Government of Chicago

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Chicago City Hall, shortly before construction was completed in 1911.

The government of the City of Chicago, Illinois is divided into executive and legislative branches. The Mayor of Chicago is the chief executive, elected by general election for a term of four years, with no term limits. The mayor appoints commissioners and other officials who oversee the various departments. In addition to the mayor, Chicago's two other citywide elected officials are the City Clerk and the treasurer.

The City Council is the legislative branch and is made up of 50 aldermen, one elected from each ward in the city.[1] The council takes official action through the passage of ordinances and resolutions and approves the city budget.[2] Government priorities and activities are established in a budget ordinance usually adopted each November.

City departments

  • Office of the Mayor
  • Administrative Hearings
  • Aging
  • Animal Care and Control
  • Aviation
  • Budget & Management
  • Buildings
  • Business Affairs and Consumer Protection[3]
  • Business & Information Services
  • Cable Communications
  • Chicago Board of Education
  • Chicago Department of Public Health
  • Chicago Film Office
  • City Colleges of Chicago
  • Community Development
  • Consumer Services Department
  • Cultural Affairs and Special Events (DCASE)[4]
  • Department of Construction and Permits
  • Department of Finance
  • Environment
  • Ethics (Board of Ethics)
  • Finance
  • Fire
  • Fleet Management
  • General Services
  • Graphics & Reproduction
  • Housing Department
  • Human Relations
  • Human Services
  • Inspector General
  • Law
  • Library, Chicago Public
  • License Appeal Commission
  • Mayor's License and Local Liquor Control Commission
  • Mayor's Office of Workforce Development
  • Mayor's Office for People with Disabilities
  • Mayor's Office on Domestic Violence
  • Office of Emergency Management and Communications
  • Personnel
  • Police
  • Police housing
  • Procurement Services
  • Public Building Commission
  • Revenue
  • Special Events
  • Streets & Sanitation
  • Tourism
  • Transportation
  • Water Management
  • Zoning


Chicago is a special charter municipality.[5] The Journal of the Proceedings of the City Council of the City of Chicago is the official publication of the acts of the City Council.[6] The Municipal Code of Chicago is the codification of Chicago's local ordinances of a general and permanent nature.[6][7]


Other governments

Chicago is also part of Cook County. The Government of Cook County is primarily composed of the Board of Commissioners, other elected officials such as the Sheriff, State's Attorney, Treasurer, Board of Review, Clerk, Assessor, Recorder, Circuit Court judges and Circuit Court Clerk, as well as numerous other officers and entities. Other municipal agencies within the Government of City of Chicago includes: The Chicago Housing Authority, Chicago Transit Authority and The Metropolitan Pier & Exposition Authority (ubiquitously referred to as "McPier" in reference to The McCormick Place and Chicago's popular tourist attraction Navy Pier).

The United States Postal Service operates post offices in Chicago. The main Chicago Post Office is located at 433 West Harrison Street in the Near West Side community area.[8][9] The post office is the only 24-hour post office in the United States.[10]

See also


  1. ^ "City Council, Your Ward & Alderman". City of Chicago. Retrieved 13 October 2013. 
  2. ^ "Chicago Government". City of Chicago. Retrieved 13 October 2013. 
  3. ^ Business Affairs & Consumer Protection
  4. ^ Mission. City of Chicago. Retrieved on 5 Feb 2011.
  5. ^ "Charters, Municipal". The Electronic Encyclopedia of Chicago. Chicago Historical Society. Retrieved 28 November 2013. 
  6. ^ a b Julia Ellis, Chicago City Clerk Legislative Counsel (20 November 2013). The Making of Chicago City Law - How It Works. OpenGov Foundation / YouTube. Retrieved 28 November 2013. 
  7. ^ Chicago City Council Journal of 27 June 1990 Archived 3 December 2013 at the Wayback Machine., p. 17764
  8. ^ "Major Office Buildings." Chicago City and Neighborhood Guide. Retrieved on April 17, 2009.
  9. ^ "Richard Wright Immortalized on Postage." United States Postal Service. April 8, 2009. Retrieved on April 17, 2009.
  10. ^ "New York City's main post office stops 24-hour service." Associated Press. Friday April 17, 2009. Retrieved on May 5, 2009.

External links

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