On the Table community engagement event set for May 14

Chicago-area residents and neighbors will gather in conversations across the city and region on Tuesday, May 14, working together to create a memo to Chicago’s newly elected mayor. The memos will express the ideas and concerns of residents, with specific recommendations for the new mayor, her administration and other elected officials. The conversations are sparked by On the Table, the annual civic engagement initiative of The Chicago Community Trust.

Since 2014, On the Table has brought thousands of peoplewho have gathered around tables in homes, community centers, schools, libraries and other spaces to discuss issues they believe are important to their own and the region’s future. At the end of each table’s conversation, ideas are shared, people have formed connectionsand, often, guests have recommended solutions andare ready to take action.


This year, On the Table arrives at an unprecedented time in Chicago’s history. The city has elected only its third new mayor in 30 years, and its first African-American woman mayor. Mayor-electLori Lightfoot will face high public expectations for change not expected from prior mayors – change born of our collective recognition that equity is key to our city’s progress.


“This is absolutelythe right time to use our day of civic conversation to create a Memo to the Mayor,” said Helene Gayle, president and CEO of The Chicago Community Trust. “There is power in gathering people together to generate formal recommendations about issues their tables feel must be addressed. The result will be memos filled with actionable ideas that will become a people-generated plan for the new administration’s first year in office.”


Because a memo is used to communicate important information and seek direct action and response, a memo to the mayor is the best way to document issues the community wants its leaders held accountable to addressing, citywide and in neighborhoods. Those who don’t live in Chicago are also encouraged to participate in On the Table and to create memos to their local leaders.


After the May 14 table conversations conclude, theresulting memos will be documented, and each will be used to inform a single, compilation memo to be delivered by June 21 to Chicago’s mayor and other leaders across the region. Also, it will be posted on OnTheTable.com. Follow On the Table 2019 via Facebook, Twitterand Instagram.


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