Lightfoot plans ‘reunion weekend’ to invite Blacks who fled Chicago to ‘come back home’

Lightfoot plans ‘reunion weekend’ to invite Blacks who fled Chicago to ‘come back home’

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Mayor Lori Lightfoot said Wednesday she has “great plans for re-introducing Chicago to the nation” mid-summer and into the fall that includes a “reunion weekend” to encourage African Americans who have fled Chicago to “come back home.”

Lightfoot offered a sneak peek at her plans to rebuild a Chicago economy ravaged by the coronavirus pandemic while moderating a virtual panel she called “Cup of Joe.”

It was a local, Inauguration Day version of MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” program, and featured Chicago business and community leaders and activists discussing their hopes and dreams for the incoming Biden administration.

Carlos Nelson, CEO of the Greater Auburn-Gresham Development Corporation, set the stage for Lightfoot’s preview when he talked about the need for “Black and Brown folks from our communities” to have a “lead role” in rebuilding their long-neglected neighborhoods.

“It’s so vitally important that … catalytic projects that are so needed to establish workforce in our community rebuild wealth that has been … stolen from many of us due to systemic and structural racist policies,” Nelson said.

“I would implore you and implore the federal government that, as funds come into our community — whether it’s Opportunity Zone or stimulus or CARES Act funding — that those funds go to leaders from our communities, economic development professionals from our communities, developers from our communities, so we can build our communities back for us, by us.”

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