Chicago Budget Equity

About the Program

 Download the full 2023 Budget Equity report

The City of Chicago is on a journey to ensure that equity is a part of “how we do business.” One of our most powerful opportunities is in integrating a practice of equity into the backbone of our work: our budgets. Budgets are in essence a moral document that highlight and make clear what we value as an institution. A rigorous analysis and a public accounting of how we resource the practices we use and outcomes we produce are core to our ability to drive results that are fair and just for all Chicagoans, especially those who have been harmfully impacted because of race or ethnic background. 

Our development of a “budget equity tool” began in 2020 – the process of having departments analyze progress, create racial equity goals for the upcoming year, and identify how their budgets will support those goals. The City of Chicago defines equity as both an outcome and a process that results in fair and just access to opportunity and resources that provide everyone the ability to thrive. Our journey toward a more racially equitable Chicago requires us to make changes to the way we do the work of government. This process allows us to align siloed efforts to citywide strategic plans and create goals related to both our processes and our outcomes. We are aiming for true institutional transformation and a historic change for the City of Chicago. That said as we highlight this year’s progress, we must remember these are small deliberate steps in a long journey to build the city we all deserve.  

Special thank you to Mayor Lightfoot’s leadership and vision for equity and all the city departments who have worked hard through this process. Onward! 

– Candace Moore, Chief Equity Officer

Budget Equity Focus Areas

Below is a chart of our desired results – what we hope will happen with the people in Chicago. These desired results come primarily from three strategic plans that anchor the City’s work: Healthy Chicago 2025We Will Chicago, and the Climate Action Plan. The Office of Equity and Racial Justice (OERJ) asked each department to make three goals for FY23 aligned to some of the below desired results. One goal needed to be related to an outcome, one to a process, and the third was their choice.

As a reminder, just because they do not have a goal listed in a category does not mean they are not actively doing work in the space; it just means that their racial equity focus for the next year is not in that category (for example, the Chicago Public Health Department’s goals are in Environment, Climate and Energy, Workforce Diversity, and Community Engagement. These are three areas they are putting particular focus into for the next year; they will still continue to do work aligned to the Public Health and Services goal). 

 EQUITY IN OUR OUTCOMES        Housing All Chicagoans have healthy, accessible, and affordable homes. DOH, MOPD
Environment, Climate, & Energy All Chicagoans breathe air free from pollutants and have resilient and sustainable communities. CDPH, DSS
Public Safety All Chicagoans are safe across the city and have trusting relationships with law enforcement and first responders. COPA, CCPSA, DOF, CFD, DHR, OIG, OEMC, CPD
Neighborhood Planning& Development All Chicagoans live in vibrant neighborhoods that reflect their identities. DPD
Transportation & Infrastructure All Chicagoans have a safe multi-modal transportation system and broadband access. CDOT
Public Health & Services All Chicagoans are healthy and benefit from a full range of health and human services. AIS, CACC, DFSS, CFD, CCHR, CPL, MOPD, DPD, DWM
Economic Development All Chicagoans are economically self-sufficient, can build wealth, and thrive. BACP, DOB, DOF, DPD, DPS, OPSA
Arts & Culture All Chicagoans celebrate, connect with, and contribute to the City’s creative and cultural ecosystem. DCASE
Lifelong Learning All Chicagoans gain meaningful knowledge and skills to thrive. CACC, CDA, DOL, CPL, DPS



Workforce Diversity The City of Chicago’s workforce reflects the demographics of the City, and all employees are connected to training and advancement opportunities. DOAH, CDA, CACC, BoE, CFD, CDPH, DHR, OIG, DOL, OEMC, CPD, DSS, CDOT, DWM
Data All Chicagoans can obtain, view, or use public facing data from the City of Chicago. COPA, DCASE, DFSS, BoE, DOH, CCHR, OIG, MOPD, DSS, DWM
Contracting All Chicagoans benefit from and can participate in economic business with the City of Chicago. AIS, CDA, BACP, DOB, DOH, LAC, DPD, DPS, OPSA
Community Engagement All Chicagoans have a meaningful opportunity to influence City of Chicago programs, policies, and initiatives. DOAH, CDA, BACP, COPA, CCPSA, DCASE, BoE, DOF, CDPH, CCHR, CPL, OEMC, CPD, Police Board, OPSA, CDOT
2023 Budget Equity Goals by Department

Below is the list of City of Chicago departments and their budget equity submissions for the year. Each department answered three questions:

  • What was your department’s biggest win last year that advances racial equity?
  • What are your department’s racial equity goals for FY 2023?
  • Why did you select these goals? Specifically, how will they advance the ultimate outcomes the City is striving to meet?

Each department’s full name and acronym are below: