Former Chicago Public Schools principal Troy LaRaviere is part of a growing list of candidates who say they’ll take on incumbent Mayor Rahm Emanuel in the 2019 election.
LaRaviere was ousted as principal of Lakeview’s Blaine Elementary in 2016 due to a breach of contract. Now, he is the current president of the Chicago Principals & Administrators Association, which represents principals at some public schools.
Previously, Morning Shift has spoken with some of the other candidates who have said they’ll run, including former Chicago Police Supt. Garry McCarthy, Black Lives Matter activist Ja’Mal Green, Cook County Circuit Court Clerk Dorothy Brown, and businessman Willie Wilson.
LaRaviere joined Morning Shift to talk about why he’s running for mayor of Chicago. Here are some interview highlights.
On his motivations for becoming a candidate
Troy LaRaviere: I am running for mayor of Chicago because Chicago does not have a mayor. The bankers have a mayor. The investors have a mayor. The wealthy real estate developers, they have a mayor. But, everyday folks who want a decent neighborhood, school, pension they can rely on, safe neighborhoods — they don’t have a mayor.
Tackling public corruption
LaRaviere: I started calling out the corruption of Barbara Byrd-Bennett, calling out the corruption of Forrest Claypool, and calling out the corruption of the mayor who appointed them both. I called that corruption out when it mattered. I didn’t wait until I was removed. I did it while I was still the principle subject to being fired by these people.
All too often we have politicians who are willing to sacrifice the public good for their own personal gain. I am the only candidate who has shown that he’ll sacrifice his own personal gain for the public good.
CPS’ growing pension crisis
LaRaviere: This is an issue of corruption and it’s an issue of revenue. We all too often have regressive revenue sources — tickets, fees. Even our property tax system, which is supposed to be progressive, has been gerrymandered or tinkered with so that it can be regressive by overvaluing the properties of low-income people, and undervaluing the properties of high-income people.
So, having more progressive sources of revenue from the state level, through either a progressive income tax, an expansion of the sales tax to increase services, a tax on corporations based on their size, and we can actually reduce the property taxes if we bring in more progressive sources of revenue.
But, the other piece is not to continue to make the same mistakes they made that got us into this mess. We don’t have a pension crisis. We have a political leadership crisis. Our political leadership decided to take tax dollars that were supposed to be spent toward those pensions and spend them on their own pet projects.
This interview has been edited for brevity and clarity. Click the “play” button to listen to the entire interview, which was adapted for the web by Bea Aldrich.