On February 20, 2020, Mayor Lightfoot’s STEP (Solutions Toward Ending Poverty) summit brought together hundreds of people from across Chicago to launch a movement-based, year-long effort to address perhaps the greatest challenge facing our city: entrenched poverty and economic hardship. –both its causes and its symptoms. Attendees included community economic mobility professionals, academics and researchers, artists and storytellers, grassroots community activists, employers and business leaders, and government officials. They cover the wide range of voices and approaches with which the STEP project will be associated in the years to come.
The Summit was the launch of a city-led, but community-focused project that will create a platform to:
- Partner with communities to define how poverty and hardship manifests for them, and develop community-centered metrics to measure work on an ongoing basis; Y
- Build a roadmap with the communities that shows how the city can end economic hardship and poverty.
- Create new opportunities to share, scale and replicate work, even from other cities, which is or may be lifting people out of poverty and on an upward path of economic mobility; Y
- Tell new narratives about how economic hardship impacts Chicagoans, and how Chicagoans are surviving and thriving amid those struggles; Y
- Build the collective will to address the full scale of economic and social challenges associated with entrenched poverty and economic hardship, including at the state and federal level; Y
- Show the partners’ commitments, at all scales, that they are promoting the STEP goals.
Download the STEP Summit recap report for a summary of meeting activities, ideas, key statistics, and next steps. You can add your knowledge and commitments to support this plan through the forms below.