Candidate Forum: Chicago City Treasurer Hopefuls Face Off

The Chicago mayor’s race – and it’s crowded field of 14 candidates – is getting a lot of attention, but it’s not the only contested citywide race in the Feb. 26 election.

Three candidates are vying to replace outgoing city Treasurer Kurt Summers, who opted not to run for another term. And while the office of treasurer isn’t always high-profile, it’s essential: The city treasurer manages billions of dollars in city money and investments, and works on outreach programs to better educate Chicagoans about their finances.

Who is running for city treasurer:

Melissa Conyears-Ervin is an Illinois state representative, whose 10th District covers parts of Garfield Park and the Near West Side. In her candidate statement for the WTTW’s Voters’ Guide, she said: “Chicago’s billions of dollars of municipal deposits should be leveraged to help Chicago’s communities grow at the same rate, regardless of their zip code. I also plan to use the office to help more families become financially educated. Most importantly I’m running to protect the city of Chicago’s investments and to ensure that the money Chicago invests goes to benefit all of us.”

Ameya Pawar is alderman of the 47th Ward on the city’s North Side. He is not running for re-election due to a self-imposed two-term limit. “We can start by launching a people’s public bank and loan capital to expand neighborhood businesses, finance affordable housing, fund new infrastructure, and refinance student loans,” Pawar said as part of the WTTW’s Voters’ Guide. “We can reform our investment strategy by reducing fees sent to Wall Street and create a Chicago Earned Income Tax Credit to direct those savings right to working families. And we can advance racial and economic justice by driving dollars into communities ignored by decades of disinvestment.”

Peter Gariepy is a Certified Public Accountant who also ran in the 2018 Democratic primary for Cook County treasurer. “As a licensed CPA, I will lead the treasurer’s office to combat poverty and income inequality on Chicago’s south and west sides by investing in banks and credit unions that invest in Chicago, I will use our tax dollars to attract private capital where it is needed most while generating a return that eases the burden on exhausted taxpayers,” he said as part of our WTTW Voters’ Guide.

Learn more about the Feb. 26 election in our WTTW Voters’ Guide.

Related stories:

Chicago Voters’ Guide: City Treasurer Candidates

Early Voting – Now in All 50 Wards – Begins in Chicago