People's Plan for Community Safety
It's the people that make Chicago a place we are proud to call home. And it's the people of this city who can help us build a stronger, safer Chicago.
The People’s Plan for Community Safety is a community-led initiative that unites Chicagoans from all walks of life to address historic disinvestment, work toward healing our communities and make all of Chicago safe for everyone. This work harnesses the full force of government, community organizations, businesses, philanthropy, and more to solve a decades-long problem in a new way.
One of Mayor Brandon Johnson’s first acts was to appoint Garien Gatewood the City of Chicago’s Deputy Mayor of Community Safety in May 2023. As the first-ever Deputy Mayor of Community Safety, Deputy Mayor Gatewood and his office will harness the full force of government and collaborate with cross-functional stakeholders to eradicate the root causes of crime and violence and advance a comprehensive, healing-centered approach to make all Chicago communities safe.
We’re taking a refreshed and intentional approach to promote community safety through purposeful investments that will ensure all Chicago residents live in safe communities. The People’s Plan for Community Safety encompasses our two-pronged strategy to protect the people most impacted by violence and to prevent future harm:
Immediately interrupt violence by supporting the people most acutely impacted
ADULTS OF HIGHEST PROMISE
Reach and support adults of highest promise by expanding community violence intervention and improving coordination.
YOUTH OF HIGHEST PROMISE
Reduce the involvement of youth in violence by improving our ability to reach & support youth of highest promise.
Partner with youth to build & design service model capable of reaching & supporting youth of highest promise.
VICTIMS AND SURVIVORS
Offer high-quality, immediate support to help address the intersectional layers of trauma impacting people who have been harmed and who have caused harm.
Build capacity of trained victim advocates & create centralized support structures
Define roles for victim service personnel in immediate response & develop systems of coordination
Address the root causes of violence, focusing on high opportunity neighborhoods
Increase sustained engagement or reengagement with the education system or career pathways.
Increase reengagement in the education system by partnering with Chicago Public Schools and Chicago Department of Family & Support Services
Expand wraparound supports to enable access to education systems or career pathways
ECONOMIC OPPORTUNITY & UPWARD MOBILITY
Increase sustainable employment opportunities to enable long-term upward mobility.
Raise usage of job training programs connected to jobs upon completion
Expand guaranteed income pilot & wraparound supports
Increase access to safe and stable housing for people most burdened by violence.
Scale the City's right to counsel pilot for eviction support services
Institute more immediacy, optionality & flexibility into the housing process for those most burdened by violence
Address and prevent harm by expanding access to health services.
Empower & expand a workforce of community health workers
Through "Treatment Not Trauma" working groups, explore increasing access to & quality of behavioral health services & expanding healthcare-centered alternative response & diversion programs
Drive sustained community engagement by investing in improvements to build and activate safe spaces.
Repurpose vacant lots & buildings to increase the number of publicly accessible spaces
Expand safe space access, use & consistent programming
Refine 311 process to encourage requests & increase repair efficiency & effectiveness
Build trust between community and law enforcement by prioritizing reform, accountability & transparency.
Foster oversight & accountability in CPD's workforce allocation process
Develop holistic youth deflection & diversion strategies that set youth up for long-term success
Conduct 911 call analysis & review options for additional alternative reseponse
Reshape community policing alongside community members & oversight organizations
Who are youth and adults of highest promise?
Adults and young people of highest promise are those individuals most at risk of being victims or perpetrators of violence. They likely experience some combination of risk factors including history of involvements with the criminal legal system, disconnected from school or work, street involvement, and exposure to community violence.
We know that language matters so we are taking an asset-based approach, focusing on the strengths of our people and the potential we know can be achieved when we reverse the tide of historic and purposeful disinvestment.
We cannot tackle this alone. The People’s Plan for Community Safety will unite the many people and groups working to reduce violence in our communities to deliver a comprehensive plan that will unite Chicagoans and produce a thriving, vibrant City.
To begin, the Mayor’s Office of Community Safety will work with initiative teams to further develop a number of people-based and place-based initiatives. These teams will be comprised of cross-functional leaders from youth, faith, labor, philanthropy and business, and research organizations. We will work with the community members who know best the challenges that their communities face and the assets that exist.
Our work will be guided by three principles:
We can’t do this work alone. We will collaborate with key stakeholders – government, community members and community organizations, philanthropy, businesses and more – to take unified action and create solutions.
This initiative is our response to decades of disinvestment. We will continue to listen to the evolving needs of our communities and adapt our approach accordingly.
This cannot be solved overnight. Long-term, layered investments are critical to making sure our communities are safe today and for generations to come.