CHICAGO — Next month, 47-year-old Brandon Johnson, a teacher turned activist, turned Cook County Commissioner, will be sworn in as the 57th Mayor of the City of Chicago.
He is inheriting a city that seven-in-ten voters say is on the wrong track, especially when it comes to public safety.
“Well again, public safety is something that we are all deeply impacted by. It’s a problem, it’s a serious one, and it’s one that I live every single day,” Johnson said during an interview with WGN. “As much as I love living on the West Side of Chicago in Austin, in particular. I might be the first mayor elected in a long time who will live in one of the most violent neighborhoods in the entire city of Chicago.”
While not everyone buys into Johnson’s comprehensive crime strategy, Johnson said there are points in his plan that few have disagreed with.
“Here’s what I’m confident in. No one disagrees with youth employment, no one disagrees with mental health support, no one disagrees with training and promoting 200 more detectives,” Johnson said. “No one disagrees with addressing the housing crisis in the city of Chicago. So what we have to do — get to as many yeses as we possibly can.”
The mayor-elect says he’s not yet identified candidates for Superintendent of the Chicago Police, but he believes it’s important that the next Top Cop comes from within the force.
But for Johnson, the first order of business is to meet with members of the newly created Police District Councils.
“My wife and I, there’s nothing we won’t do to keep our city safe,” Johnson said. “And what I want for my family, I want for every single family in the city of Chicago.”
Mayor-elect Johnson will soon begin meeting and working with members of City Council, many of whom back a plan to expand their power. Last week, members voted to increase the number of committees and they picked a chairman — a task that usually falls to the mayor.
Wednesday, the mayor-elect hinted he would like a redo.
“Of course there are a number of individuals who ran and won last night who were not a part of that process,” Johnson said. “I would believe that the city of Chicago, and particularly those districts, those wards that voted for individuals to represent them, I would believe that they would want their elected local leader to be able to participate in a collaborative process to determine committees, as well as who has the ability to lead and co-lead those committees.”
The transition to a new mayor in Chicago will begin soon, with Johnson planning to meet with outgoing mayor, Lori Lightfoot, soon. The official day of Johnson’s inauguration is set for May 15.