It may be the windy city, or even the "Second City," but Chicago has much more going for it than memorable nicknames. With a population of almost 3 million packed into more than 230 square miles, Chicago has grown from its roots as a transportation and business hub into a world class city with a rich cultural and historical background. Operating on an annual budget of $8.2 billion, the city government is led by a mayor and 50 aldermen (all of them elected to four-year terms), as well as the officials appointed by the mayor to oversee the various administrative city departments. The city clerk and the treasurer round out the city's elected officials. Chicago was first incorporated as a municipality in 1833.
The mayor of Chicago participates in several partnerships. The Metropolitan Mayors Caucus, first convened by former Mayor Richard M. Daley in 1997, includes 272 mayors of the Chicago region, working together in such areas as economic development and affordable housing. World Business Chicago, a not-for-profit organization chaired by the mayor of Chicago, encourages business development in the city with such services as site location assistance and state and local incentive information. The Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Cities Initiative includes the mayors of US and Canadian cities along the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence River who provide united leadership to address environmental, social, and economic issues in the region. – less