Last month, Chicago businessman Willie Wilson and former Chicago Public Schools Superintendent Paul Vallas joined former top cop Garry McCarthy as those challenging Mayor Rahm Emanuel in the 2019 election.
Morning Shift host Tony Sarabia spoke with Wilson about his campaign, and what has changed since he first ran for the office in 2015. Here are some interview highlights.
The key issues Wilson plans to address
Willie Wilson: I will focus on education, crime, property taxes, and economic equality for all citizens of Chicago. You must keep people in the city. Keep taxes stabilized and low so people can shop in their own neighborhood.
Wilson lifted campaign contribution caps for all candidates
Wilson: I put $100,000 of my money [into the mayoral campaign] because other candidates may be limited to what they can raise… I’m making the playing field level, so the opportunity exists for all candidates.
Wilson’s plans for dealing with gun violence
Wilson: I would create jobs — economic empowerment within the community. I wouldn’t it cover up, like this mayor covered up Laquan McDonald’s shooting.
If you put jobs into the community versus drugs, you’re going to cut down the crime. You cannot just put jobs and money downtown and leave out the others. The tax dollars should reflect it. If you put jobs in those communities, crime will come down.
Wilson’s thoughts the potential for Amazon to come to Chicago
Wilson: I support that 1,000 percent. When they come in though, make sure they reflect all Chicago. I am pro-business because when business comes to the communities, it creates jobs.
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.