In the days leading up to the Chicago mayoral election, WGN is profiling the five candidates running for the city’s top office.
Bob Fioretti is leaving his post as 2nd Ward alderman to take on Mayor Emanuel. He believes Chicago needs new leadership and has lost its way. He wants to be the candidate to put the city back on the right path.
“Chicago has been moving in the wrong direction for some time, and it’s gotten worse in the last four years,” he says.
Fioretti has been an Alderman for the last 8 years but this political fight is the toughest he has ever been in. He hopes to separate himself from the incumbent and front-runner Rahm Emanuel, by calling the mayor an elitist and himself a grass-roots guy fighting for the disenfranchised.
Fioretti wants an expansion of vocational education in CPS. He wants to create neighborhood jobs and raise our minimum wage to $15 an hour. He supports an elected school board and wants to expand universal pre-K in buildings that have the space. He also wants to overhaul the vocational program at CPS and wants the police department to hire 1,000 new officers.
Fioretti is still working as an alderman, tending to ward business on a regular basis. Polls place him 2nd or 3rd in a 5-man field. He says he likes being the underdog.
“I think it’s a great place to be,” he says. “And we’re there because of what we’ve been doing in our communities – knocking on doors, listening to the people, talking to them, hearing what they have as ideas in this city – they want to move this city forward and collectively we can put it together. That’s why I’m feeling good about the pool that’s come out.”
Mayor Emanuel has a campaign war chest said to be in the neighborhood of $30 million dollars. Fioretti says he only has enough to keep him going until Election Day. Even so, he scoffs at the huge financial power of the mayor’s re-election checkbook.
“I think what’s going to count is the endorsements that I’ve received from the people and the final poll on Election Day,” he says.