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The Daily Northwestern | Candidates face a crowded field in the Chicago mayoral Election

The Daily Northwestern | Candidates face a crowded field in the Chicago mayoral Election

On Feb. 26, Chicago residents will forged their vote for one in every of 14 candidates looking for to switch Rahm Emanuel as mayor of Chicago.

Emanuel introduced he wouldn’t run for reelection in September 2018, after serving for eight years as Chicago’s first Jewish mayor. Throughout his two phrases in workplace, he handled the most important variety of faculty closures within the metropolis’s historical past, the homicide of Laquan McDonald by former police officer Jason Van Dyke, a federal investigation of the Chicago Police Division and a intercourse abuse scandal in Chicago Public Faculties.

In a crowded area, candidates have struggled to face out. Roughly one in 4 voters stay undecided, in accordance with a Jan. 25 ballot from the Chicago Solar-Occasions. Within the subsequent three weeks, candidates might want to amp up their name to voters, but when nobody receives 50 % of the vote, the highest two candidates will possible compete in a runoff election on April 2.

Courtesy of Toni Preckwinkle
Toni Preckwinkle

By Andres Correa

For the previous 9 years, Toni Preckwinkle has served because the Prepare dinner County board president. Previous to her present place, she was an alderman for Chicago’s 4th Ward, the chief chair of Prepare dinner County Democratic Social gathering and a instructor.

In accordance with her marketing campaign web site, Preckwinkle helps an elected faculty board, stopping faculty closures and reducing the reliance on constitution faculties. Preckwinkle stated she needs to ensure “each scholar in Chicago is invested in and valued.”

With regards to public security, Preckwinkle needs to create a Mayor’s Workplace of Legal Justice to enhance policing, restore belief and accountability between police and residents and enhance present coaching insurance policies. Together with police reform, she guarantees to prioritize the unsolved murders of many transgender ladies and improve transgender illustration in police accountability.

Preckwinkle additionally needs to extend the minimal wage by 50 cents each six months till it reaches $15.

The Chicago Academics Union endorsed Preckwinkle in December 2018. Nevertheless, she has just lately been beneath hearth for taking a $10,000 marketing campaign contribution from Ald. Ed Burke, who was charged with extortion for making an attempt to get funding on her behalf. Preckwinkle has acquired the second most marketing campaign funding behind Invoice Daley.

In line with a Jan. 25 Chicago Solar-Occasions ballot, Preckwinkle is at present within the lead with 13 % of the vote.

Courtesy of Susana Mendoza
Susana Mendoza

By Clare Proctor

Susana Mendoza grew up in Chicago’s Little Village till her household moved to the suburbs to get away from gang violence within the metropolis. She returned to Chicago and was elected as the town’s first feminine clerk in 2011. She was additionally the primary Hispanic independently elected to statewide workplace.

Mendoza has served as Illinois comptroller since 2016, the place she helped cross the Debt Transparency Act, which publicizes the funds of each state company on a month-to-month foundation. Earlier than that, in 2000, she was elected as Democratic consultant for the first District within the Illinois Home of Representatives, serving six phrases.

Now, Mendoza is campaigning on her “Future Now Plan.” The platform outlines comprehensively tackling institutional racism and felony justice inequality, offering high quality public schooling in Chicago and investing in job creation in low-income areas within the South and West Sides, amongst different issues.

Mendoza’s marketing campaign stresses her historical past in Chicago.

“It’s time to have a mayor who’s from the neighborhood, who understands neighborhoods and places neighborhoods first,” Mendoza stated on her marketing campaign web site. “I’m excited to work with all Chicagoans to form our future collectively.”

Courtesy of Lori Lightfoot
Lori Lightfoot

By Andres Correa

In Might 2018, Lori Lightfoot introduced she would run towards Mayor Rahm Emanuel earlier than he stepped down. That is Lightfoot’s first time operating for public workplace, and she or he is the primary brazenly lesbian candidate within the Chicago mayoral race.

Previous to operating, Lightfoot was a senior fairness associate at Mayer Brown, the most important regulation agency in america when it comes to income, based mostly in Chicago. Along with being an lawyer, Emanuel appointed Lightfoot chair of the Chicago Police Accountability Activity Pressure and president of the Chicago Police Board, the place she labored on points in regards to the police pressure and abuse.

Lightfoot has been important of the CPD within the wake of the Laquan McDonald capturing. She helps eliminating the CPD’s gang database, implementing a civilian oversight of the police and abolishing U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

In terms of schooling, Lightfoot needs to place a freeze on new constitution faculties. In an interview with the Chicago Solar-Occasions, she stated she needs mother and father, academics and different necessary stakeholders to be a part of the reform.

Given the town’s price range disaster, Lightfoot needs to make sure that metropolis staff obtain their pensions. She helps the legalization of leisure marijuana, the introduction of a on line casino within the metropolis and a progressive state revenue tax as sources of income.

Lightfoot has additionally proposed bringing again the Setting Division — terminated underneath Mayor Emanuel — with the aim of increasing the town’s water testing.

Courtesy of Amara Enyia
Amara Enyia

By Aaron Boxerman

Amara Enyia’s background is in enterprise, not politics. She began as an entrepreneur and group activist on Chicago’s West Aspect, ultimately turning into director of the Austin Chamber of Commerce. If Enyia turns into mayor, it will be her first elected authorities place. Enyia’s help hovers round three.1 %, in accordance with current polling by the Chicago Solar-Occasions.

Eniya’s buzzword is fairness — whether or not in financial improvement, schooling or authorities accountability. Enyia stated she is going to strip aldermen of a lot of their government energy, which she says has created a tradition of corruption. She helps the renegotiation of police contracts to extend transparency and take away loopholes that permit cops to coordinate tales after situations of alleged police misconduct. She additionally needs to reopen dialog about ending selective enrollment public faculties.

Since saying her candidacy, Eniya has acquired high-profile endorsements from cultural icons like Probability the Rapper and Kanye West, cementing her picture because the candidate-of-choice for younger, progressive millennials. In an commercial sponsored by a $400,000 donation from Probability the Rapper, Enyia emphasised that younger voters can and will make their voices heard.

Whereas Enyia has been publicly important of corruption in Chicago politics, she has additionally been endorsed by Dorothy Brown, the clerk of the Circuit Courtroom of Prepare dinner County and former candidate for mayor this yr till she dropped out of the race. Brown was the topic of a decade-long FBI investigation for misuse of public funds in her position as clerk. Final fall, former staffers advised federal investigators that the “going price” for a job in Brown’s workplace was a $10,000 bribe, in accordance with The Chicago Tribune.

In a speech accepting Brown’s endorsement, Enyia declared that each she and Brown have been “targeted on… breaking away from an institution that’s mired in corruption.”

Nevertheless, this week, The Tribune reported that Enyia didn’t disclose $21,000 she acquired whereas working for Democratic gubernatorial candidate Chris Kennedy. Enyia defended herself, arguing that she is way from the one one that struggles with submitting taxes.

“I’m standing right here as an actual one that understands monetary hardship as a result of I’ve lived via it myself,” Eniya stated at convention at metropolis corridor on Monday.

Courtesy of Invoice Daley
Invoice Daley

By Catherine Henderson

The youngest son of former Mayor Richard J. Daley and brother of former Mayor Richard M. Daley, Invoice Daley has targeted on differentiating himself — not solely from his 13 rivals, however from his household’s legacy in Chicago politics.

His platform focuses on decreasing crime, rebuilding belief between the police and communities, creating reasonably priced housing, investing in public tasks and enhancing administration of the town price range. He additionally emphasizes strengthening neighborhood faculties, promising to not suggest new faculties, although he acquired $100,000 from Paul Finnegan, an enormous contributor to the Noble Community of Constitution Faculties.

“It’s time to maneuver past the talk of charters vs. conventional public faculties and acknowledge that they’re all public faculties,” Daley stated to The Chicago Solar-Occasions. “Mother and father simply need a good faculty, and the talk ought to concentrate on what’s in the perfect pursuits of youngsters. Constitution faculties supply totally different studying choices for households.”

Although he spent most of his profession within the monetary providers business, Daley served as U.S. Secretary of Commerce from 1997 to 2000 within the Clinton administration and chief of employees for former President Barack Obama in 2011. He leads the pack in marketing campaign funds, having raised $5.57 million as of Feb. 1. Nevertheless, an insurance coverage examination scandal implicated Daley final week: After he failed the examination to turn out to be an insurance coverage agent, he handed on his second attempt in 1973, however specialists query the validity of his solutions and marvel if he acquired inside assist.

Courtesy of Paul Vallas
Paul Vallas

By Catherine Henderson

Born and raised within the Roseland neighborhood on the South Aspect, Paul Vallas’ profession began in Chicago and has centered round schooling.

Vallas labored as a employees member within the Illinois legislature for 12 years, served because the CEO of Chicago Public Faculties, moved to Pennsylvania to be the CEO of Philadelphia Public Faculties and at present consults on schooling coverage across the nation. He additionally completed second to Rod Blagojevich within the 2002 Democratic Main for governor.

Vallas has campaigned on a 5-point plan for Chicago, emphasizing reducing violent crime, bringing jobs throughout the town, enhancing public schooling, fixing the town’s price range and growing entry to community-based social providers, in response to his marketing campaign web site. He additionally outlined concepts for infrastructure enhancements, reasonably priced housing and balancing the finances.

Nevertheless, Vallas has come beneath hearth for his dealing with of intercourse abuse instances as CEO of CPS after the Chicago Tribune uncovered over 500 studies of sexual misconduct in faculties.

Regardless of his name-recognition, Vallas is polling at four.three %, based on a January ballot from The Chicago Solar-Occasions. He is also considerably behind his rivals when it comes to donations, elevating $964,020 as of Feb. 1.

Courtesy of Gerry McCarthy
Gerry McCarthy

By Clare Proctor

New York native Garry McCarthy has by no means run for public workplace earlier than, however has spent greater than 30 years serving in regulation enforcement.

The 59-year-old was the Chicago Police Division superintendent beneath Mayor Rahm Emanuel for 4 years, till he was fired in December 2015 after footage of Chicago police officer Jason Van Dyke fatally capturing Laquan McDonald went public.

Earlier than he labored within the CPD, McCarthy served as an officer with the New York Police Division for 25 years and police director in Newark, N.J., for 5 years.

Sticking together with his policing background, McCarthy is operating for mayor on a platform of improved group policing. He has additionally voiced opposition to Emanuel’s $95 million police academy plan to be constructed on the West Aspect of Chicago. There are higher coaching strategies that may be completed “a heck of lots cheaper,” he advised the Chicago Solar-Occasions in an interview.

Enhancing faculties can also be central to McCarthy’s marketing campaign. He informed Crain’s Chicago Enterprise that he plans to offer “high-quality schooling alternatives notably for black and Latino college students whose neighborhood faculties might have been closed or underperforming.”

McCarthy has additionally proposed that Chicago ought to annex surrounding suburbs, together with Oak Park, Oak Garden and Evergreen Park.

Courtesy of Willie Wilson
Willie Wilson

By Clare Proctor

The 2019 mayoral election is just not Willie Wilson’s first time operating for mayor. In 2015, when Mayor Rahm Emanuel was re-elected, Wilson acquired virtually 11 % of the vote within the common election.

This time round, Wilson is operating on a 10-point plan for a “higher Chicago.” His plan consists of creating protected neighborhoods by eliminating carjackings and reopening psychological well being facilities in Chicago communities, in addition to legalizing leisure marijuana to realize tax income and reduce racial disparity in marijuana-related arrests. He additionally plans to make CTA rides free for senior residents.

Wilson has lived in Chicago since 1965. He began working as a custodian at McDonald’s however labored his means as much as turn into one of many first black house owners of a McDonald’s restaurant. He has since gone on to personal and produce his personal TV station — Singsation! — a Gospel music program.

The candidate — who has a doctorate in divinity, humane letters and humanitarianism — has acquired the backing of Chicago Younger Republicans due to his “pro-business” stance and want to move a property tax cap, the group’s president Chris Myers stated in an interview with Crain’s Chicago Enterprise.

Courtesy of John Kolzar
John Kolzar

By Aaron Boxerman

John Kozlar grew up in Chicago’s Bridgeport neighborhood. He then attended the College of Chicago and at present practices regulation in Illinois. A lifelong resident of the South Aspect, [CQ] Kozlar, 29, emphasizes his youth and intention to “dismantle the Chicago machine,” he stated at a mayoral discussion board Jan. 28.

Regardless of having by no means held elected workplace, Kozlar has twice campaigned for 11th Ward alderman. Kozlar ran as an underdog, with no institutional help and elevating just a few hundred dollars. In 2015, he managed to pressure a run-off earlier than dropping to Patrick Daley Thompson with 48 % of the vote.

Kozlar needs to strengthen ties between police and communities by instituting a live-in requirement. Underneath his plan, 60 % of cops who work in a given district should stay in that district, so the group will see the police as their neighbors fairly than because the enemy, Kozlar stated on the Jan. 28 discussion board.

Kozlar stated in an interview with the Chicago Solar-Occasions that the town must be harder on crime.

“As a metropolis, we have to be stricter with those that terrorize our neighborhoods,” Kozlar stated.

In January 2019, a federal decide accepted a consent decree between the federal authorities and Chicago, which would require the town to undertake dozens of police reforms, taking impact by March 1. Kozlar advised the Solar-Occasions that the decree was written by individuals with no expertise of police work, leading to “pointless and illogical suggestions.”

“We simply want higher coverage modifications in place, with out the necessity of creating the Chicago Police Division much less outfitted to do its job to serve and shield our neighborhoods,” Kozlar stated.

Courtesy of Neal Gross sales-Griffin
Neal Gross sales-Griffin

By Gabby Biernbaum

The final time Neal Gross sales-Griffin (SESP ‘09) held a political workplace, his platform was based mostly on transparency, accountability and getting Wi-Fi entry on the Lakefill.

The workplace? Northwestern’s Related Scholar Authorities president.

Now, Gross sales-Griffin, a lifelong Chicago resident initially from Kenwood, is operating for mayor. Because the founder and CEO of CodeNow, Gross sales-Griffin has spent his years since graduating from Northwestern educating low-income college students to code. He additionally co-chaired the Chicago Know-how Variety Council.

Gross sales-Griffin stated he needs to run for mayor to make Chicago extra reasonably priced and improve the standard of schooling. To that finish, he helps increasing reasonably priced housing, offering tax receipts and increasing common pre-kindergarten.

The tech government’s marketing campaign obtained off to a rocky begin in April, when the Chicago Tribune reported that he “bombed” his kickoff speech.. The tough patches continued when it appeared he might not seem on the poll after a problem to his election petition from Willie Wilson.

The Northwestern alum will seem on the poll after surviving the problem. Nevertheless, merely showing on the poll could be his biggest accomplishment this election — Chicago Journal ranks him 14th out of 14 in its mayoral candidate energy rankings.

Economics Prof. Mark Witte, who taught Gross sales-Griffin at Northwestern, stated in an interview with The Every day that although the marketing campaign is a “longshot”, he wouldn’t rely Gross sales-Griffin out.

“He’s pulled off some wild issues,” Witte stated. “This might occur.”


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