Progressive democrat, Brandon Johnson, will be the new mayor of Chicago after a fiercely contested election.
Johnson won against fellow Democrat, Paul Vallas, and will take office in March 2023. He will replace super-left Democrat, Lori Lightfoot.
During the race, Vallas vowed to hire hundreds of additional police officers. Johnson, on the other hand, ran on a campaign of crime reform. Instead of focusing on more police or jails, Johnson said he would funnel all of his energy into more mental health treatment.
Johnson has also made previous comments about defunding the police. Vallas, on the other hand, is described as a “moderate” Democrat and ran with far more conservative opinions on crime and education.
I called Brandon Johnson a short time ago to congratulate him on winning this election. It’s critically important that we all come together now and work collaboratively to move our city forward. I thank my supporters and team, and especially my family. Thank you, Chicago.
— Paul Vallas (@PaulVallas) April 5, 2023
“Tonight, is the beginning of a Chicago that truly invests in all its people,” Johnson said during his rally.
Crime was the main focus of the election due to the fact that murder rates in Chicago have risen over 20% since 2018. Both Johnson and his rival, Vallas, verbally sparred over the issue several times during their election campaigns.
The current mayor, Lightfoot, has been repeatedly criticized over the way she handled Chicago’s skyrocketing crime rate. Incidentally, she came in third during the election race, behind both Vallas and Johnson, directly indicating how much Chicago had lost faith in her ability to handle the city’s ever-increasing violence.
After his win was announced, Johnson also stated:
“Today the dream is alive… Today we celebrate the revival and the resurrection of the city of Chicago.”
Johnson has called for the expansion of social programs in Chicago, in addition to new taxes. Some of these taxes are, in his own words, designed to make “”suburbs, airlines, and ultra-rich pay their fair share,” in the hopes of generating $800 million in tax revenue.
In a joint statement, the Chicagoland Apartment Association, Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce, Illinois Hotel & Lodging Association, Illinois Manufacturers’ Association, and the Illinois Retail Merchants Association said:
“Brandon Johnson’s extreme tax increase plan would devastate Chicago and cost countless jobs… He would increase taxes on hotels and motels that are still struggling to get through the pandemic, reinstate the employee head tax which charges businesses for each job they create within the city, increase taxes on real estate transactions which would stifle affordable housing development and much more.”