In addition, the 20 appointments Lightfoot made between her inauguration and the City Council’s August recess that must be confirmed by aldermen were nearly equally divided between white appointees and people of color.
Eleven of the appointees are white, four are black, three are Latino and two are Asian, records show.
“Whether it is in her cabinet or across her staff, Mayor Lightfoot is committed to ensuring that those working in city government speak to the different backgrounds and experiences of our communities as we strive to make Chicago a stronger, safer and more equitable city for all residents,” mayoral spokesperson Lauren Huffman said.
However, Lightfoot made more than 60 percent fewer appointments in her first 100 days than former Mayor Rahm Emanuel did after his 2011 inauguration. Emanuel submitted 53 appointments to the City Council for consideration by Aug. 1, 011, city records show.
Emanuel, who avoided a runoff, had an 83-day transition period to prepare to take office, made 53 appointments in his first 100 days in office. Lightfoot’s transition was 48 days. Emanuel also presided over four meetings of the City Council during his first 100 days, while Lightfoot presided over three sessions where she could introduce appointments.
TDL’s analysis does not include hundreds of appointments to neighborhood commissions, including those that oversee Special Service Areas, because those picks are traditionally sent to the mayor by aldermen. In addition, the analysis does not include appointees to advisory councils, which have no voting power.
Seventeen members of the mayor’s 25-person senior staff are African American, Latino, or Asian, including Chief Financial Officer Jennie Huang Bennett, Huffman said.
That team is designed “to ensure that diversity actively informs the daily decisions made by our government,” Huffman said.
Before taking office, Lightfoot named Candace Moore, a Black woman, to launch the Office of Equity and Racial Justice, which Lightfoot charged with making “government more fair and transparent for all residents.” In addition, Lightfoot tapped Tamika B. Puckett, a black woman, to serve as the city’s first chief risk officer and lead the new Office of Risk Management. Neither appointment required City Council confirmation.
Lightfoot has also named an Asian man, a Black woman, a white woman and an Asian woman to serve as deputy mayors, whose appointments do not require City Council confirmation.
In addition, Lightfoot tapped Andrea Telli, a white woman, to lead the Chicago Public Library, replacing former Commissioner Brian Bannon, and Nubia Willman, a Latina, to lead the city’s Office of New Americans. Neither post required City Council confirmation.
The mayor’s office “will continue in its commitment to prioritizing the appointment of highly qualified candidates representing diverse backgrounds and experiences to serve in staff and cabinet roles,” officials said.
Chicago’s population is approximately 32.6 percent white, 29.7 percent Latino and 29.3 percent African American, according to the most recent Census estimates.
In 2016, Latinos officially became Chicago’s second-largest ethnic or racial group, surpassing African Americans, according to Census estimates.
Chicago’s African American population is continuing to drop, according to an analysis by the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning, a regional organization.
Lightfoot has yet to replace several commissioners and department heads who departed along with Emanuel, and acting commissioners still lead the Department of Transportation, the Department of Planning and Development and the Department of Health.
Some of the city’s highest profile leaders appointed by the mayor do not require City Council confirmation, and are not included in this analysis. Those positions include the chief executive officer of the Chicago Public Schools and the members of the Chicago Board of Education.
Lightfoot has said she plans to keep CPS CEO Janice Jackson, appointed by Emanuel, in place permanently. Lightfoot asked for and received the resignations of all of the school board members appointed by Emanuel, replacing them with one white woman, one Latina, one Latino, one black man, one black woman, one Asian man and naming Miguel Del Valle, a Latino, as president.
Lightfoot has also not moved to replace Chicago Police Department Supt. Eddie Johnson, City Colleges of Chicago Chancellor Juan Salgado; Chicago Transit Authority President Dorval Carter, Chicago Park District CEO Michael Kelly and Chicago Housing Authority CEO Eugene Jones.