Scattered
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Mayoral Election 2019

Chicago's Mayoral Candidates Answer 20 Yes Or No Questions

Before you vote, read their answers.

January 28, 2019

The number of candidates running for Chicago mayor is the largest in generations. And the number of critical issues facing the city is even bigger. To help you decide how to vote, WBEZ reporters and editors sent the candidates specific yes or no questions about those issues (and a fun one!). We also gave candidates limited space to explain their answers.

All candidates on the Feb. 26 ballot have responses below, except for Neal Sales-Griffin, who did not complete the questionnaire. Responses marked with a [...] indicate the candidate didn't directly answer yes or no, but may have provided a written explanation. Click on the candidate's response to read more. Responses were edited for typos, but not substance.

The Candidates

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Gery Chico

Former Chicago Public Schools Board President

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Bill Daley

Former White House Chief of Staff

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Amara Enyia

Activist

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Bob Fioretti

Former Chicago Alderman

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LaShawn Ford

Democratic State Representative

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Jerry Joyce

Attorney

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John Kozlar

Attorney

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Lori Lightfoot

Former Chicago Police Board President

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Garry McCarthy

Former Chicago Police Superintendent

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Susana Mendoza

Democratic Illinois Comptroller

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Toni Preckwinkle

Democratic Cook County Board President

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Paul Vallas

Former Chicago Public Schools CEO

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Willie Wilson

Businessman

The Questions

Will you work to raise fees on ride-shares, like Uber and Lyft, to fund CTA improvements?

Learn more about this topic

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Gery Chico
Yes
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Bill Daley
No
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Amara Enyia
No
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Bob Fioretti
No
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LaShawn Ford
No
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Jerry Joyce
...
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John Kozlar
No
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Lori Lightfoot
Yes
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Garry McCarthy
Yes
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Susana Mendoza
No
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Toni Preckwinkle
Yes
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Paul Vallas
Yes
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Willie Wilson
No

Chicagoans are not currently allowed to make anonymous complaints against police officers. Will you work to change that policy?

Learn more about this topic

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Gery Chico
Yes
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Bill Daley
...
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Amara Enyia
Yes
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Bob Fioretti
No
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LaShawn Ford
Yes
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Jerry Joyce
...
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John Kozlar
Yes
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Lori Lightfoot
Yes
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Garry McCarthy
Yes
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Susana Mendoza
Yes
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Toni Preckwinkle
Yes
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Paul Vallas
No
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Willie Wilson
Yes

Will you work to hire more police detectives to reduce violence and increase Chicago's low homicide clearance rate?

Learn more about this topic

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Gery Chico
Yes
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Bill Daley
Yes
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Amara Enyia
...
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Bob Fioretti
Yes
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LaShawn Ford
No
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Jerry Joyce
Yes
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John Kozlar
Yes
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Lori Lightfoot
Yes
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Garry McCarthy
No
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Susana Mendoza
Yes
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Toni Preckwinkle
Yes
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Paul Vallas
Yes
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Willie Wilson
No

Will you work to hire social workers to respond to police calls involving mental health episodes?

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Gery Chico
Yes
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Bill Daley
...
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Amara Enyia
Yes
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Bob Fioretti
Yes
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LaShawn Ford
Yes
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Jerry Joyce
...
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John Kozlar
Yes
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Lori Lightfoot
Yes
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Garry McCarthy
Yes
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Susana Mendoza
Yes
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Toni Preckwinkle
Yes
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Paul Vallas
Yes
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Willie Wilson
Yes

Will you lobby state legislators to allow a city-run casino in Chicago?

Learn more about this topic

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Gery Chico
Yes
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Bill Daley
...
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Amara Enyia
No
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Bob Fioretti
Yes
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LaShawn Ford
No
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Jerry Joyce
Yes
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John Kozlar
Yes
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Lori Lightfoot
Yes
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Garry McCarthy
Yes
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Susana Mendoza
Yes
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Toni Preckwinkle
Yes
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Paul Vallas
Yes
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Willie Wilson
Yes

Will you support a tax on financial transactions conducted by asset exchanges in Chicago, such as the Chicago Mercantile Exchange and the CBOE?

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Gery Chico
No
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Bill Daley
No
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Amara Enyia
Yes
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Bob Fioretti
No
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LaShawn Ford
Yes
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Jerry Joyce
No
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John Kozlar
No
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Lori Lightfoot
...
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Garry McCarthy
Yes
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Susana Mendoza
No
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Toni Preckwinkle
...
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Paul Vallas
No
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Willie Wilson
No

Will you support the creation of an income-based city tax, either on Chicagoans or commuters?

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Gery Chico
No
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Bill Daley
...
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Amara Enyia
Yes
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Bob Fioretti
Yes
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LaShawn Ford
Yes
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Jerry Joyce
...
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John Kozlar
No
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Lori Lightfoot
No
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Garry McCarthy
No
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Susana Mendoza
No
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Toni Preckwinkle
No
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Paul Vallas
No
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Willie Wilson
No

Tax hikes are often discussed as a solution to Chicago's under-funded pension crisis. Will you explore cutting benefits for current and/or future workers and retirees in order to lower the city's pension obligations?

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Gery Chico
No
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Bill Daley
Yes
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Amara Enyia
No
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Bob Fioretti
Yes
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LaShawn Ford
No
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Jerry Joyce
...
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John Kozlar
Yes
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Lori Lightfoot
...
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Garry McCarthy
No
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Susana Mendoza
No
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Toni Preckwinkle
No
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Paul Vallas
No
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Willie Wilson
No

Chicago's vehicle ticketing and enforcement system disproportionately affects people of color. Will you make changes to the system, even if it means less revenue for the city?

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Gery Chico
Yes
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Bill Daley
Yes
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Amara Enyia
Yes
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Bob Fioretti
Yes
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LaShawn Ford
Yes
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Jerry Joyce
...
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John Kozlar
Yes
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Lori Lightfoot
Yes
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Garry McCarthy
Yes
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Susana Mendoza
Yes
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Toni Preckwinkle
Yes
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Paul Vallas
Yes
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Willie Wilson
Yes

Chicago's mayor has the ability to make dozens of appointments to influential public boards and commissions. Do you commit to making appointments that mirror Chicago's diverse demographics?

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Gery Chico
Yes
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Bill Daley
Yes
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Amara Enyia
Yes
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Bob Fioretti
Yes
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LaShawn Ford
Yes
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Jerry Joyce
Yes
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John Kozlar
Yes
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Lori Lightfoot
Yes
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Garry McCarthy
Yes
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Susana Mendoza
Yes
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Toni Preckwinkle
Yes
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Paul Vallas
Yes
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Willie Wilson
Yes

The mayor currently appoints Chicago Public Schools CEO and each member of the school board. Will you lobby state legislators to pass a law allowing Chicago voters to elect school board members?

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Gery Chico
Yes
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Bill Daley
No
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Amara Enyia
Yes
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Bob Fioretti
Yes
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LaShawn Ford
Yes
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Jerry Joyce
...
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John Kozlar
Yes
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Lori Lightfoot
Yes
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Garry McCarthy
Yes
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Susana Mendoza
Yes
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Toni Preckwinkle
Yes
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Paul Vallas
...
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Willie Wilson
Yes

Will you support a binding community benefits agreement for the Obama Presidential Center?

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Gery Chico
No
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Bill Daley
No
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Amara Enyia
Yes
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Bob Fioretti
Yes
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LaShawn Ford
Yes
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Jerry Joyce
...
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John Kozlar
Yes
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Lori Lightfoot
...
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Garry McCarthy
Yes
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Susana Mendoza
Yes
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Toni Preckwinkle
Yes
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Paul Vallas
Yes
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Willie Wilson
Yes

Will you support eliminating the single-family home zoning designation, which disallows multi-unit homes in parts of the city, as a way to reduce housing segregation?

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Gery Chico
Yes
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Bill Daley
No
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Amara Enyia
Yes
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Bob Fioretti
No
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LaShawn Ford
...
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Jerry Joyce
No
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John Kozlar
Yes
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Lori Lightfoot
Yes
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Garry McCarthy
Yes
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Susana Mendoza
Yes
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Toni Preckwinkle
Yes
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Paul Vallas
Yes
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Willie Wilson
No

Will you force developers of new projects to build affordable housing units in gentrifying communities where long-time residents are being displaced?

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Gery Chico
No
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Bill Daley
...
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Amara Enyia
Yes
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Bob Fioretti
Yes
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LaShawn Ford
No
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Jerry Joyce
...
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John Kozlar
Yes
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Lori Lightfoot
Yes
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Garry McCarthy
Yes
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Susana Mendoza
Yes
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Toni Preckwinkle
Yes
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Paul Vallas
Yes
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Willie Wilson
Yes

Will you commit to building public housing replacement units and affordable units on vacant CHA land where demolished high-rises once stood?

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Gery Chico
Yes
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Bill Daley
...
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Amara Enyia
Yes
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Bob Fioretti
Yes
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LaShawn Ford
No
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Jerry Joyce
...
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John Kozlar
Yes
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Lori Lightfoot
Yes
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Garry McCarthy
Yes
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Susana Mendoza
Yes
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Toni Preckwinkle
Yes
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Paul Vallas
No
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Willie Wilson
Yes

Will you expand the number of CHA housing vouchers that allow renters to find homes in neighborhoods that aren't racially and economically segregated?

Learn more about this topic

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Gery Chico
Yes
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Bill Daley
Yes
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Amara Enyia
Yes
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Bob Fioretti
Yes
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LaShawn Ford
Yes
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Jerry Joyce
...
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John Kozlar
Yes
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Lori Lightfoot
Yes
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Garry McCarthy
Yes
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Susana Mendoza
Yes
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Toni Preckwinkle
Yes
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Paul Vallas
Yes
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Willie Wilson
Yes

Chicago aldermen enjoy unwritten, unilateral power to influence zoning and development decisions in their wards. Will you work to end this so-called "aldermanic prerogative" in favor of a holistic approach to citywide development?

Learn more about this topic

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Gery Chico
Yes
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Bill Daley
...
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Amara Enyia
Yes
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Bob Fioretti
Yes
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LaShawn Ford
No
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Jerry Joyce
...
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John Kozlar
Yes
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Lori Lightfoot
Yes
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Garry McCarthy
Yes
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Susana Mendoza
Yes
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Toni Preckwinkle
No
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Paul Vallas
Yes
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Willie Wilson
No

So-called "sweepstakes" machines function like legal video gambling, but are unregulated. Will you support a ban on sweepstakes machines in Chicago?

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Gery Chico
No
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Bill Daley
Yes
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Amara Enyia
Yes
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Bob Fioretti
Yes
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LaShawn Ford
No
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Jerry Joyce
...
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John Kozlar
Yes
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Lori Lightfoot
Yes
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Garry McCarthy
Yes
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Susana Mendoza
No
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Toni Preckwinkle
No
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Paul Vallas
...
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Willie Wilson
No

Chicago has more lead service lines than any big city in the U.S. Will you use city money to help residents replace lead pipes that carry water to their homes?

Learn more about this topic

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Gery Chico
Yes
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Bill Daley
Yes
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Amara Enyia
...
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Bob Fioretti
Yes
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LaShawn Ford
Yes
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Jerry Joyce
Yes
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John Kozlar
Yes
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Lori Lightfoot
Yes
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Garry McCarthy
Yes
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Susana Mendoza
Yes
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Toni Preckwinkle
Yes
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Paul Vallas
Yes
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Willie Wilson
No

If you could exercise executive power in one of the following fictional worlds (Pawnee Ind. in Parks and Recreation, Wakanda in Black Panther, Washington D.C. in Scandal, a galaxy far, far away in Star Wars, or another place), which would you choose and why?

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Gery Chico
Image Pawnee, Ind. (Parks & Rec)
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Bill Daley
😞 No answer
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Amara Enyia
☀️ Utopia
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Bob Fioretti
😞 No answer
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LaShawn Ford
Image Wakanda (Black Panther)
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Jerry Joyce
Image Washington, D.C. (Scandal)
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John Kozlar
📺 I need to watch more TV.
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Lori Lightfoot
Image Wakanda (Black Panther)
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Garry McCarthy
😞 No answer
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Susana Mendoza
Image Pawnee, Ind. (Parks & Rec)
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Toni Preckwinkle
Image Valdemar
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Paul Vallas
Image Prime Minister of England in World War II
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Willie Wilson
Image Washington, D.C. (Scandal)

Development and design by Paula Friedrich. Candidate images courtesy of campaigns and AP Photo.