CHICAGO (January 24, 2023) – Chicago’s municipal elections are coming up on Feb. 28, and many candidates are running for mayor, including incumbent Lori Lightfoot. In the weeks leading up to Election Day, WBEZ Chicago and the Chicago Sun-Times are collaborating with the University of Chicago’s Institute of Politics to collect questions from the public about what’s most important to voters this election season - and to take the issues to the candidates themselves.
Chicagoans can submit questions for the candidates on the bilingual People’s Agenda survey, focusing on two key areas: What should Chicago’s mayoral candidates be talking about as they compete for your vote? and What questions do you have for the candidates who want to be Chicago’s next mayor?
In the first three weeks since the People’s Agenda survey opened, nearly 1,700 people have submitted questions on topics such as public safety, transportation, and how to make Chicago more affordable.
Based on the survey responses, the Institute of Politics, WBEZ and the Sun-Times will put many of the public’s questions directly to the mayoral candidates in live forums Feb. 8 and 9 as part of WBEZ’s Reset on the Road live event series. Candidate forums will be held in front of live audiences of university and college students. The forums will air on WBEZ during Reset with Sasha-Ann Simons from 11 a.m. to noon, followed by analysis until 1 p.m.
To follow is the schedule for the confirmed events to date and participating candidates:
Wednesday, Feb. 8 2023: UIC Student Center East, Cardinal Room, 750 S. Halsted St., Chicago, Ill. 60607
Thursday, Feb. 9, 2023: University of Chicago Ida Noyes Hall, 1212 E. 59th St., Chicago, Ill., 60637
In addition, the People’s Agenda survey responses will inform municipal election coverage at WBEZ and the Sun-Times, forming the basis of a forthcoming digital candidate guide that will help voters understand where the large pool of mayoral candidates stand on certain issues.
In the weeks leading up to the elections, University of Chicago students will convene voter mobilization summits with other local campuses, facilitate voter education workshops in Cook County Jail and administer the People’s Agenda survey equitably across the city.
“Students are a key constituency for mayoral hopefuls to win over. Young people have become increasingly concerned with issues in our city surrounding the climate, criminal justice, and housing.” Institute of Politics Director Heidi Heitkamp said. “I am excited for us to be collaborating with WBEZ and the Sun-Times who bring a wealth of knowledge and experience from their coverage of municipal politics. The combined reach and background of our organizations will allow our students to better engage with their peers and make sure their concerns are heard by the candidates.”
“There are many critical issues on the line for Chicagoans this election season, and we’re asking voters to help set the agenda by sharing the issues that are most important to them and to the future of Chicago,” said Tracy Brown, Chief Content Officer for Chicago Public Media. “With this collaboration with the Institute of Politics, WBEZ and the Chicago Sun-Times, we’ll take public feedback directly to the mayoral candidates – a service we’re proud to bring to our listeners and readers.”
About WBEZ Chicago and the Chicago Sun-Times
WBEZ is home to local and national news programming as well as a growing portfolio of popular podcasts. It serves the community with fact-based, objective news and information, and its award-winning journalists ask tough questions, dig deep for answers and expose truths that spark change and foster understanding.
Winner of eight Pulitzer Prizes, the Chicago Sun-Times is known for its hard-hitting investigative reporting, in-depth political coverage, timely behind-the-scenes sports analysis, and insightful entertainment and cultural coverage. The Chicago Sun-Times joined WBEZ in 2022 as part of Chicago Public Media, forming one of the largest nonprofit news organizations in the nation.
Together under the banner of Chicago Public Media, WBEZ and the Sun-Times reach more than 2 million people a day in the Chicago area across broadcast, print, and digital platforms.
About the Institute of Politics at the University of Chicago
Founded in 2013, the nonpartisan Institute of Politics is committed to fostering in our students a passion for public service, meaningful dialogue and active engagement in our democracy.