It wasn’t way back that Brandon Johnson, 47, was a county commissioner and academics’ union organizer, unknown to many Chicagoans. On Monday he will probably be sworn in as the town’s 57th mayor.

Mr. Johnson’s speedy ascent from political obscurity to the helm of America’s third-largest metropolis was fueled by an unapologetically progressive platform, a present for retail campaigning, and enthusiastic help and cash from organized labor. He knocked out the incumbent mayor, Lori Lightfoot, within the first spherical of balloting in February, then beat Paul Vallas, a much more conservative and well-funded Democrat, within the runoff final month.

Now comes the laborious half.

Mr. Johnson inherits a proud metropolis that has not absolutely emerged from its pandemic funk. Chicago’s downtown is emptier, its public faculties have fewer college students, and crime charges stay far increased than earlier than the pandemic.

In an interview final week at his transition workplace alongside the Chicago River, Mr. Johnson stated he was cleareyed concerning the scope of the challenges awaiting him however assured concerning the metropolis’s trajectory.

Listed here are among the greatest points going through Chicago, and what he needed to say about them:

“It’s necessary that the town of Chicago has confidence within the superintendent. That’s somebody who understands constitutional policing, however somebody who additionally understands that public security is an general purpose that can not be confined to policing.”

The superintendent chosen by Ms. Lightfoot, David Brown, resigned after she misplaced re-election, leaving the embattled Chicago Police Division underneath interim management. Mr. Johnson, who earlier than working for mayor expressed help for eradicating some regulation enforcement funding, will quickly have to pick a everlasting superintendent.

Mr. Johnson stated he would search somebody who understands Chicago and will earn the belief of rank-and-file officers, but in addition somebody who shared his view of policing as only one a part of a broader security technique. He stated the brand new superintendent should be prepared to work with newly elected councils of residents created to offer suggestions and to make strategies on regulation enforcement in every of the town’s police districts.

“We’re a sanctuary metropolis. There’s an unbelievable historical past of the town of Chicago being a welcoming house for households throughout the nation and internationally.”

Mr. Johnson inherits an escalating disaster: the more and more giant stream of Venezuelans and different migrants arriving by bus and aircraft from border states and looking for shelter in Chicago. Within the final a number of weeks, the variety of migrants getting into Chicago has multiplied, filling metropolis shelters and overwhelming police stations, the place migrants have been dropped off. With the lifting final week of Title 42, a federal coverage that allowed america to expel many individuals who crossed the southern border earlier than they may apply for asylum, much more migrants are anticipated to circulate into Chicago.

The inflow is each an issue and a possibility for Chicago, a metropolis that grew in inhabitants from 2010 to 2020, however then noticed these good points erased in the course of the pandemic, when 1000’s of residents moved out. Mr. Johnson stated that he supposed to assist welcome the migrants, however stated that he additionally wished to guarantee that Black households who’ve been within the metropolis for many years are usually not lower out from metropolis sources.

There’s no better establishment to rework on this second. Our public faculty system must be remodeled.”

A former social research trainer, Mr. Johnson most just lately labored as an organizer for the Chicago Lecturers Union, a progressive and politically highly effective group that engaged in repeated work stoppages throughout his tenure and was a chief antagonist of the latest two mayors.

Mr. Johnson has spoken repeatedly of investing in neighborhood faculties as a strategy to tackle the town’s broader challenges. He stated he envisioned “an training system that exposes our kids to as many industries as potential in an actual, tangible approach,” with a far better deal with connecting highschool graduates with profession alternatives, together with in trades that don’t require a school diploma.

“I imagine it’s a novel alternative for this technology to set a course that might be studied a century from now.”

Downtown will not be going to look the identical because it did earlier than the pandemic, Mr. Johnson stated. However exactly what it is going to turn into is much less clear.

Mr. Johnson stated he sees an opportunity to construct on current industries, particularly within the life sciences, a sector that has seen latest progress. Throughout his mayoral transition, Mr. Johnson has met with enterprise and civic leaders downtown, a bunch that largely supported his opponent, Mr. Vallas.

And Mr. Johnson would be the face of the town throughout one in all its latest and most divisive occasions: a NASCAR avenue race downtown this summer season. Mr. Johnson stated that he intends to hold out the brand new automotive racing occasion with “care and sensitivity,” but in addition hopes to construct on the slate of extra established festivals and actions the town affords, particularly those who attraction to youthful individuals.

“Are you aware what secure communities do all around the nation? You understand what they do? They spend money on individuals.”

Mr. Johnson spoke on the marketing campaign path of constructing deep investments in communities which have seen essentially the most violent crime, particularly on the South Facet and the West Facet, the place he lives. Folks will really feel safer, he stated, after they have sturdy neighborhood faculties, low unemployment and entry to psychological well being companies.

These targets really feel long run, however Mr. Johnson additionally says he hopes to make speedy modifications like doubling the variety of younger individuals who have work after faculty and in the summertime.