Mayoral race heats up as candidates hit streets Saturday

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CHICAGO -- Chicago’s top mayoral candidates reached out to the community Saturday, attending various events as they looked ahead to next month’s election.

At the Trinity Episcopal Church in Chicago’s Bridgeport neighborhood, it was a celebration for both Martin Luther King Jr. -- and support for mayoral candidate Bob Fioretti.

“We are faced with a crisis of vision, a crisis of poverty, a crisis of inequity and a crisis of violence in our streets,” Fioretti said.

Alderman Fioretti took a stab at Mayor Emanuel’s red light speed camera program, as well as the closing of 50 Chicago schools, saying he wants “one Chicago,” one vision that works for all the city’s people.

In the Jefferson Park community, candidate Willie Wilson handed out “bags of hope” at the Greater Morning View Missionary Baptist Church food pantry.

“We want to make sure every citizen is treated equally and fairly regardless of which neighborhood you come from or what tough time you might be having,” Wilson said.

On Chicago’s West Side, Cook County Commissioner Jesus “Chuy” Garcia urged folks to door knock, phone bank and register to vote before next month’s election, saying he wants to focus on education and public safety.

“Having experienced, dedicated teachers is part of what we need with good schools and safer neighborhoods we lay the foundation for socioeconomic development,” Garcia said.

Incumbent Mayor Rahm Emanuel spent the morning at a ribbon cutting for the new “Breakthrough Family Plex,” a community center in East Garfield Park with a preschool, after school program, and health clinic.

Mayor Emanuel touted the city’s expansion of full-day kindergarten for all students — and a continued focus on early learning.

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