their well-being, and empower them to thrive.

DFSS learned valuable lessons while successfully upscaling the Rental Assistance Program and Gender-based Violence (GBV) outreach during COVID. DFSS staff learned the effectiveness of broadening outreach to a wider array of community groups that represent the full spectrum of ethnicities and cultures within communities.  The income eligibility threshold made more Black and Latinx residents eligible, and our selection lottery prioritized residents living in communities with a Medium or High level of economic hardship. Similar to the clients who utilize GBV outreach services, the majority of applicants were Black women, which enabled us to leverage the same strategies to reach out to those hardest-hit community members. Finally, we used data to identify Community Areas where Latinx and AAPI were under-applying, and increased outreach efforts to those areas in real time.

DFSS was able to apply those lessons learned as the department began to implement the Chicago Resilient Communities Pilot (CRCP). CRCP is a $31.5 million dollar commitment from Mayor Lightfoot and the Department of Family and Support Services (DFSS) as part of our effort to tackle poverty and put residents at the center of the economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. Pre-existing income inequity was exacerbated by the pandemic. According to the 2022 “Creating a More Equitable Recovery” report, Black and Latinx women experienced higher rates of unemployment during the pandemic, peaking at 20.1% for Latinx women and 16.6% for Black women in May 2020.  In response, Chicago harnessed the emerging practice of guaranteed income to provide an effective tool for governments to help its residents.

To advance the citywide desired result around public health and services, DFSS’ FY23 goal is to include an equity-based performance gap in the “Priorities for Improvement” section - a required question of applicants and aspect of scoring guidance - of priority Request for Proposals.   

To advance the citywide desired result around data, DFSS’ FY23 goal is to leverage the department’s new data governance policy to identify and publish datasets and analyses publicly.

  1. As a department that operates through our RFPs, our contracting process is our life blood. We have undergone years of internal discussion, training, and change management to ensure divisions can accurately assess an RFP respondent’s ability to address racial equity goals that are important to us and the city at large. Reexamining and adding to the “Performance Management, Outcomes”” section of this evaluation process strengthens that commitment and reengages the division in the prioritization of that goal.
  2. It is not enough to believe in open data and transparency. As owners of our data, the public have a right not just to see the data, but to be active participants in its collection, quality, analytics, and the feedback loop informing improvements to the data overall. The City’s Open Data Portal provides one venue for this transparency and conversation to begin. We would see these venues expand in quantity, first through our data share request policy and, from that, additional publication venues for newly created data requests that will then live in the public fora. We believe this collaborative process with multiple entry points lowers barriers for those aligned with our own equity goals to use the data productively.

All DFSS RFPs go through this scoring protocol in its contracting process, and priority RFPs are identified based on whether the program has a large budget/constituent reach, exhibits room for improvement, or is an entirely new program. While the number of priority RFPs is unknown a year ahead of time, DFSS will commit to adding this new criterion immediately, and it will receive its initial pilot in our CDGA RFP batch this Fall 2022, which represents about 1/3 of our total RFP volume for the year and has implications for over $40M in programming.

The production of public data will be determined in this policy by the number of those who request the data. Publication of that data to Chicago’s Public Data Portal, however, will be available so long as the data can automatically update, as is the requirement of the Portal. We also hope to publish after-action data reports on projects affecting Chicago’s most vulnerable, such as the operation of a hotel-based shelter program to serve people experiencing homelessness during the COVID-19 pandemic, a population that is disproportionately Black.


Department of Housing

The mission of Chicago’s Department of Housing is to expand access and choice for residents and protect their rights to quality homes that are affordable, safe, and healthy. 

DOH moved forward with many racial equity projects in the last year. One of the largest was the December 2021 announcement of $1 billion investments in affordable multifamily housing developments in 24 projects and 2,000 units across the City. In addition to being the most significant investment in affordable rental housing in the City's history, the developments represented the first round of Low-Income Housing Tax Credit allocations since the 2021 Racial Equity Impact Assessment of DOH's Qualified Allocation Plan, a nationally recognized effort to improve the equity impact of the City's most extensive affordable rental housing production program.

The historic allocation included 18 equitable transit-oriented development projects, including 12 on the South and West Sides, that will help connect families in affordable housing with affordable, more sustainable transportation. This historic investment in affordable housing is a significant win for the Administration's priority of promoting inclusive development near the City's transit stations. In addition, all housing projects have meaningful BIPOC participation, which is an improvement from previous rounds.

To advance the citywide desired result around contracting, DOH's FY23 goal is to increase the number of BIPOC developers in DOH-led projects and enable more qualified BIPOC contractors' participation by providing access to credit.  

To advance the citywide desired result around data collection, DOH's FY23 goal is to develop an equity-centered qualitative and quantitative evaluation framework for all DOH programs that increase historically excluded communities' (Black communities, Indigenous communities, immigrant communities, survivors of gender-based violence, returning residents, low-income residents, people with disabilities, and LGBTQIA+ communities) utilization of DOH programs and increases public transparency. 

To advance the citywide desired result around housing, DOH's FY23 goal is to increase the number of affordable units near high-utilized transit stops. 

These goals were selected because they will meaningfully impact the lives of residents and shift outcomes more equitably. These goals were highlighted by conducting stakeholder engagement, and they are achievable with the current resources. Improved data systems for DOH directly relate to the Citywide goal of increasing transparency. DOH having more robust data and regular evaluations will allow the public to see how public funds are spent easily and the benefits these investments have in the City. Focusing on ETOD directly relates to the Citywide goal of increasing affordable, safe, and healthy homes by connecting affordable housing to public transportation. Not only will this help households save money on housing and transportation costs, but it will also reduce our reliance on cars and improve air quality. Finally, increasing our contracting with BIPOC developers directly relates to the Citywide goal of ensuring all Chicagoans can participate in the economic business of the City by opening City contracts to developers who have not secured these contracts before. Not only will these developers have access to City contracts, but DOH plans to provide technical assistance to these businesses to ensure they are set up for success in other contracts.


Department of Planning and Development

As the principal planning agency for the City of Chicago, the Department of Planning and Development (DPD) promotes the comprehensive growth and sustainability of the City and its neighborhoods. The department also oversees the City’s zoning and land use policies and employs a variety of resources to encourage business and real estate development, historic preservation, accessible waterfronts, walkable neighborhoods, and related community improvements. 

Through our Invest South/West (ISW) program we were able to award development funds on 10 sites in historically disinvested communities totaling $360M in proposed development with a total of 33 developers whose teams are comprised of approximately 60% MBE WBE or DBE firms. We are proud of providing investments to communities that have historically been disinvested in and underserved. We believe this proves that our ISW RFP framework investment methodology is generally headed in a positive direction. We will continue to work to improve our procedures and processes for the benefit of the community.

To advance the citywide desired result around contracting, DPD’s FY23 goal is to increase the number of businesses and organizations in historically disinvested and underserved communities who participate in DPD grant programs by analyzing data to assess gaps in service/investment and come up with actionable recommendations of how DPD will close those gaps. 

To advance the citywide desired result around neighborhood planning and development, DPD’s FY23 goal is to improve the vibrancy and walkability of commercial corridors in historically disinvested and underserved communities by analyzing past investments and identify actionable steps to creating catalytic community centered investments for the future.

To advance the citywide desired result around public health and human services, DPD’s FY23 goal is to Increase healthy food availability in historically disinvested and underserved communities, where many food deserts are found, by prioritizing healthy food access in our grant investment strategies.  

To advance the citywide desired result around economic development, DPD’s FY23 goal is to incorporate racial equity indicators in our grant scorecards when appropriate (in addition to the other equity indicators already included in many of our scorecards) to ensure DPD’s investments are being utilized in historically disinvested and underserved communities.

We chose these goals based off feedback from the communities we work in (given in various mediums – including but not limited to community surveys, community round tables, aldermanic briefings, community letters to the CPC/ZBA, etc.) as well as an analysis of the data we have available to us. We want to ensure that DPD cultivates a built environment that allows all Chicagoans to thrive. We believe these goals and strategies will help to make Chicago a more equitable city.


Mayor's Office of People with Disabilities

The Mayor's Office for People with Disabilities (MOPD) works to make Chicago a world-class accessible city on behalf of residents and visitors with disabilities.

MOPD developed a pilot program for home delivered meals for black and brown Chicagoans with disabilities in the 60619, 60621, 60612 and 60624 zip code communities. The zip codes selected are based off the priority zip codes established by the Mayor’s Office.

MOPD made several new hires in 2022 and increased staff racial and ethnic representation.

MOPD'S Independent Living program provides services to help people with disabilities live independently in our communities. Our data shows 69.15% of the wards (2, 3, 4, 9, 25, 26, 27, 31, 42, & 48) served are in predominantly black and brown communities.

To advance the citywide desired result around public health and human services, MOPD’s FY23 goal is for all Chicagoans with disabilities to have access to healthy and nutritious food.

To advance the citywide desired result around housing, MOPD’s FY23 goal is to make sure that Chicagoans with disabilities who acquire disabilities secure accessible housing through home modifications 

To advance the citywide desired result around data, MOPD’s FY23 goal is to collect data on Chicagoans with disabilities to better inform Chicago residents and government officials.

While the pandemic created several barriers, MOPD worked on several solutions to serve Chicagoans with disabilities. First, MOPD worked with community partners to increase access to food for people with disabilities, including diverse racial and ethnic backgrounds.  MOPD continues to develop solutions to increasing access to food including through prepared food and food pantry delivery.  MOPD will continue to ensure that Chicagoans with disabilities in all Chicago neighborhoods get information and can access MOPD’s home modification program, which allows clients to live independently in their neighborhood, regardless of zip code.  MOPD continues to build its data collection practices for department programs to ensure accurate data around the needs of people with disabilities in Chicago.