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2023 Chicago Mayoral Election: Candidates attend Disability Issues Forum looking for support and votes

2023 Chicago Mayoral Election: Candidates attend Disability Issues Forum looking for support and votes

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CHICAGO (WLS) – The Chicago municipal elections are less than two months away and one of the hottest contests will be the race for Chicago mayor.

As of now, there are nine contenders for the seat. Seven of those candidates attended a disability issues forum on Saturday as they sought support and votes.

The forum was hosted by access Living of Chicago, a disability and support organization.

“There are about 600,000 people with disabilities living in Chicago, so there’s a large group of people who really care about what the mayoral candidates say, and being mayor impacts their lives a lot.

With Chicago’s upcoming mayoral election approaching, a total of over 300 people attended both in person and virtually as candidates shared their platforms and answered questions on issues affecting people in the disability community

“Growing up here, I remember Chicago being called the city that works. The city is not working,” said Illinois Representative Kam Buckner, (D) 26th Precinct.

“I am ready to fight for better access to public transportation and public housing,” said US Congressman Jesus “Chuy” Garcia, (D) IL 4th District.

With so many candidates, question responses were limited to about a minute and no questions were asked from the audience.

“I will respond. I will work with you. I will listen to you,” neighborhood attorney and entrepreneur Ja’Mal Green said.

“The old policy left us behind,” said Brandon Johnson, Commissioner of the Cook County, 1st Circuit.

Questions to the panellists included how their administrations would provide affordable and accessible housing, what mental health support the candidates provide for people with disabilities, and how they intend to address the shortage of special education teachers.

“We really need someone who can bring us together,” said Alderwoman Sophia King, 4th Ward.

“The difference is who actually did things,” said Lori Lightfoot, the current mayor of Chicago.

The major issues of accessible public transport were also addressed, as well as what each candidate would do to invest more in the disabled community.

“There is a lack of accountability. We talk well but deliver nothing,” said Paul Vallas, an expert on education and public finance.

Campaigners for mayoral candidate Willie Wilson and alderman Roderick Sawyer said they could not join the forum.

With the mayoral election just over a month away, forum organizers said it was important that candidates hear the concerns of this community.

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