CHICAGO (CBS) — Vowing to end poverty in Chicago in a generation, Mayor Lori Lightfoot is hosting a summit of policy experts, business leaders, labor union officials, non-profit groups, and others to discuss steps they can take to tackle the problem.
The daylong Solutions Toward Ending Poverty (STEP) Summit at the University of Illinois at Chicago will feature panel discussions on the history of how the city got where it is today, and what city policies have worked.
Dr. Michael McAfee, president and CEO of economic and social equity research firm PolicyLink, will present the keynote address at Thursday’s summit.
The mayor also will have a conversation about the history of poverty in Chicago with Darryl Holliday, co-founder of City Bureau, a non-profit journalism lab.
Lightfoot said we can’t ignore the stark reality that too many Chicagoans worry about simply putting food on their table, keeping their homes warm in winter, or losing what little they have.
“We cannot be great as a city when our neighbors are starving and suffering. The pain is real and palpable, and we must conquer this in our generation, in our time, and we must start now,” she said.
The mayor wants to reduce the cost of living in Chicago, grow quality jobs, and ensure minorities have an equitable share of those jobs.
Lightfoot said one of every ten Chicagoans lives in extreme poverty, struggling to survive on just $8.50 a day. At the Chicago Public Schools, 76 percent of students depend on schools for their meals, and 16,000 students are homeless.