March 17th 2023.
Pushing Lori Lightfoot aside, Chicago has new Black leadership emerging with the backing of some influential figures. Jim Clyburn has lent his support to Brandon Johnson in his mayoral bid, as reported by HuffPost. The Assistant House Democratic leader is relying on Johnson to generate the support of Black voters of all ages, including elderly Black individuals who may be suspicious of Johnson's liberal views on matters such as policing and taxation. Clyburn expressed, “I am proudly supporting Brandon Johnson for Mayor of Chicago. Commissioner Johnson is a man of family, faith, and public service, and I am sure that these core values will direct him as Mayor.” After meeting in Selma, Alabama for the yearly remembrance of the 1965 “Bloody Sunday” march for voting rights, the two leaders found common ground in their upbringings and admiration for the early twentieth century Black civil rights struggle. Clyburn mentioned, “Commissioner Johnson and I share many characteristics: our spirit of activism, our professional beginnings as public school teachers, our commitment to justice, and we are both PKs. Commissioner Johnson will be a Mayor who will do everything in his power to make Chicago safe for all, and I am proud to back him.” Johnson has been labeled as “progressive” while he serves as a Cook County Commissioner, while his competitor Paul Vallas is known as a “centrist” and previous CEO of Chicago Public Schools. CNN revealed both went head to head in debates Thursday night with Vallas blaming Johnson for advocating for the “defund the police” movement. Johnson firmly argued that Vallas's plan to hire more police officers is “slow and unrealistic.” Progressive allies such as Sen. Elizabeth Warren and Sen. Bernie Sanders have voiced their support for Johnson prior to the race runoff on April 4.
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