To inform voters, the Chicago Tribune politics team posed a series of questions to the candidates running for mayor of Chicago.
There are nine candidates running for mayor. See their answers linked below.
When asked about funding for public transit agencies, Buckner said: “I’m the only candidate in this race who has put forward a comprehensive plan to improve non-automobile infrastructure and the CTA – I’m a lifelong avid CTA rider and a proponent of safe streets, and this issue is incredibly important to me.” Read more here.
When asked about compliance for the Chicago Police Department consent decree, Garcia said: “Step one is replacing Superintendent Brown. He is not trusted by his force or the public. We need a leader at the top who buys into the reforms we need to make and committed to building relationships with community stakeholders across the city.” Read more here.
When asked about reforming or abolishing some city fines or fees, Green said: “We will be abolishing the practice of booting cars for nonpayment of violations, ending the red light cameras that keep Chicagoans in poverty via multiplication of fines, and fighting to take back our parking meters from Daley’s ‘deal with the devil’. Cook County’s personal bankruptcy rate is out of control, and it’s driven by debt to the City of Chicago. This must end.” Read more here.
When asked about Chicago Public Schools transitioning to a fully elected school board, Johnson said: “The future of Chicago schools, and of our entire city, will depend on how well the next mayor leads the transition to a fully elected school board and financial independence for Chicago Public Schools. Chicago needs a mayor who understands and believes in public education, and who will invest in our youth to ensure our city’s ability to thrive going forward.” Read more here.
When asked of how she would improve transparency in city government, King said: “I think that under this administration there has been a culture of silence and secrecy which has undermined not only the faith of residents in their government, but the proper functioning of that government. I would not view the press as opponents. I would instruct those who work in my administration to err on the side of disclosure in any case where third-party privacy or significant legal restrictions do not exist.” Read more here.
When asked of dealing with crime, Lightfoot said: “The most important responsibility of any mayor is public safety. My goal is to make Chicago the safest big city in the country by creating lasting peace, not just episodic periods of peace in certain neighborhoods.” Read more here.
When asked of aldermanic privilege, Sawyer said: “Many of my constituents believe we are still living in the 1970s in terms of aldermanic privilege. We don’t have the kind of authority to do what previous generations of alders did. We have made strides in improving the transparency on zoning matters, though I still believe the local alder has a place in the process.” Read more here.
When asked of city ethics laws, Vallas said: “City government is bedeviled by a transactional approach to ‘ethics reform’ that all but guarantees the perpetuation of our increasingly toxic history and culture of corruption. What distinguishes Chicago from other cities is not what happens that is illegal, but what happens that is perfectly legal. In the wake of a fresh scandal, Chicago’s elected officials too often congratulate themselves for passing ‘ethics reforms’ that more often than not are a least common denominator reaction to what just occurred.” Read more here.
When asked of how he would deal with crime, Wilson said: “Carjacking, robberies, gun violence and other crimes terrorize the city. I lost a 20 year old son to violence — he was murdered. This is personal for me.” Read more here.