Lightfoot picks new chief lobbyist as budget looms

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Perez managed Lightfoot’s runoff mayoral campaign and worked for Rep. Jesus “Chuy” Garcia on his congressional campaign and as his chief of staff when he was a Cook County commissioner. Perez was also once chief of staff to former County Clerk David Orr and a special assistant to Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle. 

His promotion comes as Samantha Fields, Lightfoot’s senior adviser for legislative counsel and government affairs, has been moved off of City Council responsibilities. Fields was briefly head of Business Affairs & Consumer Protection and the Budget Department during Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s tenure. She is marrying first-term Ald. Jim Gardiner, 45th, next month, Politico Illinois first reported

“We offer our congratulations and warm wishes to both Samantha Fields and Alderman Gardiner on their engagement,” the mayor’s office said in a statement. “Over the past sixteen months, Samantha has played a critical role helping to advance equitable and inclusive legislation that has been a cornerstone of the Mayor’s agenda. Sam will transition to a Senior Advisor role helping to guide the administration’s strategy on budget, cannabis, labor, state policy and special projects, among other policy matters, effective immediately.”

The shuffle comes just ahead of Lightfoot’s tentatively scheduled budget announcement on Oct. 14, where she’ll have to cajole aldermen into supporting a potential mix of cuts, borrowing and new revenue to fill an estimated $1.2 billion gap

The mayor has also added Hone to her senior team, “to ensure community voices inform” the administration’s policymaking. Hone comes from YWCA Metropolitan Chicago, where she was chief equity officer. A South Side native, she spent more than 20 years in Washington, D.C., “working on a range of social justice and civil rights issues,” including overseeing 2000 census outreach efforts at the U.S. Department of Commerce and leading Democratic counsel on the House Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on Immigration. 

As chief engagement officer, she’ll be a liaison to "nonprofit partners, philanthropic institutions, and government agencies on program and policy objectives for community engagement," according to a city press release.

“Hone is the daughter of an African American mother and a Serbian father who came to the U.S. as a political refugee,” the press release says. “Her unique background has given her a keen understanding of the diverse communities that make Chicago great.” 

via Crain’s Chicago Business

October 1, 2020 at 10:24PM

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