Final Showdown

Lawndale News Chicago's Bilingual Newspaper - Local News

By: Ashmar Mandou

It was the final debate between Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Cook County Commissioner Jesus “Chuy” Garcia on Tuesday, March 31st, as they appeared on Chicago Tonight to tackle issues like the City’s budget with moderator Phil Ponce. Garcia forced Emanuel to divulge the City’s annual audits, stating “the City has yet to conduct a single performance audit of a department under Emanuel’s watch.” Among other notable quotes from Garcia on Tuesday’s debates were:

“The City of Chicago cannot prosper under this kind of disorder and mismanagement,” said Garcia, who noted that Emanuel has borrowed almost $2 billion to cover operating expenses and stave off a fiscal reckoning — more than the previous administration borrowed in a ten year period — and that the Mayor has saddled the city with a deficit for the coming year of more than $400 million.

“Rahm Emanuel’s attacks are attempts to distract from the way he has devastated Chicago’s middle class and driven our city’s finances to the brink,” charged Garcia. “The Mayor has levied pickpocket taxes in the form of fees, fines, and penalties totaling $700 million on the backs of working families, while taking tens of millions of dollars from insiders and vendors doing business with the City.”

Garcia said he would open the City’s books and work with stakeholders to build an inclusive and accountable budget process. “Chicago cannot prosper while some people are doing well and others are not,” said Garcia. “We need equity and transparency at City Hall.

“The Mayor’s record is based on fear, failed policies and fiscal crises,” Garcia said after the debate. “My record is rooted in democracy, inclusion, and leadership. Under the steady hand of my administration, we can restore confidence in our economy and move our neighborhoods forward.”

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