Jesús ‘Chuy’ García believes past legislative experience would make him a better mayor

CHICAGO (CBS) U.S. Rep. Jesús "Chuy" García is proud of the fact that he is the only mayoral candidate to serve in Congress, the Cook County Board, the Illinois General Assembly, and the Chicago City Council.

He says those relationships will make him a more effective mayor.  But García’s campaign has not been without controversy.

"I know this job is tough, but I’ve been around Chicago for over 40 years," García said.

Garcia touts his four decades of holding elected office as a strength – not a career-politician weakness.

Kozlov: "How transparent a mayor would you be?"

García: "I will be very transparent."

This is García’s second go at running for mayor. He forced former Mayor Lightfoot into the city’s first ever mayoral race runoff in 2015 – but lost.

Kozlov: "And you think you’re the one that can bring different communities and different factions together?"

García: "I do – that’s been my history."

García says public safety is his number one priority. He wants to hire a new police superintendent and more officers.

Kozlov: "How do you recruit? Do you have a plan; any incentives to bring officers into his department?"

García: "Transforming Chicago’s leadership."

He also wants to diversify the Chicago Police Department, move citywide police task forces to neighborhood beat patrols, and put civilians in some Police Department jobs.

Kozlov: "What and how many jobs would those civilian CPD workers fill?"

García: "A significant amount."

García also wants to invest in community, violence prevention, and youth programs.

Kozlov: "Talk is one thing. How do you make it happen – because, with all respect, I’ve heard this before?"

García: "The organization that I founded and led for 10 years in Little Village majored in this."

García’s campaign trail has been marked by controversy. First, there was a campaign contribution from now-indicted cryptocurrency king Sam Bankman-Fried.

"In terms of Sam Bankman-Fried, I was the first Democrat to return a contribution of $2,900 when I learned about it," García said. "I have never spoken – I don’t know Mr. Fried, and that’s the end of it."

García was then identified as "Congressman A" in court filings in the ongoing ComEd bribery case, in which former Illinois House Speaker Mike Madigan has been indicted.

Kozlov: "Have you hired a criminal defense attorney?"

García: "Absolutely not. I am not under investigation. I have not hired an attorney. I don’t need one."

Kozlov: "And nobody from the federal government has reached out to say, ‘We’d like to talk to you?’"

García: "No. Not in this case, not in any other case. As far as I can remember, I’ve never been interviewed by the FBI – for any reason."

García says he’ll work to secure more state and federal funds to bolster the city’s budget, if elected. When Kozlov asked why that was relevant because any mayor could do that, he said not every mayor would know how to utilize and deploy that money.

One thing people might not know about García is that he served as chairman of the Illinois State Senate’s Black Caucus in the 1990s.

Region: Chicago,Politics,City: Chicago

via Politics – CBS Chicago

February 23, 2023 at 06:54PM

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