City Clerk Announces Chicago’s New Deal for All Women and Girls
March 08 2019

The Chicago Status of Women and Girls Working Group announced 20 recommendations to make
Chicago a safer and more equitable place for Women and Girls

Today, Chicago City Clerk Anna M. Valencia, in partnership with more than 120 women and girls across the City, announced a set of 20 recommendations to make Chicago a safer and more equitable place, and the best city in the world for women and girls. The recommendations were a product of the Clerk’s Status of Women and Girls Working Group that was made up of a diverse group of women and girls across sectors and industries, including government, education, nonprofit, corporate and service industry.

“Over the course of five months, we have taken all of the members’ individual expertise to create a united coalition and harness our collective power to create a set of recommendations that are inclusive and intersectional,” said Clerk Valencia. “Since day one, the goal of this Working Group has not only been to make Chicago the best city to be a woman or girl but to let them know that we value them and their critical role in our City’s future.”

The Chicago Status of Women and Girls Working Group met over a course of five months to develop the recommendations and also select the top four recommendations that the Working Group would prioritize implementing over the next year. The four key recommendations include:

1. Making Chicago Public Schools (CPS) the national model for comprehensive health and sexual education by ensuring all CPS school have access to the same resources.

2. Partnering with city and state officials to assess and accelerating sexual assault evidence collection practices to decrease testing time, eliminate backlogs, and improve support services for survivors.

3. Supporting a fair and predictable scheduling ordinance that brings both business, advocates and families to the table to create a policy that supports working families.

4. Launching a citywide initiative and Girls Summit in 2020 to facilitate a dialogue among young women, advocates and allies to listen and support public safety in Chicago.

 

What people are saying about the New Deal for All Women and Girls

“Governor Pritzker and I are committed to ensuring that women and girls are part of spaces where decisions are being made to ensure that there is opportunity and equity. Today’s event previews a bright future for our city, state and world,” said Lieutenant Governor Juliana Stratton.

“It has been such a powerful experience to work with this incredible group of brilliant, committed women leaders, led by Anna Valencia, on ways to improve economic security and more for Chicago’s women and girls. These recommendations will make real advances towards gender equity in this city, and I’m honored to bring Women Employed’s expertise, and long history of advocating for women’s economic justice to the table as we move towards a brighter future,” said Sharmili Majmudar, Director of Strategic Partnerships at Women Employed.

“All-too-often the voices of women and girls have been eclipsed in discussions about their own safety. By taking an intersectional approach to this work, City Clerk Anna Valencia demanded more – and our team delivered,” said Deanne Benos, Co-Founder, the Women’s Justice Institute. “The Women’s Justice Institute (WJI) is proud to have helped shape a set of meaningful public safety recommendations that empower women and girls to define safety on their own terms, that finally prioritizes ending sexual assault that so disproportionately impacts them, and that honestly confronts the realities of a justice system that criminalizes survivors. We look forward to working with our next Mayor and supporting HER with implementation.”

“The recommendations of the Chicago Status of Women and Girls Working Group are the product of women and girls from communities across our city coming together to share their lived experiences and expertise,” said K. Sujata, President and CEO of Chicago Foundation for Women. “When women and girls have a voice at the tables where decisions are made and priorities are set, our city and region are better for it. We are proud to be part of a community that values the voices of women and girls, and thank City Clerk Valencia for her leadership.”

“Mikva Challenge has been incredibly proud to partner with the City Clerk on her vision to empower women and center our issues in the city landscape. City Clerk Valencia has been an inspiration for the young women of color at Mikva. As an organization that values and advocates for youth voice and youth input, we have been particularly pleased that the City Clerk and her staff were mindful to include young women – their issues, their voices and their recommendations – in this process,” said Michelle Morales, Chief Executive Officer of Mikva Challenge.

“It was a great privilege to be part of this impressive process that brought together diverse women from across the city to develop a plan and recommend policies that will help all women and girls in Chicago thrive economically and beyond,” said Tina Hone, Chief Impact Officer, YWCA Metropolitan Chicago and co-chair of the SWAG Economic Sustainability Committee.

 

Remaining Recommendations

The remaining recommendations include a broad array of policies, programs and initiatives that are grouped into three categories: economic security & empowerment, well-being and future. They are listed below:

 

Our Economic Security & Empowerment

1. Create a task force to close the gender gap in industries where women are underrepresented.

2. Expand paid parental and family leave for City of Chicago employees.

3. Launch a multilingual public education campaign around tenants’ rights and evictions.

4. Promote greater government coordination on housing and create a central resource.

5. Improve Fair Housing enforcement.

6. Create a career-building pipeline for women from underrepresented communities.

7. Expand the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) at the city and state.

8. Strengthen the Women-Owned/Disadvantaged business designation.

 

Our Well-Being

9. Pilot one of the nation’s first police “deflection” programs for women.

10. Recruit more women as first responders.

11. Work with CPD to assess the adoption of gender responsive training, policies and procedures.

12. Create free access to transportation for pregnancy treatment and other health services.

13. Create a series of mental health and first aid trainings to support at-risk adolescents.

 

Our Future

14. Create an optional CPS financial education and entrepreneurship course and student group curriculum.

15. Expand early childhood education access for young mothers.

16. Train City employees on implicit bias.

 

The report and full set of recommendations can be found on the City Clerk’s website: www.ChiCityClerk.com.

CONTACT:
Kate LeFurgy
312.744.2507
Kate.LeFurgy@CityofChicago.org

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