Chicago mayoral candidates take part in Kenwood Academy forum – NBC Chicago

Ahead of the April 4 election, Chicago mayoral candidates Brandon Johnson and Paul Vallas continued their efforts to both build support and attract voters on Saturday.

The contestants stopped by the annual Woodlawn Community Summit in the morning before taking part in a forum at Kenwood Academy later in the day.

“This is a battle between old politics that left black communities especially behind and a better, stronger way forward,” Johnson, a Cook County commissioner, said at the forum.

The two-hour forum was organized by several groups, including the Coalition of African American Leaders. Both candidates answered questions on a wide range of topics including public safety, economic development and education.

“He was a teacher for five years at a school I built, and since then he’s been a union organizer and union consultant to CTU and still gets paid,” said Vallas, former CEO of Chicago Public Schools, referring to Johnson.

Johnson, meanwhile, said what he’s pledged to do — if elected.

“…Making sure the ultra rich in this city pay their fair share of taxes,” he said. “It’s actually a democratic value, that’s why my opponent won’t engage in it, he won’t.”

Vallas addressed his party affiliation when asked about comments he made during a 2009 interview.

“So at the end of the day, I’ve always been a Democrat all my life,” he said. “That’s been my story, those are the offices I run for. I’ve always supported them.”

Meanwhile, moderators asked Johnson about comments he made regarding police funding.

“I never denied making the statement, and I said so…and I’m not going to defund the police,” he said.

NBC Chicago

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