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A Congratulatory Message to Newly Elected Officials from Our President & CEO

On behalf of the Chicago Urban League, I congratulate Mayor-Elect Brandon Johnson.  We have followed the election closely and while we are a non-partisan organization, we understand the challenges that confront the citizens of Chicago.  Every day, we see the impact of the racial wealth gap, crime, and economic and educational disinvestment.  As one of the city’s longest-standing advocates for equity, we stand ready to continue our work with the next administration.

We also congratulate City Clerk Anna Valencia, City Treasurer Melissa Conyears-Ervin, and all victorious members of the Chicago City Council — especially Aldermen-Elect Lamont Robinson (5th Ward) and William Hall (6th Ward), who are both alumni of our IMPACT Leadership Development ProgramYour CUL family is proud of you.   


With so much emphasis being placed on the election, it is easy to lose perspective about the multi-faceted concerns shared by ChicagoansIn the coming weeks, the Chicago Urban League will release the State of Black Chicago.  We will highlight disparities in income, education, and home ownership.  We will also discuss the extraordinary burdens placed on Blacks in Chicago. And we will offer solutions focused on dismantling structures that perpetuate these inequities.   


It is no small feat (and it is simultaneously ironic) that Mayor-Elect Johnson will become the fourth Black Mayor in the 186-year history of a city that is two-thirds Black and Brown. We also know that restoration of a fractured community requires more than making history.   It requires the examination of complex data to meet the needs of every one of the 77 neighborhoods.  While some of us need more than others, we all deserve to pursue our best lives—an entitlement that requires problem-solving.  


We believe that the solutions to these intractable problems are not the responsibility of any one office holder, one sector or one industry.  It will take all of us. The Chicago Urban League looks forward to working with all of you to do our part.

Karen Freeman-Wilson

President & CEO, Chicago Urban League