VIDEO: Early voting for municipal elections remains popular

By Adriana Cargill

With election day for Chicago’s new mayor quickly approaching on February 24, early voting has already begun. The last mayoral election counted 73,000 early votes. At the end of the first week of early voting 21,000 ballots have been cast so far.

The city started its early voting program in 2006. In the beginning, early voter turnout was low, hovering in the tens of thousand. That changed during the 2008 presidential election when a whopping one-fourth of all votes cast in the city were early ballots. Since then, 12 to 17 percent of votes in every election have been cast early.

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Education advocates split over elected, appointed school board

By Phoebe Tollefson

Roughly two weeks before citywide elections, education advocates debated the merits of a mayor-appointed and voter-elected school board, while noting issues such as conflicting interests and political pressures.

“I do have a concern about inserting more politics into school board operations,” said Jesse Ruiz,, vice president of the Chicago Board of Education, during a panel discussion Monday at the City Club of Chicago. “Well, you may laugh, but again, I don’t have to raise a dime from anybody.

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10th ward candidates debate jobs, safety for the Southeast Side

By Lizz Giordano and Sarah Kramer

Candidates for Chicago’s 10th Ward aldermanic seat called for more jobs and more police presence for the economically depressed Southeast Side at an open forum in Hegewisch.

Five of the seven candidates running in the upcoming citywide elections on February 24 appeared Thursday night before an audience of activists, residents and supporters. The contenders voiced frustration with City Hall and the current Ald. John Pope while calling for greater transparency in municipal politics. Continue reading

VIDEO: Grassroots group canvasses for Ramirez-Rosa in 35th Ward

By Adam Banicki

The Chicago City Council elections are weeks away and Reclaim Chicago volunteers are canvassing the streets seeking support for new progressive candidates.

Reclaim Chicago, a grassroots political organization, strives to elect new progressive candidates as the city’s officials. Its goal: to get corporate interests out of city politics.

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VIDEO: Religious leaders pledge to increase black voter turnout in February’s mayoral election

By Courtney Dillard 

Ministers and community activists across Chicago have pledged to transport at least 100 congregations to the polls for early voting on Sunday, February 15. They announced the “Souls to the Polls” initiative Wednesday at Quinn Chapel A.M.E. Church on the Near South Side.

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Garcia to voters: My ‘priorities very different’ from Emanuel’s

By Matt Yurus

Speaking before Karen Lewis and other city leaders at City Club of Chicago Tuesday, mayoral candidate Jesus “Chuy” Garcia reminded voters that his “priorities are very different from those of Mayor Rahm Emanuel.”

Garcia argued that his plans for education, policing and financial reforms would bring steady improvements to Chicago. His tone was cautiously optimistic, acknowledging that these reforms would take time.

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