Last Week, the Better Streets Chicago Action Fund, a subsidiary of the advocacy group Better Streets Chicago for sustainable mobility, unveiled a new website backing mayoral and aldermanic candidates.
The action fund is free to suggest candidates they believe would best advance the cause of mobility justice, in contrast to Better Streets itself, which is a 501(c)3 organisation and is not permitted to make political endorsements (this is also the case for Streetsblog Chicago).
All 182 aldermanic and mayoral candidates received a comprehensive questionnaire from BSCAF that included a wide range of transportation-related topics. Poor CTA service, the epidemic of traffic violence, the impending $700 million+ fiscal cliff for the regional transit system, the reconstruction of North DuSable Lake Shore Drive, pollution from the transportation sector, even Mayor Richard M. Daley’s disastrous parking metre deal were all discussed.
Just under half of the candidates provided responses to the action fund, which are all available in full on the website. The website gives a thorough and surprisingly simple list of candidates in each ward.
There is a key that identifies who replied to the survey, whether they are incumbents or incumbents who Mayor Lori Lightfoot appointed, whether they are in favour of making sidewalk snow removal a municipal service, and whether they have the backing of BSCAF.
Except for Lightfoot and Willie Wilson, every contender for mayor answered to the poll. Cook County commissioner Brandon Johnson has the backing of BSCAF. The website claims, “We believe in Brandon Johnson because he listens and collaborates.” “He understands the situation the CTA is facing and is not afraid to address the housing and personnel issues that are plaguing it.
- Suspect killed in Chicago police shooting after CPD called to Irving Park bar for man with gun – The Whistler News
- Mare Ralph, board Member at Girls Rock! Chicago – The Whistler News
- Free CTA Fares and City Colleges Tuition are Part of Johnson’s Education Program for CPS Students. – The Whistler News
He is aware of the scourge of traffic violence in Chicago, and we have faith that he will work to make improvements that will give every Chicagoan access to secure infrastructure for walking and bicycling.
Johnson stated his support for a number of measures in his survey responses, including limiting the size and weight of personal vehicles, setting up a fund specifically for bike and pedestrian infrastructure, pedestrianising streets, establishing bus rapid transit lines, lowering speed limits, making the CTA completely wheelchair accessible, and ploughing sidewalks.
Fortunately, all seven candidates for mayor who responded—with the exception of Paul Vallas and Sophia King—support municipal sidewalk clearing.
Out of the 50 wards, the action fund has sponsored a total of 21 candidates for aldermanic office. Except for incumbent Matt Martin, who is running unopposed in the 47th ward, all of these candidates are in competitive wards.
A few wards, primarily those where the incumbent alder has no challenger, received no responses. There were candidates in twenty wards that responded, but none were endorsed.
BSCAF aggressively raises money for their slate of endorsed candidates in addition to educating voters about the candidates. On each page, there are donate buttons that should allow visitors to divide their money equally among the 22 sponsored candidates, change the size of their payment, or do something else entirely.
Unfortunately, not all of these buttons were functional when I last visited. Along with a searchable ward map, locations of drop boxes, early voting hours, and election day polling places, the action fund website also has a helpful voting guide with links for registering to vote and voting by mail.