May 23, 2023
The Honorable Brandon Johnson, 57th Mayor of Chicago
Chicago City Hall, 5th Floor
121 N LaSalle Street
Chicago, IL 60602
Dear Mayor Johnson,
We are writing to congratulate you on your election and to introduce ourselves. CHANGE Illinois is a nonpartisan nonprofit that champions ethics and efficiency in government and elections in Illinois. We hope to partner with you in making Chicago a city that works for all people.
We are writing to express our gratitude for the way in which you are upholding the ideal of a Chicago for all of the People. We are thrilled to see a number of outstanding leaders from all around Illinois who are dedicated to building a Chicago for all of the people after examining your transition committees and those chosen to serve as members of the committees. Although we were disappointed to find that there isn’t a transition committee for good government, we are aware that each of these committees are expected to prioritize equity in outcomes and transparency in government, so we prepared this letter (and the attached memorandum) to identify priorities in good government policy. We are eager to learn more about how we can contribute to your efforts at making Chicago a city that works for all of its people.
We hope that as mayor, you will empower people to participate in government by strengthening trust in government through municipal law changes that increase transparency and expand opportunities for the public to participate in government, support the adoption of Ranked-Choice Voting by supporting Chicago City Council hearings on ranked-choice voting for local office, and support the adoption of independent redistricting by supporting changes to state and municipal law to require that Chicago ward boundaries be drawn by an independent resident commission. We are heartened that you supported independent ward redistricting in the survey you responded to we sponsored along with several other significant community organizations.
We commend you, in particular, for improving voter turnout by engaging and turning out new voters throughout the city. We hope you will continue to build Chicagoans’ faith in city government and that we can work with you to increase community involvement in the city’s administration because a Chicago for the people includes transparency, accountability and good government for all the people.
In addition to independent, resident centered ward redistricting and ranked-choice voting, we have drafted a list of a handful of other good government initiatives we believe would benefit Chicago. We would welcome the opportunity to share these with you and work with you and your team to bring them to fruition. Please let us know when we might schedule some time to discuss these ideas with you or a member of your staff soon.
Again, thank you for your commitment to creating a Chicago that serves its residents. We look forward to hearing from you at your earliest opportunity.
Chaundra J. Van Dyk, (she, her)
Advocacy Director | CHANGE Illinois & CHANGE Illinois Action Fund