Candidate for Mayor of Chicago

Additional Coverage from WTTW News

About the Candidate

Name: Toni Preckwinkle
DOB: March 17, 1947
Family: Mother of two children and grandmother of three
Occupation: Cook County Board President
Political Experience: 4th Ward Alderman for 19 years
Cook County Board President for 8 years

Candidate Statement

Hi, I’m Toni Preckwinkle and I’m running for mayor of Chicago because I want to make sure that all of our youth have a solid education and real opportunities.

I fell in love with Chicago when I first came here for college. The moment that would change my life forever occurred shortly after I started teaching. I lost one of my students to gun violence. Simply by being in the wrong place – in this case, her own porch – at the wrong time. The loss of this young bright life has stayed with me, and motivated me to take action.

As an alderman and as Cook County Board President, I have taken tough challenges head-on. I have fought to end the school-to-prison pipeline, reformed the juvenile justice system by reducing the juvenile detention center population and the number of children tried as adults.

I took on the system to make sure the world knew the truth about the murder of Laquan McDonald.

I remember the day I was approached by reporter Jamie Kalven to look into the Laquan McDonald shooting. He asked me if in my position as Cook County Board President if I could find the autopsy report for Laquan to find out what happened the night he was shot. I gave him the report that proved Laquan McDonald was shot sixteen times, nine times in the back.

As a teacher, I believe in investing in kids – not jails. If elected, I commit to a vision of our education system that values, listens, and represents all the students and families of Chicago via an elected school board.

When we close a school, we are making a public withdrawal of support from a community that already lacks critical resources and investment. It’s not enough to promise a temporary moratorium on school closings - we need to secure a long-term funding resource to help us make real investments in our schools and our communities

If elected, I will be a tough leader who will take on the old boys club and make Chicago a safe city where all of our students can grow up and fulfill their potential.

I ask you to join the movement so we can tackle Chicago’s challenges together.

Candidate Q&A

What is your vision for this office?

I believe that Chicago is in need of a mayor that will balance and value the needs of every neighborhood in Chicago. From investing in the neighborhood schools that have for too long been disinvested in, to fighting to reform our criminal justice system that disproportionately jails members of communities that are primarily black and brown, I will fight for all of the communities of Chicago.

For too long, the history of this City – of this office – has been shaped by a focus on downtown rather than its surrounding neighborhoods.

We have a beautiful, booming downtown of which we should be proud. Chicago can’t be a world-class city, however, if we only focus on downtown. If elected mayor, I will make it a priority to reinvest in our neighborhoods.

Toni Preckwinkle on the Issues