Laura Washington, ChiElect 2019

Laura Washington's seminars will be held at 12:30 PM on January 10th and 5:30 PM on February 28th.
Washington's candidate discussions will vary in time and date. See below for details.

All IOP Pritzker Fellows Seminars will be held in the IOP Living Room unless otherwise noted. 
All seminars are students only and closed to press/off the record.

On February 26, Chicagoans go to the polls to elect Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s successor. With 21 candidates vying to make the ballot, many more competing in aldermanic races, city clerk and city treasurer, and a handful of ballot initiatives, Chicago voters have dizzying choices. 

Who are the candidates? What are their paths to victory? What coalitions and alliances will form or fall away?

Chicago stands at a political, economic and social crossroad. What are the key issues and challenges facing the city, and how are the candidates addressing them?

We’ll look at gun violence, policing, education, workforce development and the economy, pension reform, affordable housing, and a host of other issues and how they are playing out in the campaigns.  

Who is making a difference? Which candidates are reaching beyond campaign rhetoric to propose real solutions? 

Chicago is one of America’s most diverse—and segregated—cities. How do race, ethnicity class impact the debate? 

We’ll have an opportunity to question the candidates and hear directly from them where they stand on the issues in this series of student-only seminars.

Seminar One (1/10 at 12:30 PM): Chicago 101 | RSVP

Special Guest: Heather Cherone, managing editor and City Hall reporter for The Daily Line

What is the structure of Chicago city government and who is running for what and why?  Chicago has a strong mayor/weak city council style of government, but the balance of power can easily shift – what’s in store for the next mayor? 

What qualifications, skills and alliances will he/she need to meet the city’s myriad challenges? 

What are the city’s immediate concerns?  What’s coming down the road?  We’ll have a brief primer on how Chicago city government functions and what’s ahead.  

Candidate Discussions

Join IOP Pritzker Fellow Laura Washington for mayoral candidate discussions. As part of ChiElect, the IOP has invited all mayoral candidates to discuss their visions for the city and why they are running for Chicago’s head office. Each program is on the record, and students will get a chance to ask the candidates questions.

As a tax-exempt 501(c)(3) organization, the University of Chicago does not support or oppose any candidate for political office. The IOP is providing an equal opportunity for all candidates.

ChiElect: Candidate Paul Vallas – January 14th, 12:30-1:30pm

ChiElect: Candidate Lori Lightfoot – January 22nd, 5:30-6:30pm

ChiElect: Candidate Willie Wilson – January 24th, 3:30-4:30pm

ChiElect: Candidate Gery Chico – January 28th, 12:30-1:30pm

ChiElect: Candidate Bob Fioretti – January 31st, 3:30-4:30pm

ChiElect: Candidate Susana Mendoza - February 7th, 12:30pm-1:30pm

ChiElect: Candidate Amara Enyia - February 14th, 12:30pm-1:30pm

Stay tuned for additional discussions and potential schedule changes!

Seminar Two (2/28 at 5:30 PM): What Just Happened? | RSVP

Chicago voters have spoken – who’s left standing for the April 2nd runoff? What issues emerged as most important to the city’s voters? How will the issues, challenges and strategies change in the second round? What policy and political lessons can we learn from the first round?

What relationships and new alliances formed? What does it all mean for the future of Chicago?