As of the end of November 2013, I will be leaving the Chicago Department of Transportation and plan to rejoin the private sector. I want to thank Mayor Emanuel for the amazing opportunity to come and serve the people of The City of Chicago as Commissioner of the Chicago Department of Transportation. I cannot stress enough how much I have enjoyed working on his behalf, and how rewarding it has been serving all of you every day since May 16th, 2011. We have accomplished so much thus far under his leadership that it is hard to know where to begin… so I won’t right now. Instead I will refer you to the brand new Chicago Forward 2013 Update that documents all of the work that CDOT has been doing and sets new goals for the rest of the first term:
This will be the end of my public service career for now, and I want to thank all of the people I have had the pleasure of working with over the past few years, particularly the super-star team at CDOT who embraced the Mayor’s, and my vision and have worked tirelessly to implement hundreds of different programs, plans and projects for Chicago. I also want to thank former Secretary LaHood & DOT who were so supportive of cities, and Chicago’s transportation program, and my fellow cabinet members and staff who were partners in innovation. I owe a special thanks to Scott Kubly and Leah Treat who came with me from Washington D.C. to implement many of the innovative programs at CDOT (Divvy anyone?)
I’d also like to think that we showed that infrastructure and transportation innovation can be interesting and fun, and it touches and effects people’s lives for the better. Mayor Emanuel’s $7 billion Building a New Chicago program is catalyzing change on so many levels, from employing Chicagoans to rebuild their own neighborhoods, to supporting a growing economy and luring companies with enhancements to our air, rail, transit, road, and active transportation systems. I am very proud to work for a Mayor who truly “gets it,” prioritizes our citizens safety, and has his teams back when the tough decisions need to be made (like setting the U.S. first zero-traffic fatality goal).
We have directionally changed transportation in Chicago, and I am proud to have played a role over the past 3 construction seasons. Mayor Emanuel’s vision for a world-class transportation system is well on its way and will continue with all of the plans that we have put in place, carried out with new CDOT leadership. I feel very lucky to have spent the last 5 years in public service with some uber talented people, and encourage everyone to consider making a contribution at some time in their lives; for me it has been some of the most rewarding work I have done.
Thanks for everything. -Gabe