Lightfoot Wants To Start Foundation To Address, Eradicate Generational Poverty

Craig Dellimore
February 15, 2020 - 2:32 pm

 CHICAGO (WBBM NEWSRADIO) -- Mayor Lori Lightfoot says she intends to end poverty in Chicago within a generation's time.

With one in every five Chicagoans living below the poverty line and a tenth of the population in extreme poverty, Lightfoot said the government has let the problem go on too long.

She wants civic, business and government leaders to come together to discuss the roots of poverty in Chicago and eradicate them. She said she plans to create a specific group to focus on these important issues.

"We are not going to have all the answers in one day's time but what we hope to do is start a foundation for a conversation that we will continue throughout the course of the year," Lightfoot said.

Among plans already underway: more protections for low-income tenants facing eviction and restrictions on landlords using past criminal history or other records to deny tenant applications.

She added that the group would reconvene in the fall with additional specific solutions.

Lightfoot told the audience of business and civic leaders at the City Club of Chicago luncheon that the city is shrinking and “dying from the inside out” because of decades of deliberate neglect and disinvestment. And she means to change that, with their help.

The mayor said she knows the goal of ending poverty in a generation sounds too big to succeed. But she also knows she gets riled up when someone tells her she can’t do something.