Recovery Task Force

On April 23, The City of Chicago launched a COVID-19 Recovery Taskforce (RTF) to advise city government as economic recovery planning efforts get underway in the wake of the coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19). The Taskforce will be Co-Chaired by Mayor Lightfoot and former White House Chief of Staff Sam Skinner and led by a group of experts from a wide range of industries, regional government leaders, community-based partners and policymakers. Together these leaders will provide critical insights to help the Mayor as her administration works to balance a robust health response with a strategic economic response that addresses the unique challenges presented by COVID-19.

The City’s COVID-19 recovery efforts will be grounded in the crucial work the Lightfoot administration is already doing with initiatives like its $750M INVEST South/West program and the Solutions Toward Ending Poverty (STEP) agenda to address the structural economic forces that put millions of Chicago residents in economic hardship prior to the pandemic.

The RTF is comprised of five core committees, with recommendations developed out of the Policy & Economic Stimulus Committee, the Mental & Emotional Health Committee, and the Marketing & Business Development Committee. There will also be a Regional Coordination Committee to ensure alignment across neighboring governing bodies, as well as a Change Study that will analyze economic and social impacts of COVID-19 on the city and be used as a basis for many of the recommendations developed by the other Committees. All Committees will have an opportunity for the public voice, and will have a broad, diverse set of members across industry, community-based organizations, organized labor, academia, and government.

Recovery Task Force Advisory Report

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Central City Recovery Roadmap

To maximize the central area’s reopening on behalf of the entire city, the Central City Recovery Task Force was convened in November 2020 with dozens of corporate, private, and government representatives focused on Business and Commercial, Culture and Tourism, Residents and Community, and Transportation and Mobility. 


  • Kelly Welsh, Civic Committee of the Commercial Club
  • Jack Lavin, Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce
  • Commissioner Gia Biagi, CDOT
  • President Dorval Carter, CTA
  • Commissioner Mark Kelly, DCASE
  • Michael Fassnacht, WBC
  • Bonnie Sanchez-Carlson, Near South Planning Board
  • Debby Gershbein, Streeterville Organization of Active Residents

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Economic & Social Change Study

Uncovering the impact of COVID-19 on Chicago’s economic and social fabric to aid RTF recommendations across Committees


  • Ben Harris, Executive Director, Kellogg Public-Private Initiative at Northwestern University
  • Ai-Jen Poo, Co-Founder, National Domestic Worker's Alliance

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Download Recovery Task Force Change Study

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Policy & Economic Stimulus

Determining the strategy for how Chicago’s economy survives the COVID-19 crisis and how we create an economy that works for all Chicagoans, especially vulnerable populations and our City’s workforce.


  • Mellody Hobson, Co-CEO, Ariel Investments
  • Roberto Herencia, Chairman, Byline Bank 
  • Bob Reiter, President, Chicago Federation of Labor
  • Jenny Scanlon, CEO, UL

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Mental & Emotional Health

Ensuring Chicagoans are supported mentally and emotionally during the COVID-19 healing process we are and will continue to be experiencing


  • Evelyn Diaz, President, Heartland Alliance
  • Karen Freeman Wilson, President & CEO, Urban League of Chicago
  • Alexa James, Executive Director, National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI)

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Marketing & Business Development

Engaging Chicagoans as we recover from the COVID-19 crisis and thrive in the new world to develop the activities and structural decisions to build a Chicago for tourists, conventions, corporations, and workforce talent that is attractive and differentiating


  • Sandra Cordova Micek, CEO, Window to the World Communications
  • Richard Edelman, CEO, Edelman
  • Anton Seals, Executive Director, Grow Greater Englewood

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Regional Coordination

Ensuring coordination between Chicago’s medium- to long-term recovery efforts and recovery efforts for the State of Illinois and other counties


  • Daniel Cronin, Board Chairman, DuPage County
  • Toni Preckwinkle, Board President, Cook County
  • Joseph T. Tamburino, Mayor, Village of Hillside
  • Gilbert Villegas, Alderman, 36th Ward

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