CHICAGO — Chicago will get a new mayor Monday when Mayor-elect Brandon Johnson is sworn in.

Johnson will arguably be the most progressive mayor Chicagoans have elected. He will become the 57th mayor and the leader of America’s third-largest city.

His administration will face several challenges on day one, including choosing a new police superintendent and coming up with a plan to fight violence, which normally spikes during the upcoming Memorial Day weekend and summer.

On Saturday, Brandon Johnson resigned as a Cook County Commissioner.

His full resignation letter is below.

“Today, I announced my resignation from the Cook County Board of Commissioners. As excited as I am about my future as mayor of Chicago, I am also sobered and humbled to be leaving my constituents and colleagues on the Board, because together, we have done so much important work to transform Cook County government.

“As I look back on these last four years, I am particularly proud that, under President Toni Preckwinkle’s steady leadership, we centered equity and justice in all of our work. Whether it was the Justice for Black Lives resolution, which helped frame our budget deliberations, or the Just Housing Ordinance, which protects individuals with arrest records from housing discrimination, we focused our energy on centering and uplifting our most vulnerable, most marginalized communities. Compassion, competency and collaboration propelled everything we accomplished.   

“It has been a true honor to serve the residents of the 1st District – a diverse district including middle- and upper-class communities which offer residents a host of wonderful public accommodations. The 1st District is also made up of communities like my beloved Austin neighborhood, which, while rich in people, has suffered decades of disinvestment. I am proud that, during my time on the Board, we made unparalleled investments in communities like mine, funding violence prevention programs, affordable housing, health care and other critical needs.

“I leave this position enormous appreciation, respect and love for the work that each and every one of us has done to improve the quality of life for the people of Cook County. That begins with my staff, Ashlee Horton, Audrey Harding and Lisa Schrantz, who are truly the force behind many of our accomplishments. I give special thanks to President Preckwinkle, Secretary to the Board Lynne Turner and their staff, who keep this engine churning, to all the staff across every bureau and division of county government who work diligently and unseen to deliver services to county residents, and to my fellow commissioners who humbly and honorably represent and serve their constituents. 

“As the largest municipality in Cook County, the fate of the City of Chicago and that of Cook County are intricately intertwined. A better, stronger, safer Chicago means a better, stronger, safer Cook County. Our best days are ahead of us, where together we will continue expanding equity, justice, and economic prosperity for all.”

He served on the Cook County board for four years and represented the West Side neighborhoods, including Austin, West Garfield Park and parts of Humboldt Park.

Peace Book ordinance: What could be part of Johnson’s public safety plan

During election season, Johnson repeatedly promised to work to prevent crime in Chicago by addressing the root causes of crime.

“I’ve seen both sides,” Kofi Ademola, the co-founder of GoodKids MadCity, said. “I’ve seen the tragedy of losing someone and I’ve seen the tragedy of someone going to jail for the rest of their lives, prison for the rest of their lives and I work directly with young people impacted by it every day.”

Ademola was named to Johnson’s transition subcommittee for public safety.

“We know police are interventionists,” Ademola said. “They come after something has happened. We want it so things don’t happen in the first place. We know the community can take care of itself without intervention from police if given the right resources.”

For years, the group has been pushing city leaders to pass their peace book ordinance, something Ademola expects will happen with the new administration.

“Mayor-elect Johnson supports the peace book and is looking to pass it within his first 100 days,” Ademola said. “We also have a very supportive city council.”

The idea of the peace book was a response to the controversial gang book.

It would create an app to give users quick access to resources and peacekeepers right in the communities where they live.

The proposal initially called for diverting 2% of the police budget, aiming to hire 10,000 young people, ages 16-24, who are trained in conflict resolution and restorative justice.

They would also work to disrupt social media conflicts that often result in violence.

“We want to create a structure where the same people being called gang members and criminalized, they could have resources so they could actually go out, create peace, interrupt violence and begin to change the culture in Chicago,” Ademola said.

James Robinson, 19, connected with GoodKids MadCity while he was playing basketball at the gym and they gave him a job.

“Kids just need job opportunities, so like peace book is a good opportunity to keep kids off the streets,” Robinson said. “It kept me off the streets. I had something to do every day. I didn’t have time to go outside.”

On Thursday, citing new research, Chicago’s Alternative Schools Network held a press conference demanding state lawmakers pass a $300 million statewide jobs for youth program.

With summer quickly approaching, Johnson wants to double the number of jobs available for the city’s teens and provide an economic alternative to promote peace and healing.

Who is Brandon Johnson?

FILE – Cook County Commissioner Brandon Johnson participates in a forum with other Chicago mayoral candidates hosted by the Chicago Women Take Action Alliance Jan. 14, 2023, at the Chicago Temple in Chicago. (AP Photo/Erin Hooley, File)

The former public school teacher and teacher’s union organizer was a relative unknown when he entered the mayor’s race.

Johnson, 47, ultimately defeated ex-CPS chief Paul Vallas in the April runoff election.

Johnson ran on his Better Chicago agenda and pledged $800 million in new revenue by taxing wealthy residents and companies to pay for programs to help lower and middle-income Chicagoans.

The incoming mayor will also inherit the challenge of finding ways to house the influx of migrants.

More than 8,000 migrants, most of them from Texas, have been bused to the city since last August.

Johnson’s inner circle will include a city hall veteran as his Chief of Staff and labor leaders.

A new city council will also be sworn in on Monday morning with 13 new members.

In a move to reshape the council, Johnson has proposed shrinking the number of committees from 28 to 20.

The inauguration will start at 10:30 a.m. Monday at the building formerly known as the UIC Pavillion. He will then host an open house on the fifth floor of city hall at 2 p.m.