Thanks to our sponsors:

View all sponsors

Why Troy LaRaviere Wants Mayor Emanuel’s Job


As principal of Blaine Elementary School in Lakeview, Troy LaRaviere was one of Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s harshest critics.

He spoke out against the privatization of school janitorial services, charter schools and the lack of sufficient funding for special education. He was especially critical of the use of what he said were excessive standardized tests to judge school and student performance.

He resigned as Blaine principal in 2016 amid a disciplinary process for insubordination that he labelled a “kangaroo court.”

Now he’s running for mayor on what his campaign website calls a “fundamentally progressive agenda.”

LaRaviere was a strong supporter of Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders in the 2016 presidential campaign.

According to LaRaviere, one of the current mayor’s worst failings is his continued use of “high-cost borrowing” which he says drives up taxes.

If elected, he says he will focus on raising living standards, expanding public services and building a “top-notch” public education system.

LaRaviere also says he will “transform neglected and exploited neighborhoods into safe, vibrant, and well-organized communities” and that as mayor all residents would have access to quality affordable housing.

On his campaign website there is little detail about how he would have the city pay for these improvements. It does say says that they “will be supported through a fair system of taxation in which those with the greatest means make the greatest investment.”

That implies support for some form of progressive tax but any change to the state’s income tax would require the approval of legislators in Springfield.

LaRaviere also says he will lobby legislators in Springfield and Washington, D.C., for funds to invest in Chicago’s most neglected communities, and proposes refocusing tax increment financing – also known as TIF funds – on neighborhoods with higher needs.

LaRaviere joins Phil Ponce to discuss his mayoral bid.

More interviews with mayoral candidates:

Bill Daley

Amara Enyia

John Kozlar

Lori Lightfoot

Paul Vallas

Ja’Mal Green

Dorothy Brown

Neal Sáles-Griffin

Willie Wilson

Garry McCarthy