Mayoral candidates talk issues impacting women


CHICAGO — Eight of nine candidates vying for the office of Chicago mayor stepped up to the plate and pitched their platforms on issues affecting women in the City Saturday.

The Chicago Women Take Action Alliance — a conglomerate of 50 women’s organizations in the City — hosted the two hour discussion at the Chicago Temple, which primarily focused on the subject of public safety.

“Crime is the no. 1, 2 and 3 issue in the city right now,” said Sophia King. “A part of our plan, we want to spend hundreds of millions of dollars on violence prevention.”

Jesus ‘Chuy’ Garcia said if elected, he would plan to fully implement the consent decree CPD is required to fulfill to reform training, policies and practices, like police use of force.

“Among the things that the consent decree requires is that Chicago modernizes its police force,” Garcia said. “That we become a police force that is professional, that uses other best practices across the country.”

Paul Vallas and Roderick Sawyer highlighted the need for Chicago to address gender-based violence.

“We need to provide alternative placements for those women who are in danger, and those alternative placements need to be in every community,” Vallas said. “But at the end of the day — as [Roderick Sawyer] pointed out — it begins with that call, it begins with that police officer knowing that community.”

On top of addressing public safety, candidates were also asked a variety of questions on homelessness, the public education system, and the need for trade schools and equity in the workforce.

“I think you need to set up a taskforce in the mayor’s office to make sure that females … get their portion of it,” said Willie Wilson.

“We’ve got to make sure that every single state rep and every single senator understands their obligation is to make sure that our school system is fully funded,” said Mayor Lori Lightfoot.

“We have schools that are under enrollment and they lose funding and that should not be happening,” added Ja’Mal Green. “We have to change.”

“As Mayor of Chicago, I’m going to do everything in my power to make sure nobody is too poor to live in one of the richest cities at the wealthiest time in the history of the world,” said Brandon Johnson.

Kam Buckner was originally expected to be a part of the forum Saturday, but was unable to attend due to a personal emergency, event moderators said.

The general election for mayor will take place Feb. 28 and if no one candidate receives more than 50% of the popular vote, a runoff election will be held April 4 between the top two vote-getters from the Feb. 28 election cycle.

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