Mayor Lawrence J. Morrissey is the 40th mayor to lead the City of Rockford in northern Illinois and one of only four Mayors to serve ten years or more in Rockford’s history. Morrissey's start as an innovation mayor began with his unusual path to public office, becoming the City's youngest and only independent mayor when first elected in 2005. Over his three terms in office, Morrissey has continued decisive, visionary and innovative leadership during some of the City's most challenging times.
No stranger to controversy, Morrissey has refused to back down from critical changes needed to support his vision of Excellence Everywhere for Everyone. From challenges in public education and public safety, to challenges in public investment in infrastructure, to labor negotiations and race relations, Morrissey has helped create and anchor the City's role in vital community partnerships helping to bring about positive change.
Despite the extreme economic challenges of the past decade, under the Mayor's leadership, the City has made record investments in public infrastructure while decreasing the City's reliance on local property taxes to fund those investments. Over the course of Morrissey’s three terms in office, well over a half-billion dollars will have been invested with local, State and Federal partners in projects completed or underway. Collectively, the City's investments in these public improvements are supporting record levels of building investment in the central city and historic Downtown.
Morrissey has provided statewide leadership on critical issues facing urban communities in Illinois. He's become a familiar face in the State Capitol on issues including public safety pension reform; collective bargaining and arbitration reform; and municipal bankruptcy legislative authority. He also helped pass the State's River Edge Redevelopment Zone legislation providing critical tax incentives that have helped spur economic investment in Rockford and four other Illinois communities.
Morrissey's current agenda includes a significant focus on regional challenges in public housing, community health and wellness, higher education and workforce training, and aligning the fragmented operations of human, social and economic development systems.