WBEZ | Chuy Garcia http://www.wbez.org/tags/chuy-garcia Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Emanuel wins re-election over Garcia in race for Chicago mayor http://www.wbez.org/news/emanuel-wins-re-election-over-garcia-race-chicago-mayor-111840 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/rahm for hp.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Rahm Emanuel won re-election Tuesday as voters in Chicago&#39;s first mayoral runoff decided that, despite his brusque management style, the former White House chief of staff was best equipped to deal with the many dire challenges facing the nation&#39;s third-largest city.</p><blockquote><p><strong>Map: <a href="http://interactive.wbez.org/elections/2015/runoff-map/" target="_blank">2015 Runoff Election Results</a></strong></p></blockquote><p>Emanuel was forced to campaign furiously across the city to beat Cook County Commissioner Jesus &quot;Chuy&quot; Garcia after failing to capture a majority against four other candidates in a February election. The mayoral runoff was the first since the city changed the way it conducts elections about 20 years ago.</p><p>&quot;To all the voters I want to thank you for putting me through my paces,&quot; Emanuel told supporters Tuesday night. &quot;I will be a better mayor because of that. I will carry your voices, your concerns into ... the mayor&#39;s office.&quot;</p><p>With nearly all voting precincts reporting results, Emanuel had about 56 percent of the vote compared to around 44 percent for Garcia.</p><p>&quot;We didn&#39;t lose today, we tried,&quot; Garcia told supporters gathered at the University of Illinois at Chicago. &quot;We fought hard for what we believed in. You don&#39;t succeed at this or anything else unless you try.&quot;</p><p>The incumbent highlighted tough decisions he&#39;s made since succeeding former Mayor Richard M. Daley in 2011, but admitted that his management approach too often rubbed city residents the wrong way. He portrayed Garcia as too inexperienced to handle the city&#39;s financial crunch.</p><p>Many of those heading to the polls Tuesday said the election should be a signal.</p><p>&quot;Hopefully he (Emanuel) takes heed of the runoff when he should have been a shoo-in,&quot; said Richard Rowe, a 50-year-old, who planned to vote for the incumbent.</p><p>Jesus Fernandez, a 44-year-old window washer who voted for Garcia, had the same view.</p><p>&quot;If he (Garcia) gets close, we might push Rahm to do something,&quot; Fernandez said. &quot;At least we push him a little bit.&quot;</p><p>Emanuel raised far more money than Garcia, plastered the airwaves with ads and had support from his former boss, President Barack Obama, who cast an early ballot for him from Washington.</p><p>The mayor faces huge obstacles in his second term, from fixing the worst-funded pension systems of any big U.S. city to stemming stubborn violence and confronting labor unions that just spent millions trying to defeat him.</p><p>Chicago&#39;s four pension systems are about $20 billion in debt, and the fund for Chicago Public Schools teachers is short about $7 billion of what&#39;s needed to pay benefits as promised.</p><p>If Emanuel can&#39;t work a deal with labor unions or get the Illinois Legislature to approve relief, the city is on the hook for an additional $550 million payment to the retirement accounts, bringing the total payment to about $1 billion. He&#39;s said that would be roughly equal to the annual cost of having 4,300 police officers on the street or raising property taxes by 150 percent.</p><p>Emanuel also must deal with ongoing concerns about crime, one of the areas Garcia hit him on repeatedly during the election. After a spike in homicides early in his first term, the number fell to the lowest level in a half-century though the number of shootings has climbed 12 percent.</p><p>&quot;I&#39;m proud of what we&#39;ve accomplished in these past four years, but I understand the challenges we face will require me to approach them differently and to work in a different fashion,&quot; Emanuel said. &quot;The only way to meet these challenges is to bridge the gaps between the things that divide us and start focusing on the things that unite us and bring us together.&quot;</p><p>Garcia, a former community organizer, alderman and state lawmaker, ran a campaign focused on the city&#39;s neighborhoods, with support from teachers and unions upset with Emanuel. He accused the mayor of being out of touch with voters and blamed him for the fiscal problems, while playing up the mayor&#39;s push to close about 50 schools and a gang violence problem that spiked during Emanuel&#39;s first term.</p><p>He also vowed to end Chicago&#39;s troubled red-light camera system, which some residents believe is discriminatory and focuses more on revenue than safety.</p><p>Election officials said more than 142,300 Chicago voters cast early ballots for the runoff, far outpacing early voting turnout in February and four years ago.</p></p> Tue, 07 Apr 2015 19:53:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/emanuel-wins-re-election-over-garcia-race-chicago-mayor-111840 The Road to Election Day http://www.wbez.org/news/politics/road-election-day-111832 <p><p>This is it: The conclusion of the historic mayoral runoff election in Chicago has arrived. WBEZ&rsquo;s political duo Lauren Chooljian and Tony Arnold have been following incumbent Mayor Rahm Emanuel and challenger Cook County Commissioner Jesus &ldquo;Chuy&rdquo; Garcia all around the city leading up to the April 7th election.<br /><br />On the last full day of campaigning, the candidates spent their time in the parts of the city where they&rsquo;re expected to do best. Emanuel ate breakfast in Lakeview and Garcia riled up supporters in Pilsen.</p><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="450" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/199572170&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_comments=true&amp;show_user=true&amp;show_reposts=false&amp;visual=true" width="100%">&amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;lt;/iframe&amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;lt;/p&amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;gt;&amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;lt;p&amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;gt;Listen to other snapshots of Emanuel and Garcia&amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;rsquo;s days on the campaign path below.&amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;lt;/p&amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;gt;</iframe></p><p>Listen to other snapshots of Emanuel and Garcia&rsquo;s days on the campaign path below.</p><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="450" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/playlists/96308850&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_comments=true&amp;show_user=true&amp;show_reposts=false" width="100%"></iframe></p><p><em>Lauren Chooljian and Tony Arnold are WBEZ political reporters. Follow them <a href="https://twitter.com/laurenchooljian">@laurenchooljian</a> and <a href="https://twitter.com/tonyjarnold">@tonyjarnold</a>.</em></p></p> Tue, 07 Apr 2015 09:16:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/politics/road-election-day-111832 Defeated at the polls 17 years ago, Chuy's real test was about to begin http://www.wbez.org/news/defeated-polls-17-years-ago-chuys-real-test-was-about-begin-111812 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/Garcia 2 RECTANGLE.jpg" alt="" /><p><p><em>Editor&rsquo;s Note: A broadcast version of this story juxtaposed Jesus &ldquo;Chuy&rdquo; Garcia&rsquo;s 1998 decision to move to a nonprofit job with Rahm Emanuel&rsquo;s move around that time into banking. The comparison lacked context. The text on this page does not include that passage but we have <a href="https://www.scribd.com/doc/260718064/Defeated-at-the-polls-17-years-ago-Chuy-s-test-was-about-to-begin" target="_blank">posted the transcript</a> of the broadcast version.</em></p><p>In the closing stretch of Chicago&rsquo;s mayoral race, parts of Jesus &ldquo;Chuy&rdquo; Garcia&rsquo;s past are under scrutiny. This week Mayor Rahm Emanuel accused his challenger of running up a deficit at a nonprofit group he once led in the city&rsquo;s Little Village neighborhood.</p><p>But there&rsquo;s a chapter of Garcia&rsquo;s career that tested something more fundamental &mdash; whether he&rsquo;s the neighborhood guy he makes himself out to be. Garcia&nbsp;told WBEZ about it between campaign events a few days ago.</p><p>The year was 1998, when Garcia&nbsp;was a two-term Illinois state senator in the 1st District, which spanned Little Village and parts of neighborhoods nearby.</p><p>Garcia&nbsp;was undefeated at the ballot box. In almost a dozen contests &mdash; for the senate seat, for the 22nd Ward committeeman post and for the ward&rsquo;s City Council seat &mdash; no one had beaten him.</p><p>He assumed he would add another win to his record in the year&rsquo;s Democratic primary as he sought reelection to the senate. He faced Antonio Muñoz, a little-known Chicago cop who did not have much political experience and did not speak much Spanish.</p><p>Garcia&nbsp;eventually discovered what Muñoz did have: &ldquo;A massive army on the street.&rdquo; This army, the Hispanic Democratic Organization, was part of Mayor Richard M. Daley&rsquo;s political operation.</p><p>Some of the troops went door-to-door. &ldquo;They would say, &lsquo;Hey, is anybody here unemployed? Does anybody here need a job?&rsquo; &rdquo; Garcia&nbsp;recalled. &ldquo;And if there was someone unemployed, they would say, &lsquo;OK, we&rsquo;re hiring you starting today. And then, once the campaign is over, we&rsquo;re going to get you a city job.&rsquo; &rdquo;<br /><br />On Election Day, HDO&rsquo;s show of force was overwhelming. &ldquo;There were tons of city workers, outnumbering us 40-to-1 at a polling place,&rdquo; recalled Sonia Silva, then a state representative aligned with Garcia. &ldquo;They wore city of Chicago gear and drove cars paid for by the city taxpayers.&rdquo;<br /><br />Muñoz won with almost 54 percent of the vote.<br /><br />&ldquo;There was a real shock,&rdquo; Garcia&nbsp;said. &ldquo;We were all at a loss to understand how it could be lost.&rdquo;<br /><br />After the election, Garcia&rsquo;s neighborhood critics claimed he had it coming.<br /><br />&ldquo;He thought that he couldn&rsquo;t lose because [he] thought that you had to speak Spanish to represent the Latino community,&rdquo; recalled August Sallas, a former typographical union leader who ran against Garcia in earlier elections. &ldquo;That, in my opinion, is arrogant.&rdquo;<br /><br />Sallas was not the only one blaming Garcia.<br /><br />Howard Ehrman, a physician who helped form the Little Village Environmental Justice Organization, pointed to Garcia&rsquo;s tenure as 22nd Ward alderman beginning in 1986. Ehrman said Garcia ran the ward&rsquo;s independent political organization top-down, which drove some supporters away, leaving Garcia more and more vulnerable.<br /><br />By the time Garcia faced Muñoz in 1998, Ehrman said, &ldquo;the organization probably had a fourth of the members going door to door for Chuy as compared to the first time he got elected.&rdquo;<br /><br />Garcia said his own people were pointing fingers too. &ldquo;Whose fault was it? Who in the campaign went to sleep?&rdquo; Garcia recalled the conversations. &ldquo;Somebody should be held responsible for it. Somebody should catch the blame.&rdquo;<br /><br />Garcia took the defeat personally. &ldquo;I took it as a rejection,&rdquo; he said. &ldquo;I said, &lsquo;How could people reject someone who had worked to be a full-time legislator, not have any other employment that I was pursuing, working for a pretty modest salary, who speaks at community gatherings?&rsquo; &rdquo;<br /><br />After the election loss, Garcia still had more than nine months in his Senate term. But Marcelo Gaete, his longtime chief of staff, decided it was time to pull up stakes.<br /><br />&ldquo;I&rsquo;m not going to be there for the rest of your term,&rdquo; Gaete recalled telling Garcia. &ldquo;I&rsquo;m going to just start fresh and go to Los Angeles. And he was supportive. But there was a part of me that felt guilt.&rdquo;<br /><br />Garcia&rsquo;s whole world was upside down. He could hardly make sense of it. &ldquo;I went through a lot of funk,&rdquo; he said.</p><p>And then something helped Garcia put everything into perspective.<br /><br />Garcia had gone one afternoon to his parents&rsquo; place for lunch. His father told him he kept getting asked a question in the neighborhood: &ldquo;Why did Chuy lose? Why did your son lose?&rdquo;<br /><br />And Garcia&rsquo;s father answered, &ldquo;He lost because he had to lose eventually.&rdquo;<br /><br />&ldquo;When he told me that,&rdquo; Garcia recalled, &ldquo;I thought, that&rsquo;s just so simple, but it also came to be a practical way of looking at myself &mdash; to not take myself so seriously.&rdquo;<br /><br />&ldquo;Sometimes circumstances and the environment play a role in your life,&rdquo; Garcia said. &ldquo;It doesn&rsquo;t define you as a person forever. And the most important thing to do is to accept it and move on. And if you&rsquo;ve got something good, still, to contribute, you&rsquo;re going to be able to do that.&rdquo;<br /><br />After that talk with his father, Garcia said he started thinking less about the defeat and more about what he could still contribute. And, as he served out the rest of his Senate term, he started getting job offers.<br /><br />He said a lot of offers would have made him a lobbyist and he would have earned &ldquo;a lot of money quickly.&rdquo;<br /><br />&ldquo;And some banks wanted to hire me to do outreach, to do public relations, to use my name,&rdquo; Garcia said. &ldquo;And I spoke to some people about it. I wanted to hear them out [and learn] how you begin being a lobbyist and what you have to do to keep the job.&rdquo;<br /><br />Garcia decided it was not for him.<br /><br />He was talking, meanwhile, with people at the Little Village Community Development Corp., a fledgling nonprofit that later changed its name to Enlace Chicago after the Spanish word for &ldquo;link.&rdquo;<br /><br />&ldquo;They came to me and they started pitching to me: &lsquo;Hey, this organization has a lot of potential. You could be the founding executive director. It&rsquo;s going to do all kinds of projects in the neighborhood,&rsquo; &rdquo; Garcia recalled.<br /><br />He took the job. Over the next decade, with Garcia at the helm, Enlace took on gang violence, helped folks learn English and get their GEDs, and helped win the neighborhood a new high school and new parks.</p><p>Enlace has come up in the mayor&rsquo;s race. Debating Garcia on Tuesday night, Mayor Rahm Emanuel referred to the group. &ldquo;It&rsquo;s a great organization and it does good work,&rdquo; he said.<br /><br />But the mayor quickly added that Garcia &ldquo;left it in deficit.&rdquo; Emanuel pointed to red ink in 2009, the year Garcia stepped down as executive director. The mayor said that deficit raises doubts about his challenger&rsquo;s ability to manage the city budget &mdash; a much larger responsibility.</p><p>Garcia responded that Enlace&rsquo;s deficit was short-lived and that it stemmed from the recession, a time when many nonprofits were hurting.<br /><br />The debate didn&rsquo;t settle much about Garcia&rsquo;s financial acumen.</p><p>And Garcia says it&rsquo;s not the only issue on which to judge him. In the WBEZ interview, he pointed to the way he responded to losing his State Senate back in 1998.</p><p>&ldquo;The fact that I didn&rsquo;t go corporate,&rdquo; Garcia said, &ldquo;tells you that my interest in figuring out how to make neighborhoods more livable, more relevant &mdash; how you develop leadership in neighborhoods to be able to do that &mdash; has remained a passion of mine.&rdquo;</p><p>A question for Chicago voters next Tuesday is whether a neighborhood guy like Garcia is fit to lead the whole city.</p><p><em><a href="http://www.wbez.org/users/cmitchell-0">Chip Mitchell</a> is WBEZ&rsquo;s West Side bureau reporter. Follow him on Twitter <a href="https://twitter.com/ChipMitchell1">@ChipMitchell1</a> and <a href="https://twitter.com/WBEZoutloud">@WBEZoutloud</a>, and connect with him through <a href="https://www.facebook.com/chipmitchell1">Facebook</a>, <a href="https://plus.google.com/111079509307132701769" rel="me">Google+</a> and <a href="http://www.linkedin.com/in/ChipMitchell1">LinkedIn</a>.</em></p></p> Thu, 02 Apr 2015 12:53:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/defeated-polls-17-years-ago-chuys-real-test-was-about-begin-111812 Cook County Board could vote on freeing inmates wanted by immigration authorities http://www.wbez.org/story/cook-county-commissioners-could-vote-next-week-releasing-some-jailed-immigrants-91496 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//story/photo/2011-September/2011-09-03/Toni Preckwinkle.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Cook County commissioners on Wednesday could take center stage in the nation’s immigration debate if they enact a proposal that would begin freeing some jail inmates wanted by federal authorities.</p><p>The measure requires the sheriff to decline Immigration and Customs Enforcement requests known as detainers “unless there is a written agreement with the federal government by which all costs incurred” by the county are reimbursed.</p><p>County Board Commissioner Jesús García, D-Chicago, introduced a similar proposal in July but quickly withdrew it, saying it needed rethinking. García has refined the measure and picked up nine other sponsors, including Board President Toni Preckwinkle.</p><p>The inmates remain in the county’s massive jail up to 48 hours beyond what their criminal cases require. ICE detainers enabled the federal agency to take custody of 1,665 of the jail’s inmates in 2010, according to Sheriff Tom Dart.</p><p>Dart’s office says complying with the detainers last year cost roughly $250,000.</p><p>An ICE statement calls the detainers “critical” for deporting “criminal aliens and others who have no legal right to remain in the United States.”</p><p>But García says the holds enable ICE to sweep up too many immigrants who pose little or no risk to public safety. “These people have been cleared of charges or have posted bond,” he says.</p><p>García says the detainers also cost taxpayers too much and spread fear of local police — claims disputed by pro-enforcement groups such as the Federation for American Immigration Reform.</p><p>ICE didn’t immediately comment on the revamped proposal but sent a statement warning that “jurisdictions that ignore detainers bear the risk of possible public safety risks.”</p><p>The federal government does not reimburse any local jurisdiction in the country for costs associated with the immigration detainers, according to ICE spokeswoman Gail Montenegro.</p><p>Commissioners could approve the proposal at their meeting Wednesday morning. It would take effect “immediately upon adoption,” the measure says.</p><p>“As far as I know, Cook County would be the first local jurisdiction in the country to quit complying with ICE detainer requests,” says Chris Newman, legal director of the Los Angeles-based National Day Laborer Organizing Network, a group that leads opposition to the holds.</p><p>The proposal comes as a class-action suit in federal court challenges use of the detainers. Filed by the Chicago-based National Immigrant Justice Center, the suit charges that asking local police to detain immigrants when there is no evidence of illegal activity is unconstitutional.<br> &nbsp;</p><p><em>Correction: An earlier version of this story misstated what Sheriff Tom Dart’s office estimates that its ICE detainer compliance costs the county. A sheriff’s spokesman says the cost last year was roughly $250,000.</em></p></p> Fri, 02 Sep 2011 23:02:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/story/cook-county-commissioners-could-vote-next-week-releasing-some-jailed-immigrants-91496