Treasurer Summers

Profiles of Treasurer Summers

Is Kurt Summers the Future of Chicago Politics?
Governing | Liz Farmer | July 2016
“Nevertheless, Summers easily connects with this crowd. As an African-American leader in a city where blacks are feeling more and more marginalized, his upbringing in a poor neighborhood in a nontraditional family links him to many poorer Chicagoans, including the ones he’s talking to tonight. ‘I lived in [a neighborhood] where everybody was involved in a gang, involved in drugs, on their way to jail or the cemetery,’ Summers says. ‘And I was lucky I had a hedge of protection around me of elders who said, ‘We’re not going to let you go that route.’”

Kurt Summers: Investing In Our Chicago
Chicago Defender | Mary Datcher | December 4, 2015
“Summers says he has been faced with 30-year old computer systems, poor cash flow management, static investing, lack of accountability, and over-spending on pension fees, among other difficulties. But he’s also enjoyed considerable triumphs in his short tenure. In his first year, Summers says his office has meticulously found and closed 227 unused bank accounts, more than half of which came from one bank and yielded $11 million that hadn’t been touched. In addition, $23 million in unused bond proceeds and 1,561 total funds, along with 746 in dormant funds, brought a $105 million opportunity for new city programming.”

Emanuel’s treasurer appointment launches Summers into prominence
Chicago Tribune | Hal Dardick | December 12, 2014
“Summers called his ascension to treasurer ‘the culmination of my life experience,’ and immediately embarked on a 77-day listening tour in each of the city’s 77 communities. That same day, he released a plan for his approach to the office. Summers grew up mostly in the Bronzeville neighborhood on the South Side. He said it was known then as Low End, because many low-income families lived there, or alternatively as G-Town, taking the ‘G’ from the first letter of a prominent street gang.”

Thought Leadership from Treasurer Summers

A Plan for [All Of] Chicago (Video)
City Club of Chicago | Kurt Summers | December  11, 2017
“I believe that the actions that we take as a city, and the actions we take as philanthropic community, and the actions we take as a civil society, all need to lean hard in areas where we see educational gap, economic gap, achievement gap, and wealth gap…These are the steps that we’re taking in our office—investing in our communities, providing affordable access to capital, supporting our local institutions, and providing a path to homeownership. So that we can learn, earn, and return—and once and for all solve the single biggest issue that plagues our city.”

PoliticsNation with Al Sharpton (Video)
MSNBC | Kurt Summers | September 24, 2017
“There have been areas [in Chicago] where we’ve seen disinvestment decade after decade after decade. I grew up on the South Side of Chicago, three blocks away from ISF where we had the announcement on Monday. And if you look at that community, thirty years ago, forty years ago, looks exactly the same as it does today. These are neighborhoods that, as you know, have struggled with poverty, unemployment, lack of housing, lack of investment. And we can’t expect that investment to change if we don’t invest our funds in our own communities and in our own institutions…This is your money, and it deserves to be reinvested in your neighborhoods.”

Investing Citywide In Chicago Will Change Nationwide Perceptions
Huffington Post | Kurt Summers | September 18, 2017
“Almost every day, Chicago is in the headlines for all the wrong reasons, from gun violence to striking and persistent segregation. As Chicago’s City Treasurer, I want to tell you that those headlines not only fail to capture the essence of Chicago’s greatest assets, but also ignore the root causes of Chicago’s greatest challenges. The truth is that Chicago’s problems are economic in nature, and they require economic solutions. That’s why my office has been leading the charge to change the paradigm of investment in our city, increasing access to capital and economic opportunity for all of Chicago’s 77 neighborhoods and especially those who have been systemically underserved and have suffered from disinvestment for decades. If you live in Chicago, or anywhere in urban America for that matter, it should come as no surprise that these communities are predominately filled with black and brown residents.”

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