Give the new mayor your ideas with an ‘On The Table’ conversation

SHARE Give the new mayor your ideas with an ‘On The Table’ conversation

Mayor-elect Lori Lightfoot is interviewed by reporter Fran Spielman Friday, April 5, 2019. | Rich Hein/Sun-Times

Plenty of ideas are circulating on what Mayor-elect Lori Lightfoot‘s priorities should be when she takes over the helm of Chicago next month. The good news is, she welcomes ideas, as evidenced in her recent Twitter appeal.

On the Table, The Chicago Community Trust’s annual day of civic conversation, creates a great avenue for Chicagoans to voice their ideas to our new mayor.

During On the Table (Tuesday, May 14), people across Chicagoland will gather at tables for conversations that will generate a Memo to the Mayor: a people-generated plan for the new administration’s first year in office.

Having a new mayor — only our third in 30 years — who pledges to have a highly transparent administration is exciting and inviting to many Chicagoans. Add to this excitement the public expectation for unprecedented change, born of our collective recognition that equity is key to our city’s progress. Social and economic inequity is holding us back. People who want to earn an income with dignity, despite personal setbacks, often face institutional barriers that must be identified and leveled for our region to achieve its full potential.

All of this makes 2019 the right time to leverage On the Table to create a Memo to the Mayor. 

Anyone interested in hosting a table conversation can register at We want each table host to generate a memo, documenting their table’s advice or actionable idea about an issue that table participants feel must be addressed in 21st Century Chicago.

Over the last five years, On the Table conversations have always led to impactful change, in a variety of ways, in our neighborhoods. This year, those conversations will focus on a more inclusive future for the region under Chicago’s new leadership. We expect that On the Table topics, and the resulting memos, will focus on poverty, economic development, health care, job creation, affordability and more.

We plan to collect thousands of memos and use them to form a single, compilation memo to be delivered in June to the new mayor and other regional leaders.

Our collective voice has never been more important. This is our moment to spark bold, courageous conversations that truly shape the public agenda and make this region one that works for every resident — homeowners, renters and our homeless citizens alike.

Daniel Ash, associate vice president for community Impact, The Chicago Community Trust

SEND LETTERS TO Please include your neighborhood or hometown and a phone number for verification purposes.

Getting away with coercing confessions

Four years ago, a man was exonerated in Cook County for a murder that DNA evidence proved he did not commit. He had spent 29 years in jail — virtually half of his life.

The facts of the case are numbingly familiar: as a young man, reportedly with learning disabilities, he was interrogated for 36 hours without counsel and finally agreed to confess.

There are actually two criminals who got away in this tale: the actual murderer and the interrogator. To steal half a life is like half a murder, yet the unethical interrogator probably was promoted for “solving” this case.

We need to hold such people accountable for these crimes.  Because if we don’t, others will see this behavior as a way to advance their career with no downside.

Lee Knohl, Evanston 

Lightfoot, take a lesson from Trump

No matter how you feel about President Donald Trump, we must face facts: He has displayed an uncanny ability to create jobs and drive economic success. Both are sorely lacking in Chicago.

Mayor-elect Lori Lightfoot would be well served to open a sober and serious line of communications with the White House.

She should attempt to tap the president’s goal to create good-paying, meaningful manufacturing jobs, especially in the areas of our city that continue to suffer from gun violence, high crime and blight. Gambling and legal marijuana alone will not solve years of neglect.

Chicago one had the reputation as the city that produced the items that Americans wanted.

With renewed manufacturing and high-paying jobs, Lightfoot can spur growth we have not witnessed since the 1960s. History has taught us that with true economic growth; the tax base increases, which benefits education, crime is reduced, and racial divides are diminished.

No one will ever fault the new mayor for reclaiming Chicago’s mantle as the city that works.

John Agazim, Glenview

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