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Next year, Chicago citizens will get to vote for a new Mayor or let the current Mayor stay in office. With seven candidates looking for the opportunity to be the leader of the Windy City, and more to be announced including Mayor Lightfoot who stated on June 6, 2022, she was re-running, the race is going to be interesting.
Though the Mayor announced that she had decided to re-run in June, she started to begin the foundation of the campaign in April.
Lightfoot gave a speech at the City Club of Chicago, where she claimed that the city is about to go through its biggest economic recovery than any other city in the U.S.A. After, she told the media that her run as mayor was no piece of cake, having to deal with a pandemic, an economic meltdown, civic unrest, and a crime spike within half a year. “It was no honeymoon period for me,” she added.
The mayor also created a campaign video, where she acknowledges she is still at a slight disadvantage coming into the race. “I don’t look or sound like any other mayor we’ve ever had before, and I’ve had to fight to get a seat at the table,” she said.
Lightfoot has been giving hints to reporters in interviews and at public events that she’s been thinking about serving a second term in office, but the claim wasn’t official until this week.
“Like plenty of citizens, I had to fight to have my voice heard. That’s why I’ll never back down from fighting every day to turn your voice into action,” she added.
The mayor’s campaign is scheduled to stop in Ashburn, Greater Grand, Little Village, North Halsted, and Garfield Park to persuade voters towards re-electing her.
Lightfoot knows she is going to have to work hard if she wants to stay mayor for another term. This mayoral race will have plenty of competition.
Alderman Scott Waguespack, who Lightfoot appointed to the City Council’s finance committee, belive’s she has done her best as the mayor and looks forward to seeing her make progress for the city. “She pushed us to invest in neighborhoods neglected for decades, finances in general and for the minority participation have increased significantly in a while,” he stated.
Runners in the mayoral race include:
- Alderman Raymond Lopez (15th Ward).
- Dr. Willie Wilson.
- State Rep. Kam Bucker (D).
- Chicago Police Officer, Fredrick Collins.
- Former Chicago Public Schools CEO, Paul Vallas.
- Alderman Roderick Sawyer (6th Ward).
- Mayor Lori Lightfoot.
Every challenger in the race has their own opinion of how Lightfoot’s run has already been and what they can do differently. However, despite her efforts of pushing the fundraising programs and the other achievements she’s accomplished as the mayor, many of the campaigns launched made sure to talk about her handling of the ongoing violence in the city.
Lopez, who launched his candidacy on April 7, says the city is a rudderless ship and needs someone to provide the compassion and leadership it deserves.
“I want to give the people a more collaborative option, where every voice matters,” Lopez stated. “The current administration style of governing is a top-down form of government. It’s not taking into consideration of the Mayors partners, which is us as alderman.”
In an interview, Wilson talked about Lightfoot’s style of leadership. “You’ve got to talk to people. You’ve got to communicate,” he stated. “There’s no communication unless it’s negative. If it doesn’t go her way, she takes it personally”.
This will be the third time the businessman and philanthropist will run for mayor. He stated the changes he’ll bring to the table include hiring police superintendents to deal with crime in the city, as well as, changing the COVID-19 mandates of its employees.
If anybody speaks to citizens of Chicago, “ask them if they feel safer…if there’s a plan for the school systems, if the business owners are being supported, your gonna have a lot of answers being no,” said Bucker.
While only having four years in the general assembly, Bucker has made sure he put his mind on the safety of Chicagoans. Recently, a criminal justice reform bill passed and Bucker hopes that the experience he acquired could help him in the run.
Collins, a 29-year veteran of the Chicago Police Department, who previously ran in 2012, 2015, and 2016, says he plans to tackle the problem of crime sprees and car theft in the city. The crimes have been causing citizens to fear for their safety.
Vallas, a former CEO of Chicago Public Schools, gave his thoughts on how the current Chicago is not in the best shape. “There’s a deep concern for the state of our city and the future I could have, as violent crimes seem to rise, the broken school system fails students and parents, and the runaway budget sets residents up for high property taxes and diminishes services.”
The Alderman of the 6th Ward is the son of former Mayor Eugene Sawyer. He was also one of Lightfoot’s hand-picked members of the City Council’s Committee on Health and Human Relations and former chair of the council’s Black Caucus.
Lightfoot, along with many of the candidates, has already been a mayor or has previously run but came up short. However, no matter who comes to the table to run, the race will not be judged by who they are and what they say but judged if the words they say will be put into action.
Written by Daylontie Jasper
Edited by Marrissa Kay
NBC-Chicago: 2023 Chicago Mayoral Race: Who’s In, and Who’s Still Considering Challenging Mayor Lori Lightfoot
Politico: Lightfoot Splashes into Crowded Chicago Mayoral Field with Reelection Launch
Chicago Sun-times: Facing stiff headwinds, Lightfoot launches campaign for a second term
Feature and Top Image Courtesy of Joe Biden‘s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License
Inset Image Courtesy of U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ Flickr Page – Creative Commons License