Johnson, Vallas face off in latest mayors forum

CHICAGO — Brandon Johnson and Paul Ballas faced off at the latest Mayors’ Forum ahead of Saturday’s Chicago mayoral election.

Hosted by One Chicago For All, an alliance of 28 community organizations around Chicago, the forum will explore the impact of public safety on youth, education, affordable housing, and how each candidate can help. We asked each candidate questions based on seven topics, including whether they Especially small businesses.

“We have to create these economic engine opportunities earlier, before they even start high school,” Johnson said. “So it’s about trade, it’s about manufacturing jobs.”

Both candidates have made verbal commitments to work with the community on various topics if elected to office.

“I have already told all 24 unions that support me that we must create work-learning opportunities for both our high school and college students,” Vallas said.

When asked about supporting small businesses, particularly minority owners and their access to capital, Valas focused on systemic mechanisms to advance development, while Johnson was more proactive when it came to funding small businesses. emphasized that it should be

“We need to create a mechanism to create economic development authorities dedicated to these areas,” Barras said. “But we encourage local leadership and the types of businesses that can create local wealth.

“We need to move from rebates to subsidies,” Johnson said. “Many small business owners need additional seeds to get their businesses started.”

When it comes to affordable housing, Johnson emphasized promoting intergenerational wealth with down payment assistance programs, while Vallas focused on vacant lots in the city and handed them over to community organizations.

As for education, each candidate was asked how the platform would engage with the community before making decisions such as funding or mentoring.

“The first thing I do,” Johnson said. “[Is] Have CPS approve a funding model that puts more resources into our schools. ”

“No. 1. Community schools are my model,” says Vallas. “And that means pushing down the $30,000 per child spent in Chicago’s public school system into the community.”

Public safety and its impact on Chicago’s youth was also a central topic at the forum.

“Whether it’s mental health services or opioid crisis management services, we need to restore the infrastructure of social services,” said Vallas. “I lost my youngest son to the effects of long-term drug addiction.”

For Johnson, positively impacting the impact public safety has on young people also means investing in long-term opportunities.

“We promised to double the number of young people we hire,” says Johnson. “Not just for summer programs, but year-round employment opportunities.”

The runoff vote is scheduled for April 4, but early voting is now available across Chicago. city ​​website provides a guide to finding places to vote early. Johnson, Vallas face off in latest mayors forum

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