Democrat Chris Kennedy, whose father and uncle were both assassinated, continues to talk about Chicago’s gun violence. He did again Wednesday but he also raised eyebrows with what he said about the city’s development plan.
Kennedy unloaded on Mayor Emanuel and accused him of leading a gentrification strategy to push out people of color.
“I believe that black people are being pushed out of Chicago intentionally by a strategy that involved disinvestment in communities being implemented by the city administration,” he said. “And I believe Rahm Emanuel is at the head of the city administration and therefore needs to be held responsible for those outcomes.”
Kennedy says minorities are not leaving the city by choice.
“I believe this is involuntary that we’re cutting off funding for schools, cutting off funding for police, allowing people to be forced to live in food desserts, closing hospitals. … The city is becoming smaller, and as it becomes smaller, it’s becoming whiter.”
A spokesman for Mayor Emanuel responded saying:
It's sad to see Chris Kennedy joining President Trump and Governor Rauner in using cynical, politically motivated attacks about Chicago's communities for his own personal gain.
Kennedy, a candidate for governor, made his comments at new conference about Chicago violence. Congressman Danny Davis and Bobby Rush – both of whom have endorsed Kennedy -- stood by as the candidate bashed the Emanuel administration for touting success reducing crime.
“To not admit to the scope of the problem, I think, is damaging in and of itself. We can’t fix the problems we don’t admit to,” Kennedy said.
Kennedy’s running mate, Ray Joy, lost his son to gun violence last year.
“What’s impossible to measure is the human toll of the violence. The incomprehensible loss of a son,” Joy said.
Also on hand was Nate Pendleton, the father of Hadiya Pendleton, a 15-year-old gunned down one week after performing at President Obama’s second inauguration.
Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson weighed in with a statement saying:
“I've never heard from Chris Kennedy. I've never even met him. He's never visited a police station or asked me or my team for any kind of briefing on what we are doing in Chicago to address the gang violence and ongoing infusion of illegal guns on to our streets….As far as I can tell he hasn't spoken to one officer or any of CPD leadership. I'm not a politician but I do take issue when the hard work our men and women are doing to beat back this violence is used to score political points.”
Johnson also says police are not spiking the ball they talk about progress bringing down the number of shootings. Kennedy, a loyal Democrat, is naming names these days. But he did give $5,000 to the mayor’s reelection campaign a few years back.