CHICAGO — A 90-minute forum centered around 60-second answers from candidates running for the Mayoral Office of Chicago took place at Steinmetz College Prep Tuesday.
Here is how WGN-TV’s Chicago Mayoral Forum played out:
The first round of questions focused on the economy, candidates being asked how they would handle a potential recession and protect Chicago’s economy after companies like Boeing and Tyson Foods having left Chicago.
Another major topic focused on during the forum was crime. Mayor Lori Lightfoot was asked to respond to the homicide and shooting rates in Chicago — which has increased by 78% and 75%, respectively, compared to homicide rates in 2019 — the year she took office as mayor of Chicago.
On top of being asked to address homicides and shootings in the city, Lightfoot was also asked three new things she would do to combat crime.
Kam Buckner and Ja’Mal Green both took shots at the incumbent mayor in their responses to the question on what three new things they would introduce to address crime in the city.
Continuing on the topic of crime, candidates were also asked — by a show of hands — if they would retain Chicago Police Department Superintendent David Brown if they were elected as mayor.
Lightfoot, being the only candidate to raise their hand in favor of keeping Brown, had this to say in rebuttal to the question:
Candidates were also asked what they would do to enrich the learning experience of students in the Chicago Public Schools system.
Ja’Mal Green was asked directly about his plan to implement a 3-K program for young Chicagoans and how that would impact the educational experience of the youngest students in the CPS system.
A fourth topic proposed to candidates was how they would tackle homelessness in the city if they were elected to the office of mayor.
Each candidate was given 60 seconds to answer the question of why Chicago voters should trust them as mayor of Chicago.
Timeline of Forum
7:03 p.m. The first question for each candidate focuses on the city’s financial stability and how they may protect the city from a potential recession.
7:12 p.m. The candidates have been asked if any will commit to not raising any taxes. Buckner, García, and Green raised their hands.
7:14 p.m. Candidates are given a chance to discuss taxes and their budget plans for the city.
7:19 p.m. Johnson is asked about a proposed $1 billion in new spending.
7:22 p.m. Vallas is asked about a proposed cap on property taxes.
7:23 p.m. Lightfoot is asked about statements made at a recent City Club appearance involving local labor unions.
7:25 p.m. The moderators move onto the topic of crime and Lightfoot is given the first question, “can you name three new things you would do as mayor to reduce crime?”
7:27 p.m. Vallas, Buckner, Green, Sawyer, and King are given time to respond to the same question. Buckner, Green, and King all targeted Lightfoot in their responses.
7:34 p.m. Lightfoot is given the chance to respond to the comments by Buckner, Green, and King.
7:38 p.m. The candidates are asked to raise their hands if they would keep David Brown as superintendent of the Chicago Police Department. Only Lightfoot raised her hand.
7:39 p.m. Following the hand-raise question the topic of discussion has shifted to what candidates would do with the Chicago Police Department.
7:50 p.m. While most candidates demonstrated support of expanding the Chicago Police Department, Green responded with a different point of view while also attacking Wilson.
7:54 p.m. The topic of discussion turns to education and Chicago Public Schools. Each candidate is given 60 seconds to answer, “what are three things you would do to enrich the educational experience of CPS students?”
8:04 p.m. Green is specifically asked about his proposal of a universal 3K program.
8:06 p.m. The candidates have been asked about a time they have successfully negotiated something and how they would approach collective bargaining units. All nine candidates are given 30 seconds to respond.
8:12 p.m. Another topic and another 30 seconds for each candidate: what are their plans to help Chicagoans experiencing homelessness?
8:19 p.m. The final question is asked, “how can you convince Chicago voters to trust you?” Each candidate is being given 60 seconds to give their final pitch on why voters should choose them.
8:30 p.m. WGN-TV’s live post-forum analysis begins.
The general election, which includes Mayor of Chicago, will take place on Feb. 28. If no single candidate crosses the 50% threshold needed to win the election outright, a runoff election will be held on April 4 between the top two vote getters.