News & Updates

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Read press coverage and recent updates about We Will Chicago.

Read press coverage and recent updates about We Will Chicago.

  • Chicago Community Trust Awards $150,000 to We Will Chicago Partners

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    The Chicago Community Trust announced today that it has awarded $150,000 to 10 We Will Chicago community partners to help advance the City of Chicago’s first citywide planning initiative in more than 50 years.

    Through the Trust’s Flexible Funding Program, each $15,000 grant will help the non-profit organizations to engage and represent their constituencies related to the We Will plan’s long-term equity and resiliency goals.

    The Trust grant recipients are:

    • Bronzeville Community Development Partnership
    • Chicago Cultural Alliance
    • Coalition for a Better Chinese American Community
    • Eighteenth Street Development Corporation
    • Endelo Institute
    • Garfield Park Community Council
    • North River Commission
    • Rogers Park Business Alliance
    • Southeast Environmental Task Force
    • Territory

    The funding matches the City of Chicago’s financial commitment to 15 additional community-based organizations in this phase of the three-year, citywide planning effort.

    “We see the importance of helping to resource the citywide planning process to ensure that community-based voices inform and shape the direction of our city’s future,” said Sandra Aponte, community impact program manager at the Trust.

    "By investing in community partners, the Trust is helping to ensure the We Will planning process truly addresses the city’s needs and represents the priorities of neighborhood stakeholders,” added Maurice Cox, Commissioner of the Chicago Department of Planning and Development, the lead agency for the We Will Chicago plan.

    Through coordinated dialog and research conducted through monthly meetings, the organizations are each supporting one of the plan’s seven core pillars by actively taking part in a series of engagement meetings that are shaping the guiding questions of We Will Chicago. The topic pillars include:

    • Arts and Culture
    • Economic Development
    • Environment, Climate and Energy
    • Housing and Neighborhoods
    • Lifelong Learning
    • Public Health and Safety
    • Transportation and Infrastructure

    A complete list of research team individuals and organizations is available on the We Will Chicago website. Resources that highlight the teams’ contributions to the We Will initiative can be found in the documentarian reports for each pillar group. Members of the public interested in hearing more about the We Will plan should register for an account on the program’s website.

  • Mayor Appoints Three Community Leaders to Serve as We Will Co-Chairs

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    Three co-chairpersons for the We Will Advisory Committee were announced today by Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot.

    "For decades, Christina Harris, Katya Nuques and Mary Kenney have been inspiring leaders who have dedicated their careers to addressing and solving urban issues," said Mayor Lightfoot. "Their work with the We Will planning team will help to ensure that a community-driven process leads to equitable, inclusive and positive long-term results."

    As ambassadors representing civic, community, and private sectors for the three-year We Will planning process, each co-chair will help facilitate Advisory Committee meetings, establish agendas, and serve as liaisons with grassroots neighborhood groups, civic organizations, business coalitions, and other community stakeholders.

    The Advisory Committee’s overall role is to focus on connections between the seven pillar Research Teams, ensure overall alignment with the plan’s principles and themes, and assess overall We Will engagement activities.

    • Christina Harris is the Metropolitan Planning Council’s (MPC) director of land use and planning, focusing on equitable and sustainable development policies across the Chicago area. Prior to joining MPC as a manager for Great Rivers Chicago in 2018, she was a landscape architect with multiple design firms. A resident of Uptown, she has a master’s degree in landscape architecture from Harvard Graduate School of Design and a bachelor’s degree in anthropology and environmental studies from Princeton University.
    • Mary Kenney has served BMO Financial Group as director of U.S. government affairs since 2016, overseeing the bank’s relationships with executive and legislative branches of federal, state and local governments. Mary worked in affordable housing and community development for nearly 20 years prior to joining BMO. A resident of the Lincoln Park neighborhood, she has a juris doctorate degree from Loyola University and a bachelor’s degree in finance from DePaul University.
    • Katya Nuques has served Enlace Chicago as executive director since 2015, having devoted more than 20 years of her career to issues facing Latin-Americans. She first joined enlace in 2005, serving in multiple roles. She is an economist, a resident of the Garfield Ridge neighborhood, and a graduate of the University of Guayaquil.


    Applications are currently open for residents and organizations to join the Advisory Committee and one of seven Research Teams. The We Will team is seeking volunteers to develop the major themes, issues, and policy guidelines within the citywide plan. Learn more about the Volunteer Program here: wewillchicago.com/volunteer-program.

    We Will Chicago is also recruiting up to 14 community-oriented groups for this process. Community Partners can be organizations, teams, individuals, businesses, unincorporated nonprofits, and other entities. Community Partners will be paid $15,000 for their participation. Learn more about Community Partners here: wewillchicago.com/community-partner-program.

    We Will is the City of Chicago’s first citywide planning process in more than 50 years. With goals to foster equity and resiliency on a citywide level while addressing social and economic inequities that impair Chicago’s legacy as a global city, the plan is expected to be completed by early 2023.

  • Press Coverage

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    MAY 2021

    May 1, 2021 | Chicago Sun-Times
    "The last time Chicago had a plan, ‘Gunsmoke’ aired on Saturday nights. Time for a new one."


    May 3, 2021 | Streets Blog
    "We Will Chicago is Chicago’s first citywide planning initiative in 50 years"


    APRIL 2021

    April 28, 2021 | Chicago Community Trust
    "We Will Chicago: An Instrument for Equity"


    April 29, 2021 | Urbanize Chicago
    "Planners are drafting Chicago's first comprehensive plan in 55 years"


    OCTOBER 2020

    October 22, 2020 | Crain's Chicago Business
    "It's time for a new Chicago plan"


    AUGUST 2020

    August 20, 2020 | Chicago Sun-Times
    "New citywide plan is the goal of We Will Chicago"


Page last updated: 10 December 2021, 09:34