City Club of Chicago: Gery Chico
October 29, 2018
Gery Chico – Candidate for Mayor of Chicago
Gery Chico was born and raised in Chicago. A product of the city’s neighborhoods, Chico has lived in McKinley Park, Rogers Park, Edgebrook, Budlong Woods, the Near Westside and University Village.
Serving as former Mayor Richard M. Daley’s chief of staff from 1992-1995, Chico managed the day-to-day operations of Chicago’s city government, oversaw balanced budgets and the hiring of 1,000 new police officers, and instituted neighborhood improvement projects throughout the city.
Chico was appointed as Board President of Chicago Public Schools in 1995. There, he led an effort that improved student performance for six consecutive years. Chico also turned a projected deficit of $1.3 billion into a $345 million surplus, invested money to build 65 new school facilities and renovate 375 existing school structures.
Chico also served as President of the Chicago Park District when the district built new neighborhood playgrounds and acquired hundreds of acres of green space throughout the city, while balancing each year’s budget and developing new programs and capital improvements, including laying the groundwork for two new harbors and a major new park along the lake.
Serving as Chairman of the City Colleges of Chicago, Chico and the Chancellor led an initiative to infuse the workforce with highly trained CCC graduates that helped attract job-producing businesses to Chicago. In assuring that the CCC’s 2010 budget was balanced, $3 million dollars in property taxes were given back to taxpayers and the budget was reworked to allow for technology and capital projects expansion.
Chico is of Mexican, Greek and Lithuanian descent. Chico, his wife Sunny, and their five children all attended Chicago Public Schools.