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Race dominates final days of the mayoral election in deeply segregated Chicago

  

Category:  News & Politics

Via:  s  •  last year  •  13 comments

Race dominates final days of the mayoral election in deeply segregated Chicago
uddenly now [Vallas] is being perceived as the savior of Chicago. Whether it’s public safety, whether it’s the budget, he’s suddenly all-knowing. How did that happen? What changed? Well, what changed is the last two people standing: One is white, and one is Black,

S E E D E D   C O N T E N T



CHICAGO — They wore black T-shirts bearing his image, carried “Women for Brandon Johnson” signs and steadied their phones to get ready.

And when Brandon Johnson walked offstage at a community center after a campaign event here on March 18, they mobbed him.


Johnson, a mayoral candidate, navigated the throng to exit into a stairwell, and an aide pressed her back against the door behind him to block the flow of traffic. Those locked out competed to snatch a glance of the rising star through a small window.

“Take a picture with me!” a woman called out. 

The scene was typical of the jubilance Johnson is eliciting in some parts of the city’s Black community, where he is rapidly ascending into an almost mystical status in the fierce closing days of the Chicago mayoral race.

“It’s real for people now,” Alderwoman Jeanette Taylor said as she left the event. Taylor said she sees momentum in the Black community for Johnson in his bid against the former schools CEO Paul Vallas. “My heart has finally dropped back to where it belongs since Chuy [Rep. Jesús Garcia, D-Ill.] has endorsed Brandon. So our Black and brown coalition is back together again.” 

Johnson needs that coalition if he’s to compete with Vallas, who has outraised him and blanketed the airwaves with anti-Johnson ads, hitting him over his past statements about police funding and casting him as a tax-and-spend liberal. 

Vallas and Johnson emerged as the top two vote-getters, respectively, in February's nine-person mayoral primary. Incumbent Lori Lightfoot lost her bid for re-election, becoming the first Chicago mayor to do so in   40 years .

In the closing days of the April 4 runoff contest, it’s the issue of race that’s defining the election. It’s playing out in one of the most segregated cities in the country, where a Black progressive is competing against a white moderate and where the course of the city’s next four years, including the safety of its residents, may very well turn on the coveted Black vote — a vote neither Johnson nor Vallas won in the first round.  

And the fact that the election is on the 55th anniversary of the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. imbues the day with extra meaning, as many Chicagoans have pointed out.

Johnson has leaned into race at public events; at one point in a mayoral forum before a mostly Black crowd, he told Vallas, “When Black men tell you the truth, believe us.” It was in response to Vallas’ charge that Johnson wants a city income tax. (United Working Families, a left-leaning   group supporting Johnson , has backed the proposal, but Johnson has said he doesn't.) 

Johnson, 46, a Cook County commissioner supported by the powerful Chicago Teachers Union, has won the endorsement of the Rev. Jesse Jackson, the Chicago civil rights icon, and progressive Sens. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., and Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass. Johnson’s faith outreach coordinator said the campaign has already reserved 80 buses for a massive “souls to the polls” early voting effort that typically targets people of color.

And Johnson's lining up the endorsements of prominent pastors in the Black community, not to mention benefiting from a   get-out-the-vote rally   by the Rev. Al Sharpton, the MSNBC host, on Sunday. That’s all on top of the deep organizational strength that comes from the teachers union, which has spent millions of dollars on Johnson’s candidacy. 

Vallas, meanwhile, is drawing his biggest support from the city’s white ethnic neighborhoods and its northwest side. But he is working to gain a foothold with the same Black electorate that makes up nearly a third of the city’s population, battling for endorsements among Black community leaders, pastors and politicians.    

Vallas, backed by the Fraternal Order of Police and the business community and best known for his tough-on-crime agenda, is having some success. The day after the women’s event scrum over Johnson, Vallas stood in a South Side church as Black ministers fanned out on either side of him. They placed their hands above his head and bowed in prayer. 

“In this room, there’s no Black, there’s no white. There’s just people,” said the Rev. Marvin B. Jenkins. “God, we ask you to let this be the beginning of what the city would look like. That it be the beginning of what it would look like in law enforcement, in education — the merger of people.” 

Vallas, 69, who has made failed bids for governor and lieutenant governor and previously ran for mayor     landing in ninth place four years ago — vaulted to lead the pack in the first round of the mayoral election. 

“Suddenly now [Vallas] is being perceived as the savior of Chicago. Whether it’s public safety, whether it’s the budget, he’s suddenly all-knowing. How did that happen? What changed? Well, what changed is the last two people standing: One is white, and one is Black,” said Delmarie Cobb, a veteran political analyst in Chicago. “To pretend that race would not play a factor in Chicago’s mayoral contest would be to suspend reality.”


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Sean Treacy
Professor Principal
1  seeder  Sean Treacy    last year

In this, a Democratic Party stronghold for generations, voting comes down to race.  

A city where the black Mayor tells black voters they should vote for her, or not at all, to avoid helping the "others" is in alot of trouble. 

 
 
 
JohnRussell
Professor Principal
1.1  JohnRussell  replied to  Sean Treacy @1    last year
“To pretend that race would not play a factor in Chicago’s mayoral contest would be to suspend reality.”

There are tens of thousands of white Chicago residents who are going to vote for Vallas because he is white. Dont kid yourself. 

 
 
 
Sean Treacy
Professor Principal
1.1.1  seeder  Sean Treacy  replied to  JohnRussell @1.1    last year

ns of thousands of white Chicago residents who are going to vote for Vallas because he is white. Dont kid yourself.

I wasn't. 

Does that make it okay that Democrats, white and black, vote because of the color of a candidate's skin? 

 
 
 
Ozzwald
Professor Quiet
1.1.2  Ozzwald  replied to  Sean Treacy @1.1.1    last year

Does that make it okay that Democrats, white and black, vote because of the color of a candidate's skin? 

Actually, yes it does.  If that is how someone chooses to exercise their right to vote, that is entirely up to them.  It just causes the other to up their game to give people a better reason to vote for them. 

The fact that they are taking the time out of their life to cast a vote, for whatever reason, still puts them a step above others who do not vote at all.

Note: Just because I feel people have the right to vote for whoever they want, for whatever reason they want to, does not necessarily mean I support their method.

 
 
 
Drinker of the Wry
Junior Expert
1.1.3  Drinker of the Wry  replied to  JohnRussell @1.1    last year
There are tens of thousands of white Chicago residents who are going to vote for Vallas because he is white. 

White Dems voting on account of race, no way.

 
 
 
Texan1211
Professor Principal
1.2  Texan1211  replied to  Sean Treacy @1    last year
A city where the black Mayor tells black voters they should vote for her, or not at all, to avoid helping the "others" is in alot of trouble. 

I feel she took her cues from the leader of the Democratic Party who infamously told voters "You ain't black if you don't vote for me".

I mean, why not take advice on race from a man who has expressed some racist views in the past?

 
 
 
Texan1211
Professor Principal
2  Texan1211    last year
“To pretend that race would not play a factor in Chicago’s mayoral contest would be to suspend reality.”

people in Chicago seem obsessed with race and far less enthralled with candidates' qualifications.

Since when did race become a 'qualification'?

 
 
 
Just Jim NC TttH
Professor Principal
2.1  Just Jim NC TttH  replied to  Texan1211 @2    last year

2008

 
 
 
Texan1211
Professor Principal
2.1.1  Texan1211  replied to  Just Jim NC TttH @2.1    last year

Ah, yes, where MILLIONS of blacks voted for Obama because he is black.

 
 
 
Hallux
PhD Principal
2.1.2  Hallux  replied to  Texan1211 @2.1.1    last year

... ethnicities voting for one of their own ... I'm shocked ... @!@

 
 
 
Texan1211
Professor Principal
2.1.3  Texan1211  replied to  Hallux @2.1.2    last year

That's wonderful for you.

 
 
 
Jeremy Retired in NC
Professor Principal
2.2  Jeremy Retired in NC  replied to  Texan1211 @2    last year
Since when did race become a 'qualification'?

It's prominent in the Biden Septic Tank.  Like you said, maybe that's where they are taking that lead from.  

 
 
 
Sean Treacy
Professor Principal
2.3  seeder  Sean Treacy  replied to  Texan1211 @2    last year
Since when did race become a 'qualification'?

Well, that's how we got the current VP and a Supreme Court justice. 

 
 

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