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Growth, Inequality and Poverty:

  • Our city must do the work, in communities, to improve the lives and health of residents. We’re seeing this on a citywide level through the Chicago Department of Public Health’s Healthy Chicago 2.0 initiative,  but also at a community level. For example, West Side United  is a collaborative effort of people and organizations who work, live and congregate on Chicago’s West Side to make their neighborhoods stronger, healthier and more vibrant places to live. Health care institutions, residents, civic leaders, community-based organizations, businesses and faith-based institutions have signed on in support of this effort. We need more community-led efforts across the city.
  • We must seek out and encourage innovation: identify new programs and ventures where we could create the greatest opportunity for inclusion from the start. We’re doing this now through Benefit Chicago, mobilizing $100 million in impact investments to finance the growth of impact enterprises throughout the region. In practice, we are empowering individuals who care about their community to participate in its revitalization.

Partnerships of all sizes, across sectors are key to advancing work that addresses inequality – and offer opportunities for innovation. The Chicago Community Trust, and the philanthropic community at large, plays a role here. By serving as a catalyst and convener we can help bring organizations from the public and private sector together around this important work. For example: