Who Will Be Chicago’s First Black Female Mayor?
By Alina Yamin
Regardless of the outcome, Chicago will elect its first black female mayor, either Lori Lightfoot or Toni Preckwinkle. But which candidate should you support? Read on to learn each candidate’s stances on several predominant issues of the city.
Preckwinkle: The State constitution should not be amended to allow any reductions to promised pension benefits for current or retired city employees. The state needs to find creative ways to generate ongoing, long-term revenue to assist in funding pension obligations.
Lightfoot: The State constitution should not be amended to allow any reductions to promised pension benefits for current or retired city employees. Retired public service workers make up the foundation of the middle class, and to ail their retirement funds would be devastating to local economies across the city.
The federally monitored consent decree to rebuild the training and practices of the Chicago Police Department
Preckwinkle: The consent decree is difficult but essential. It is necessary in order to restore the relationships between police and the communities of Chicago. The restoration of these relationships will in turn lead to more information given to the police to help solve crimes. Police reform, however, will require more than the decree.
Lightfoot: The decree is the only tool currently available to make the necessary reforms. However, the draft prepared by the parties requires significant changes.
How to reduce the number of illegal guns
Preckwinkle: The gun laws at the state and federal level need to be strengthened. This will give law enforcement the tools to end illegal trafficking.
Lightfoot: There must be a aggressive, synchronized response from law enforcement that is led by the U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois, along with the ATF, FBI, DEA, CPD, and the state and county law enforcement, as well as federal counterparts in states from which large sources of illegal guns flow.
Preckwinkle: The state should take the ban off rent control.
Lightfoot: Lightfoot has not taken a stance on rent control, but she does believe that more affordable housing should be available around the city.
Chicago switching to an elected school board system
Preckwinkle: Chicago should have a fully elected school board. Additionally, there should be a tax reform package and yearly TIF funds should be dedicated to public schools. Chicago Public Schools should also focus on ensuring that that every child, in every neighborhood, has access to a well-resourced public schools. There should also be a temporary prohibition on school closings.
Lightfoot: Chicago should have a fully elected school board. There should also be policies and practices that undo the systems that have created inequalities of opportunity and academic achievement.
Preckwinkle: More action must be taken to protect undocumented immigrants. There should also be an end to the Chicago Police department working hand-in-hand with ICE. Furthermore, there should be no more use of the incorrect, racial discriminatory gang database used by the Chicago Police Department.
Lightfoot: The Welcoming City Ordinance should be amended to remove the four exceptions to the general rule to not arrest or hold anyone based only on an ICE warrant or hold request.
Both of these women have powerful views to promote change in our city. It is now up to the people to decide who will become the next mayor of Chicago.