7 Chicago mayoral candidates to square off in forum Thursday

CHICAGO — More than 100 people protested outside Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel's North Side home Thursday.

The crowd voiced anger over Chicago police shootings and called for more direct investment in minority communities.

"Today, organizations from across Chicago have come together to amplify the voices of the people bringing their cry to Rahm’s front steps," community activist Tanya Watkins said.

"It’s time Rahm remembers who puts him in office and who can get him out," said Ariel Atkins of Black Lives Matter. "If he can’t get us justice, then he doesn’t need his job."

The young activists said they're looking for a candidate in next year's mayoral election.

As demonstrators gathered in Ravenswood, Emanuel spoke at three separate events — touting corporate relocations and investments in Chicago.

Seven of the city's 10 mayoral candidates are expected to attend a candidate forum Thursday night hosted by the Independent Voters of Illinois Independent Precinct Organization. Emanuel and Neal Sales-Griffin did not confirm attendance, the organization said.

Emanuel is seeking reelection, but has yet to host a traditional campaign kick-off event. His competitors are doing everything they can to gain attention, including release internal poll numbers.

When it comes to fundraising, Emanuel maintains an enormous advantage. He ended June with $7.56 million in the bank. Former Police Board President Lori Lightfoot closed the second quarter with $458,000. Former CPS CEO Paul Vallas had $435,000. Former Police Supt. Garry McCarthy had $173,000.

Each of the other candidates — including businessman Willie Wilson, who is self-funding — reported having less than $100,000 cash on hand.

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