SPRINGFIELD, Pain (WLS) — Chicago's mayor-elect continues his visit to the state capitol Wednesday, where Brandon Johnson will address all of the state's lawmakers.
Johnson is set to meet the Speaker of the Illinois House of Representatives and the President of the Senate – relationships that will be key to getting things done in Springfield – and will then address a joint meeting of the General Assembly at 12 noon.
It's been a very busy 18 hours since Mayor-elect Brandon Johnson arrived in Springfield for his meet and greet tour. He had met with lawmakers as he looked to build relationships to help his agenda in Chicago for the next four years.
Johnson spent the morning meeting with state senators and representatives from various caucuses, seeking to forge and strengthen the relationships in Springfield that would be key to the success of his administration. And he already made a positive impression.
“We've been on a very positive track because he came and met with us and, you know, spoke to us individually,” said State Representative Theresa Mah, D-Chicago. “We've never really had, you know, the same kind of interaction with the mayor before.”
“It's April. I think we all get a chance to talk and get to know each other. But I feel good,” said State Senator Mike Simmons, D-Chicago. “I mean, the outreach has been amazing. And I think that bodes well for the future. We have to work together.”
Johnson arrived in Springfield late Tuesday for several hours of meetings with lawmakers at AFL-CIO Headquarters.
EXCLUSIVE | Brandon Johnson speaking after the first meeting in Springfield
Johnson spoke exclusively with ABC7, saying he was “really excited to grow our opportunity in the city of Chicago, and ensure that the relationships that I've built over the course of my career, you know, deliver the kind of results the city of Chicago wants.”
Johnson has told lawmakers he will submit five requests, but since he is not taking office until May 15 and the legislative session is scheduled to end May 19, there has not been much time to act. Public safety is expected to be a major issue.
“Trying to get to the ground where a lot of our violence prevention programs are, coming up with innovative ideas for small businesses, to sustain all of that, and of course funding health care and education,” said the State Senator. Sara Feigenholtz, D-Chicago.
Johnson will also meet with the Progressive Caucus, the Asian American Caucus and the Latino Caucus. Governor JB Pritzker will then host a dinner for Johnson.