Mayoral candidates unveil plans to address disability

Mayoral candidates unveil plans to address disability

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CHICAGO — Seven of Chicago’s 2023 mayoral candidates Saturday made pitches and personal appeals to voters at a mayoral forum focused on housing for people with disabilities.

Mayor Lori Lightfoot and challenger Chuy Garcia alluded to the struggles their own families have had in overcoming disabilities.

“My father was a deaf man,” Lightfoot said.

“My wife who lives with me [Multiple Sclerosis]and two grandchildren who are special education teachers,” Garcia said.

Mayoral candidate Sophia King pointed out that when it comes to serving people with disabilities, affordability must be emphasized.

“We’re committed to 20% affordable local housing, which is also good for people with disabilities,” King said. “Because we know they’re disproportionately likely to need affordable housing.”

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Regarding education, Paul Vallas, who has run school districts in four different states, said he would allow alternate certifications and graduate students to become certified teachers through earned points.

“If you look at the Chicago Public School’s own database, there is one teacher for every 17 employees and one student for every 17, and there is one employee for every student,” Vallas said.

Candidate Ja’Mal Green advocated policies that benefit people living in poverty.

“We would give $1,000 a month to 10,000 Chicagoans living in poverty. And that goes for people coming back home, too,” Green said. “We will move to single-family home mortgage bonds to cover 10,000 home loans each year.”

Kam Buckner and Brandon Johnson both took the time to support a plan focused on funding services for the homeless, with Buckner also proposing a solution to gun violence.

“The Peace Book Ordinance at the city council level to make sure we’re putting money into the community organizations that do this work on the ground every day,” Buckner said.

Of the nine candidates running for mayor are Willie Wilson and Ald. Roderick Sawyer were the two candidates absent from Saturday’s forum.

The municipal elections for the mayoral office will take place on February 28th, with early voting starting on February 19th.

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