August 25, 2023

100 days into the Johnson administration, there’s no movement on Chicago’s crime, education, or financial problems


CONTACT: Micky Horstman (312) 607-4977

Mayor Brandon Johnson’s first 100 days in review
100 days into the Johnson administration, there’s no movement on Chicago’s crime, education, or financial problems

CHICAGO (Aug. 22, 2023) – One hundred days after Mayor Brandon Johnson took office, Illinois Policy Institute experts say he has failed to take action on the biggest issues facing the city – out-of-control crime, dismal city finances and failing public schools.

Upon election, Johnson promised to make strides to improve these areas. His proposed initiative includes a transfer tax on high-end homes, while his allies have advocated for a hotel tax hike and a head-tax on employees for large businesses.

“Traditionally, the first 100 days of any new administration marks a period of assertive action to tackle the most pressing issues. Yet, under Mayor Johnson, these days have felt more like a waiting game than a period of dynamic change,” said Paul Vallas, policy adviser for the Illinois Policy Institute. “From a lack of memorable actions to questionable staffing decisions, the Johnson administration appears more interested in politics than public service. The few initiatives Johnson has proposed do little to address Chicago’s issues and will end up costing the city new residents and businesses.”

Chicago’s outlook by the numbers: 


  • Overall crime is up 39% in 2023.
  • The University of Chicago’s Crime Lab just reported a 50% increase in murders of youth 17 years and younger since 2019.
  • Annual arrests have dropped by 50% compared to 2019 and arrests for nonfatal shootings have only a 5% clearance rate.
  • Over 1,000 police vacancies are waiting to be filled – costing the city $126 million on police overtime in 2023 alone.


  • Chicago is facing a projected budget shortfall of between $306 million and $951 million for fiscal year 2024.
  • Debt service and pension contributions now make up 42% of the city budget, crowding out services for the public.
  • Chicago’s property tax levy has doubled in the past decade, now totaling more than $1.7 billion annually.


  • 33,000 residents left the city in 2022, only New York City suffered a greater loss.
  • Chicago is still missing more than 10,000 jobs compared to pre-pandemic levels.
  • Caterpillar, Citadel, Boeing, Tyson Foods and TTX announced relocations out of the Chicago area in 2022, and more companies have threatened to leave.


  • Only 21% of 11th grade Chicago Public Schools students read and perform math at grade level, while only 20% of students in third through eighth grade meet grade level standards for reading and 15% for math.
  • There are 39,000 fewer CPS students than in fall 2018. In the 2021-2022 school year, nearly 45% of CPS students were chronically absent, meaning they missed at least 10% of school days.
  • Despite reduced enrollment, CPS saw an operating budget of $8.5 billion in 2023-2024, the largest ever.

Polling from the Illinois Policy Institute, in partnership with Echelon Insights, found Chicagoans are most concerned about public safety, affordability and high taxes.

To read more about Johnson’s 100 days visit,

For interviews or interviews, contact or (312) 607-4977.