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STEP Summit - Chicago

February 20, 2020

On February 20, 2020, Mayor Lightfoot’s STEP (Solutions Toward Ending Poverty) Summit convened hundreds of people from around Chicago to launch a years-long, movement-based effort to address perhaps the single greatest  challenge our city faces: entrenched poverty and economic hardship--both its causes and symptoms. Attendees included community economic mobility practitioners, academics and researchers, artists and storytellers, grassroots community activists, employers and business leaders, and government officials. They cover the vast range of voices and approaches that the STEP project will partner with in the coming years.

The Summit was the launch of a City-led, but community-focused project that will create a platform to:

  • Partner with communities to define how poverty and economic hardship manifest for them, and develop community-centered metrics to measure the work on an ongoing basis; and
  • Build a roadmap with communities that will show how the City can end economic hardship and poverty
  • Create new opportunities to share, scale and replicate work -- including from other cities -- that is or can be lifting people out of poverty and on an upward path of economic mobility; and
  • Tell new narratives about how economic hardship impact Chicagoans, and how Chicagoans are surviving and thriving amidst those struggles; and 
  • Generate the collective will to address the full-scale of the economic and social challenges associated with entrenched poverty and economic hardship, including at the state and federal levels; and
  • Showcase partner commitments, at all scales, that are advancing STEP goals.

Download the STEP Summit recap report for a summary of the gathering's activities, ideas, key statistics and next steps. You can add your insights and commitments to supporting this plan via the forms below.

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