A World-Class City - ACRE Institute

A financial blueprint for the city that Chicagoans Deserve

Whether it’s digging out of their alleys after a big snowstorm or marching in the streets to win an eight-hour work day, Chicagoans have a rich tradition of coming together to take care of their communities. But when mayors like Richard M. Daley and Rahm Emanuel have talked about turning Chicago into a “world-class city”, this has typically meant passing neoliberal policies to attract wealthy, white professionals, and big, multinational corporations to the city, while ignoring the needs of the people who call Chicago home, especially the city’s communities of color.

But a city that is truly world-class is one that takes care of its residents. Chicagoans need a city that provides universal early childhood education, free community college for all, free public transit, and programs to alleviate homelessness. As the Daley-Emanuel era in Chicago politics comes to a close, Chicagoans need to come together and demand that the city’s new elected leaders make the city truly world-class by implementing policies that will improve the lives of the people who live here. This means:

  • Making the wealthy and major corporations pay their fair share
  • Targeting public investment in Black and Latinx communities
  • Properly funding our public services and infrastructure and keeping them publicly-controlled
  • Establishing a public bank so that we can declare independence from Wall Street and save more than a billion dollars a year on banking fees and interest payments

Chicagoans deserve a city with world-class services and infrastructure—a city that takes care of its residents and makes a deliberate plan to right historical inequities. This report offers a blueprint for the financial policies that will help put Chicago into a class of its own.