by Thelma Sardin
Mayoral hopeful Rahm Emanuel revealed his crime proposal in Roseland on Sunday afternoon. He delivered his anti- crime plan at Kids Off the Block located on 116th and Michigan flanked by law enforcement officials, neighborhood leaders and community activists. He was introduced by Annette Nance Holt, mother of slain teen Blair Holt, who was shot and killed on a CTA bus in Roseland in 2007 while trying to shield a classmate.
Among the plan’s selling points, Emanuel is calling for 1000 additional officers on Chicago’s streets. If elected, he would also appoint a new police superintendent and crack down on police brutality. “I’m looking for a Superintendent who instills a new confidence in the rank and file. My message to our cops is simple: you think with your nightstick, and you’ll be held accountable. You think with your head and practice what you were trained to do, and I’ve got your back,” Emanuel said.
Emanuel also wants to use $25 million in Tax Increment Financing (TIF) funds to put an additional 250 police officers on the streets of the most violent communities. According to his campaign, Emanuel plans to achieve this with a three-year strategy to drive down the violent crime rate in these areas by using excess TIF funds that are intended to promote economic development in each location. This strategy would add 250 police officers to specialized units that are strategically deployed to target crime in and around TIFs that are impacted by high crime rates.
Also on Sunday, Gery Chico, another major mayoral contender received an endorsement from Congressman Luis Gutierrez (4th Dist.) At a news conference at the National Museum of Mexican Art, Gutierrez spoke of Chico’s relevant experience to be Chicago’s next mayor. “Every time Gery was called to serve the people of Chicago, he delivered,” Gutierrez said. “No other candidate has balanced 16 budgets. No other candidate has built bridges across racial, ethnic and geographic lines like Gery has. Gery Chico is simply the best candidate to lead Chicago right now.”
Gutierrez worked with Chico when he served as Mayor Daley’s chief of staff and Gutierrez was a city alderman. According to Chico’s campaign, Gutierrez said Chico was “hands-on” and always a “step ahead” when it came to meeting the needs of Chicago’s neighborhoods.
Former U.S. Senator Carol Moseley Braun and City Clerk Miguel del Valle are the other two major candidates in the city’s mayoral race.