CHICAGO — Seven of Chicago’s candidates for mayor in 2023 made pitches and personal appeals to voters at a Mayoral forum centered around accommodating people with disabilities Saturday.
Mayor Lori Lightfoot and challenger Chuy Garcia alluded to struggles their own families have had overcoming disabilities.
“My father was a deaf man,” Lightfoot said.
“My wife, who is living with [Multiple Sclerosis], and two grandchildren who are special education students,” Garcia said.
Mayoral candidate Sophia King pointed toward needing to emphasize affordability when it comes to helping people with disabilities.
“We have a commitment to 20% affordable housing on site, which is also good for people with disabilities,” King said. “Because we know that they are disproportionately more likely to need affordable housing.”
When it comes to education, Paul Vallas — who has led school districts in four different states — said he would allow alternate certifications and graduate students to become certified teachers through earned credit.
“When you look at the Chicago Public School’s own database, there is one teacher for every 17 employees and there is one for every 17 students, and there’s one employee for every student,” Vallas said.
Candidate Ja’Mal Green advocated for policies that benefit people living in poverty.
“We would give $1,000 a month to 10,000 Chicagoans living in poverty. And that is also going to be for folks who return home,” Green said. “We’re going to move forward to single family mortgage bonds, to back 10,000 home loans each year.”
Kam Buckner and Brandon Johnson both took the time to back a plan centered around funding services for the homeless, with Buckner also pitching a gun violence solution.
“The peace book ordinance at the city council level to make sure we’re putting money into the community organizations who have been doing this work on the ground every single day,” Buckner said.
Of the nine candidates running for mayor, Willie Wilson and Ald. Roderick Sawyer were the two candidates who were not present at the forum on Saturday.
The municipal election for the Mayor’s Office will take place on Feb. 28, with early voting commencing Feb. 19.