Chicago mayoral candidates speak at West Side forum with 2 weeks until Election Day

ByStephanie Wade WLS logo
Tuesday, February 14, 2023
Chicago mayoral candidates speak at West Side forum with 2 weeks until Election Day
Chicago mayoral candidates speak at West Side forum with 2 weeks until Election Day

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Chicago's election is two weeks from Tuesday and some of the nine candidates for mayor, drummed up support in front of West Side voters.

Five of the nine candidates vying for mayor are making their plea to the faith community this morning.

Commissioner Brandon Johnson, Congressman Jesus "Chuy" Garcia, Alderwoman Sophia King, businessman Willie Wilson, and Mayor Lori Lightfoot each took turns to speak in the Austin community.

West Side residents said they face stark and devastating disparities within their schools, healthcare, employment and job training opportunities over decades of disinvestment.

They said they've been traumatized by shootings, carjackings and other violent crimes. The candidates were asked what their solutions are to combatting the issues.

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"Too many families in the city of Chicago," Brandon Johnson said. "They get up every single morning an economy that is behind them while everything in front of them is crumbling. That is why I'm running for the office of the mayor of Chicago because it is well past time that we disrupt and destroy this tale of two cities."

"Crime is number one," Willie Wilson said. "If we don't get rid of crime, the rest of it is pretty much downhill. If you don't get rid of these taxes, you can forget about the rest of it. My being a businessperson means I understand these type things."

"I want to be mayor of the city of Chicago because the city needs to be brought together," Garcia said. "I think with my history in the struggle. I am a product of the movement for the empowerment of Back and Brown communities working in coalition building across Chicago for the good of the city. I have the support of over 15 labor unions who have endorsed me and I stay very rooted and true to the plight of working people."

"We're at a pivotal point in the city of Chicago," Alderwoman Sophia King said. "I think a new leader can make a significant change. I've been fighting on behalf of people for the last six and a half years, whether that has been leading the effort to raise the minimum wage, which brought mostly Black and Brown women, 400,000, out of poverty. Whether it has been leading the Michael Reese effort."

"I believe, sincerely, that as the West Side goes, so goes the rest of our city," Mayor Lori Lightfoot said. "There's a reason why over the course of my tenure as mayor, that I have spent a significant amount of time, week in and week out, here on the West Side. Here in Garfield Park, east and west, in Austin, in North Lawndale, in other communities that make up the great West Side.

The event comes after Monday night's forum, which focused on issues impacting the African-American community. That was the final televised debate. As the clock ticks for voters to decide who will lead Chicago for the next four years.