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Brandon Johnson is commissioner of the 1st district of Cook County in Chicago. Johnson first began his career as a teacher at Jenner Academy in Cabrini Green, he then moved to Westinghouse before becoming an organizer for the teacher’s union. As an organizer for the teacher’s union, Johnson helped expand access to state funding as well as lead multi-racial coalitions to defend schools from privatization. Johnson’s career has mirrored an “I can show you better than I can tell you “Attitude. In 2015, Johnson joined parents and community organizers in a 34-day hunger strike urging the city to reopen Walter H. Dyett High School in the city’s Washington Park area.

Since being elected as commissioner in 2018, Johnson led the effort to pass the “Just housing ordnance” in which prohibits housing discrimination against the formerly incarcerated. Johnson has also helped immigrants secure legal representation. In his role as commissioner Johnson has been a voice to the voiceless with his focus on black and brown communities, from the youth to the elderly he has pushed for resources in schools, neighborhoods’ as well as the issues in low-income nursing homes during the pandemic. Johnson has done many great things on his path to mayoral candidate but if elected, what is his plan to help the citizens of Chicago? Please read below Johnson’s plan via

Public Safety & Police Reform

As mayor, I will chart a new strategy for public safety, rather than relying on the same failed approaches that have brought trauma to communities across the city. I will work with police and first responders to invest in community-based interventions that de-escalate conflict, reduce violence and make our neighborhoods safer. I will create an Office of Community Safety, reopen the city’s mental health clinics, fully fund year-round youth employment, and foster partnerships between communities and law enforcement to make critical investments preventing crime before it happens.

‍The Chicago Police Department must comply with the federal consent decree and increase its homicide clearance rate. I will work closely with the Community Commission for Public Safety and Accountability to hold police accountable and evaluate the goals and performance of the CPD, the Civilian Office of Police Accountability and the Police Board. I will remove the flawed gang database and support Treatment Not Trauma, reduce inefficiencies in public safety spending, and direct more funds to violence prevention and community safety programming that address the root causes of community violence.

And my administration will attack these root causes of crime and poverty by investing in the basics: good schools, good jobs, housing and mental health.

Affordable Housing:

We absolutely should be targeting investments on the South and West sides. The contrast between the North and the South and West couldn’t be any more stark. The North Side is 60 percent white and 35 percent of residents make more than $100,000 a year. On the South and West sides, it is 2 percent white and half of the residents make less than $25,000 a year. Downtown must adapt to the post-Covid landscape, whether that means converting commercial to residential, or new bioscience labs taking the place of offices. On the other hand, on the South and West sides, decades of structural racism have led to under investment, and it is the government’s role to step in where the private sector has failed our communities. However, the process must be truly community-led, and must be inclusive of local businesses and workers.

‍Every resident of Chicago deserves access to stable, long-term, affordable, healthy and dignified housing. Brandon will work to make housing a human right in Chicago, which includes supporting the Bring Chicago Home ordinance to protect our 65,000+ unhoused, instituting stronger protections against evictions, passing the Real Estate Transfer Tax on multi-million-dollar property sales and expanding the Affordable Requirements Ordinance.

Jobs and Workers:

In order to protect workers and encourage economic growth, Chicago should regulate corporations to support the quality of life of working-class people and lead the way on fighting for a Green New Deal.

This includes instituting free public transit, passing the Rideshare Living Wage ordinance to protect gig workers and expanding childcare and pre-kindergarten to create thousands of additional jobs and make childcare more accessible and affordable for working parents.

‍We also need to change how economic development incentives are provided in this city: regularizing the use of TIF funds, requiring and enforcing binding agreements to create specified numbers of jobs and hire local workers, and focusing on revitalizing neighborhood business districts and industrial development/redevelopment to provide good union jobs for all Chicagoans – not just those in high-income jobs.


As a former teacher, Brandon is passionate about making sure that every student in Chicago – regardless of their race, income or zip code – receives a fully resourced, supportive, safe and healthy learning environment. As mayor, he will work to expand Sustainable Community Schools from pre-kindergargen to the City Colleges, providing academic, health and social support beyond the school day.

‍If our city going to compete successfully in the 21st century, we need to ensure that our children, from every community, possess 21st century skills. We need to tie workforce development efforts into our schools, starting the earliest grades, and help CPS to do its job by providing needed support around school safety, helping students traumatized by violence, expanding school-based health centers and improving access to technology. What we cannot do is cut City aid to schools as Mayor Lightfoot is doing and plans to do as we implement an elected school board. Then we need to work together to increase school funding and institute a fairer school funding formula.

Good Government:

We must ensure that public institutions manage our public resources in a way that maximizes their potential to do good for the residents who need them.

As mayor, Brandon will enact a “Truth in Budgeting” law that would create more transparency around city spending and provide more space for public input on city finances. He will also champion public financing of elections to limit outsize corporate influence in politics, prioritize small donors from within city limits and create a more fair and just campaign environment.


Chicago must lead with and live by the promise to be a sanctuary city and welcome immigrants and refugees, and treat them with dignity and respect. This sanctuary promise must extend to everyone who needs it in our city, and residents both old and new. Our public schools must be sanctuaries for all children by investing in dual language programs, ethnic studies and English as a Second Language (ESL). We must coordinate efforts with local communities with the infrastructure to support displaced immigrants and refugees, and coordinate efforts at all level of government to provide humane conditions for everyone.

‍We must also work to protect the social fabric of immigrant communities like Chinatown, Pilsen, Little Village, West Ridge, much of Albany Park and others to continue to be ports of entry by protecting commercials corridors such as 18th Street, and Wentworth and Devon avenues, by investing in them and providing assistance to our small businesses and hardworking people.

‍We must reduce ineffectiveness in the Chicago Police Department to free up staffing to protect street vendors in Little Village from violence, and work with vendors throughout the city on streamlining the process to obtain Business Affairs and Consumer Protection licenses. Engage commercial kitchens and violence prevention programs and expand spaces like the Discount Mall on 26th Street, so more street vendors can have safe and warm spaces to work.

‍Building on his track record of multi-racial solidarity on the Country Board — including collaborating with Latinx colleagues to eliminate the gang database and secure legal representation for immigrants facing deportation — Brandon will work to strengthen Chicago’s CitiKey program and fully resource services that support displaced immigrants arriving in our city.

Reproductive Rights:

There are three things I would like to make absolutely clear. One: abortion is health care. Two: abortion should be a Constitutional right. Three: We will not accept an America – or a Chicago – that goes back in time.

‍There is no middle ground on abortion. There is no middle ground on reproductive health care. Individuals should always have the right to control what happens to their own bodies – not the government.

‍As a teacher, community organizer and candidate for the next mayor of Chicago, I will not stop fighting until abortion access is completely secure for people all over this country. ​​​Reproductive health must be an integral part of any health program or plan. Without access to a full range of reproductive services, women and others who can become pregnant simply cannot be said to have adequate health care.

‍The consequences of the Supreme Court overturning Roe are dire. It is not an exaggeration to say that banning safe, legal and medically assisted abortion will cause great harm. So, we must fight even harder for women of color, young women and women living below the poverty line. We must fight harder for cisgender women, and transgender and non-binary individuals. We must fight for women who will risk their lives and their livelihoods to end an unwanted pregnancy. We must fight for people who no longer have access to basic reproductive health care.

‍Black women in Chicago experience the highest rates of maternal mortality and morbidity rates. That’s largely due to structural inequality that leaves them underinsured or with limited access to quality health care. That’s why I am fundamentally committed to investing in and expanding our public health clinics – and making sure that abortion, contraception and reproductive care is safe, free and accessible. As mayor, I would ensure that additional public health clinics were opened, especially in schools and in neighborhoods where current services are woefully inadequate. Free or low-cost contraceptive services should be available to all, regardless of their insurance status. I also strongly support full access to abortion services, fertility treatments and other reproductive health care. and I would make sure that these are included in the health insurance plans offered to all city workers (including those workers in Chicago Public Schools).  

‍And if I have the honor of being elected the next mayor of Chicago, I can guarantee that on this issue, the women and non-binary individuals of this city will always have me in their corner.

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