Chicago City Hall

Mayoral Hopefuls Talk To Members Of Indian Community

February 10, 2019 - 4:27 pm

CHICAGO (WBBM NEWSRADIO) -- A small number of Chicago mayoral candidates gathered at a North Side high school Sunday afternoon to discuss education, equality and the economy.

The forum at Taft High School was hosted by the Voice of American Indian Voters and focused on economic opportunities for entrepreneurs in the Indian community.

Gary McCarthy said the key is fairness.

"We're growing our downtown by giving tax incentives to those big firms to come here and work here," he told the crowd. "I don't know if the Amazon deal would have been or still may be a good deal for Chicago because we give so much away to bring those folks in."

LaShawn Ford agreed.

"I would refocus and help grow our small businesses," Ford said. "They are getting shortchanged in the city. The attention that we've given to big businesses needs to focus on small businesses."

Bob Fioretti said the Indian community is a perfect example of successful entrepreneurship in Chicago.

While many stressed the need for fairness in the economy, Amara Enyia called for a similar approach when it comes to education, starting with an audit of Chicago Public Schools.

"Their commitment is supposed to be that every community has access to a high quality high school," Enyia said. "We cannot have that if we have inequitable use of resources."

The candidates, which also included Paul Vallas and John Kozlar, were split on the idea of an elected school board. McCarthy and Vallas agreed the group should be partially appointed by the mayor.