Mayor Johnson’s Chicago 2024 Vision Clouded by Challenges

Dr. Munr Kazmir
5 min readAug 31, 2023

From a rash of carjackings to an eroding tax base to an ever-increasing list of demands from progressives, Mayor Brandon Johnson is being tested.

Photo by Asa Bee on Unsplash.

Over the past few years, Chicago has struggled.

Former Mayor Lori Lightfoot, who rode a wave of popular support into office only a few short years ago, just became the first incumbent Chicago Mayor in decades to lose reelection.

Her replacement, running ostensibly to Lightfoot’s left, Mayor Brandon Johnson inherited a raft of problems.

Long-term public school closures in Chicago may not have exclusively driven rising rates of juvenile crime, but school closures certainly couldn’t have helped. Chicago public school students, already laboring under some of the worst test scores in the country and highest per-capita spending per student, were enrolled in districts that stayed closed longer than the vast majority of U.S. and international school districts.

Chicago public school students are now grappling with a once-in-a-generation learning loss. Some at-risk students left high school or middle school in March of 2020 and never returned.

To solve Chicago’s seemingly intractable problem, and many others, the City of Chicago needs revenue. Unfortunately, Illinois is bleeding taxpayers and major employers faster than any state except perhaps California.

Illinois has lost billions in tax revenue since 2020. Worse, the state’s tax base continues to erode as residents and companies like Boeing flee Chicago

“It took less than 24 hours in office for Mayor Brandon Johnson to face his first challenge,” reported Justin Kaufmann for Axios Chicago on May 17, 2023.”. “The Chicago Mercantile Exchange is threatening to leave the city if Johnson enacts his financial transaction tax in the next budget.”

“CME Group Inc. is prepared to leave Chicago if the city and state take steps that are perceived as ‘ill-conceived,’ Chief Executive Office Terry Duffy said in an interview,” revealed Tracy Alloway and Joe Weisenthal for Bloomberg on May 15, 2023.

“The third-largest US city has been struggling with rising crime that sparked outrage among residents and business leaders,” wrote…