Mayor Rahm Emanuel announced today that he has hired Andrea Zopp to serve as Deputy Mayor and Chief Neighborhood Development Officer to further drive the Mayor’s neighborhood strategy designed to improve the quality of life in every corner of the city. Zopp, the former president and CEO of the Chicago Urban League, brings an impressive record to the newly created role, a record of building stronger neighborhoods, driving economic opportunity, improving our schools and reducing crime on our streets.
“I have known Andrea Zopp for years, and like many people in this city I know she has the credentials, the credibility, and the commitment to our communities to deliver on our mission of building safer and stronger neighborhoods from the inside out,” said Mayor Emanuel. “From the classroom to the boardroom to the courtroom, she has a long record of opening doors of opportunity for residents in every part of Chicago and I know she will help create a new standard for our most struggling neighborhoods.”
By creating a second Deputy Mayor position, the city will now have one individual specifically responsible for making sure every city project and every city dollar expands opportunities for Chicagoans. While Zopp focuses on neighborhoods, Steve Koch, who has served as Deputy Mayor since 2012, will continue to oversee economic affairs for the City, including responsibility for the City’s financial team, economic policy, driving job growth, and attracting corporate headquarters.
“When the Mayor first called about this opportunity he made it clear that he wants someone completely and solely focused on his goal of ensuring every resident in every neighborhood has the access and opportunity to participate in the economic future of Chicago,” said Zopp. “I've devoted my career to supporting Chicago's communities and I am proud to help the Mayor ensure economic inclusiveness throughout our city.”
Over the past five years, the city has invested in moving Chicago’s 77 communities forward – driving growth at small businesses, luring larger companies and manufacturing facilities to the city, expanding early education while improving the outcomes for students of all ages, building better roads and bridges, adding more park space, fighting crime and beyond.
Building on the nearly 100,000 jobs created during his first term, so far this year Mayor Emanuel launched a number of new initiatives designed to create jobs and drive economic development throughout the city, launched an initiative to review and improve land use policies in many of the city’s 26 designated industrial corridors, announced an initiative to generate millions of dollars in new investment into communities that need economic opportunities by allowing developers to obtain zoning density bonuses for construction projects in the downtown area in exchange for investments to support neighborhoods in-need, and reformed the Affordable Requirements Ordinance to expand affordable housing development in local neighborhoods for projects involving city assistance.
Zopp’s charge will be to build on these efforts, while driving the work of the entire administration through the lens of building better neighborhoods – from city services to infrastructure to education to economic development to public safety and expanding opportunities in struggling communities.
Zopp has dedicated her life to improving Chicago’s neighborhoods, and to public service. She has served as a prosecutor, both as an Assistant United States Attorney and she was also the first woman and African American to serve as the First Assistant in the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office. As President and CEO of the Chicago Urban League, Zopp focused on expanding economic opportunity in the city’s struggling neighborhoods. She and her husband are residents of the Morgan Park community.