Mayor Lightfoot launches open application for advisory councils

Expanded advisory councils to help improve representation of diverse populations in city policymaking


CHICAGO— Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot and the Chicago Commission on Human Relations (CCHR) today launched an open call for applications to fill vacancies in several community advisory councils, including the newly-formed LGBTQ+ advisory council, announced last month. The advisory councils will serve to support the Mayor’s Office in engaging target populations and advising policy solutions to meet the needs of its community. Beginning today and running through mid-February, the Mayor’s Office invites residents to apply to serve on the following community advisory councils:


  • The Equity Advisory Council
  • The LGBTQ+ Advisory Council
  • The Women’s Advisory Council
  • The Veteran’s Advisory Council
  • The New American’s Advisory Council


“City government must be a catalyst for uplifting the lives of every resident, but it cannot deliver on this basic compact if Chicagoans feel unheard or neglected,” said Mayor Lightfoot. “By creating advisory councils comprised of residents with different perspectives and experiences, the City is ending business as usual and giving individuals a direct line to the Mayor’s Office as well as City department and agencies.”

Members of advisory councils will evaluate current municipal policies and programs, connect with residents and subject matter experts to assess structural improvements, act as a sounding board to consider new initiatives, and attend community events and meetings as a representative of the advisory council.

All advisory council members must live in the City of Chicago throughout the duration of the term and agree to undergo a background check. Applications will be evaluated based on: (1) connection to targeted populations, both personal and professional; (2) evidence of engagement in local community, civic leadership, or volunteerism; (3) a personal commitment to equity and inclusion; and, (4) a demonstrated ability to engage the broader community of local networks, community members, and stakeholders. If selected, each advisory council member serves up to a three-year term and attends, at minimum, meetings each quarter.

“We are appreciative of Mayor Lightfoot’s vision to convene the Advisory Councils and to provide a meaningful way by which communities can have input in policy as this administration moves forward on the Mayor’s mandate to challenge the status quo and address inequities in policies and practice,” said CCHR Commissioner Mona Noriega.

On January 15, Mayor Lightfoot announced several new appointments to chair the various advisory councils. The chairs will serve as liaisons between the City and key constituencies and will be charged with elevating the needs of specific communities and solutions to address them and better support key vulnerable populations in our city. Members of the City Council will vote on the following appointments at the February 19 City Council meeting:


  • Advisory Council on Equity
    • Esther Nieves, Independent Consultant (Co-Chair)
    • Victor Dickson, President & CEO, Safer Foundation (Co-Chair)
  • Advisory Council on LGBTQ+
    • Butch Trusty, Principal, The Bridgespan Group (Chair)
  • Advisory Council on New Americans
    • Karina Ayala-Bermejo, CEO and President, Instituto del Progreso Latino (Chair)
  • Advisory Council on Veterans
    • Emanuel Johnson II, Program Officer, Robert R. McCormick Foundation (Chair, reappointment)
  • Advisory Council on Women
    • Jackie Kaplan-Perkins, Donor Advisor, Movement Voter Project (Chair)


Applications will be accepted up until February 22, 2020. Interested applicants should contact with any questions. To apply to serve on one of the five advisory councils, please visit:


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