Chicago Mayor Brandon Johnson Wants to Open City-Owned Grocery Stores

Chicago Mayor Brandon Johnson (D) is looking into opening taxpayer-funded, city-owned grocery stores in areas in which businesses have pulled out due to rampant crime.

Johnson announced a partnership with the Economic Security Project to look into the possibility of opening city-owned grocery stores. The first step in the partnership will be to perform a feasibility study, but the city did not provide a timeline, the Chicago Tribune reported

Johnson claimed his administration is “committed to advancing innovative, whole-of-government approaches to address these inequities.”

The mayor said in a statement: 

All Chicagoans deserve to live near convenient, affordable, healthy grocery options. We know access to grocery stores is already a challenge for many residents, especially on the South and West sides. A better, stronger, safer future is one where our youth and our communities have access to the tools and resources they need to thrive. My administration is committed to advancing innovative, whole-of-government approaches to address these inequities.

Economic Security Project senior adviser Ameya Pawar compared the proposal to “the way a library or the postal service operates.”

“The city of Chicago is reimagining the role government can play in our lives by exploring a public option for grocery stores via a municipally owned grocery store and market,” Pawar said. “Not dissimilar from the way a library or the postal service operates, a public option offers economic choice and power to communities.”’

The partnership comes as a plethora of mega-retailers have closed multiple stores in Chicago. For example, Walmart closed four out of its remaining eight stores in Chicago in April.  

Walgreens and Aldi are among the other businesses that have shut down stores in Chicago.

City-owned grocery stores have been tested in smaller municipalities but never on a scale as large as Chicago. 

Although Johnson’s police chief Umi Grisby claimed the city would not be “spending any taxpayer dollars,” Johnson’s office said the grocery stores would be funded by grant money from state and federal tax dollars. 

“All of our stores are closing, and so now we have to go outside our neighborhoods to purchase food,” one South Side Chicago resident told CBS News. “I think that’s a good idea that Mayor Johnson is picking up the slack where these big store chains are leaving.”

However, prominent Chicago restaurateur Sam Sanchez said the stores would be “operating in the red,” thus wasting taxpayer dollars. 

“Control crime and business will come,” Sanchez opined.

Jordan Dixon-Hamilton is a reporter for Breitbart News. Write to him at or follow him on Twitter.


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  1. So the City Mayor wants to Open City controlled Grocery Stores, obviously will be paid for by tax payers money! Also The Tax Payers will have to go and spend their own money again to purchase those groceries and pay taxes again at a City controlled business that was paid for by the tax payers. So usually when you make an investment in something, you are expecting a return, what return will the people get! Absolutely Nothing! I could go on. There is so many things wrong with this. Also if the City decides to hold people basically hostage and lock down all of the stores. People need to wake up! More control over the people!! This is a bad idea all around!!

  2. I actually feel sorry for the people of Chicago. This guy is dumber than a rock (or Ms. Lightfoot if you prefer). Since when can any level of gov’t manage any business and certainly not the USPS. The only thing about this article that makes sense is the comments by Mr. Sanchez.

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