Chicago mayor candidates offer split solutions for crime at forum, talk economic revival

Liz Nagy Image
Friday, February 10, 2023
Chicago mayoral candidates offer split solutions for crime at forum
Chicago's next mayor will have to walk into City Hall with answers on how to tackle violent crime, and all 9 candidates had different solutions.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Chicago mayoral candidates faced a full hour of rapid fire questions aimed at getting to the bottom of their plans for some of the city's biggest issues Thursday night.

It was clear all nine contenders will have to walk into City Hall with answers on tackling violence crime, but perspective on a solution is split.

Some, including Sophia King, Willie Wilson and Paul Vallas, favor a police-based approach, promising things like increasing the number of officers, replacing the superintendent and even bringing retired officers back onto the force.

Others, including Kam Buckner and Ja'Mal Green argue stopping youth-led carjackings and violent crime on the CTA starts with adding value with deprived communities.

Green advocated for social workers to respond to police calls and mobile intervention departments, while Buckner spoke about investing in the youth.

Questions about funding or defunding the Chicago Police Department turned into a spat between Mayor Lori Lightfoot and self-proclaimed progressive candidate Brandon Johnson with Lightfoot accusing him of wanting to destroy CPD while Johnson argued he wants to implement the department's federal consent decree.

Bringing business back to Chicago, especially to a downtown left depleted by the pandemic, will also be crucial for the next administration.

Roderick Sawyer advocated for each of the city's 77 neighborhoods becoming self-sustainable, while Jesus "Chuy" Garcia spoke of his own community's success in building and maintaining small businesses and shopping strips.