NBC5 Chicago // TV Broadcast // Nov. 20, 2018
SAMBOLIN – From violence to education, there are many issues facing Chicago’s next mayor and the field is so crowded among those looking to run the city. Joining us this morning is mayoral candidate Gery Chico. Thank you for joining us this morning. We appreciate it. I want to dive in quickly here to what’s new and what’s happening right now. That’s the shooting at Mercy Hospital. I know that you have supported police and increasing police and this appears to be a domestic violence issue. How do you feel about what has happened today in the news?
CHICO – First of all, my wife Sunny and I are very, very sad and send our condolences to Officer Jimenez, Dr. O’Neal and the pharmacy technician who were killed. We have to grieve first and then we can talk about the causes of this but it just goes to show you the danger inherent in the job of being a police officer. We owe them a great deal of gratitude for what they do. they protect us and god only knows if they weren’t there yesterday how much worse this could have been if that gunman had made his way into the hospital further
SAMBOLIN – That’s absolutely true. I think everybody gets to breathe a collective sigh of relief knowing they were headed in that direction and unfortunately, the police officer who was shot wasn’t even called there. He went on his own.
CHICO – That’s what they do.
SAMBOLIN — That is what they do. Let’s switch gears and talk about this mayoral race. It is a very crowded field, depending on the day, we’re at 18 candidates, I believe. You have a long history of being a public servant in this city. You have served a lot in education as well. I’m curious, as we look at this really long list of mayoral candidates or hopefuls, in this crowded field, how do you stand out there?
CHICO – I think there’s only three or four candidates that really have the wherewithal, Zoraida? SAMBOLIN – Who do you think they are?
CHICO – I don’t know yet. That’s why they call it a campaign. It’s got to develop a little bit. We’ll have the resources and the record. The record informs everybody is going to talk about what they are going to do. Some people are in the top tier haven’t done anything that’s remotely close to what the job of mayor is about. Whether that’s public safety, whether that’s education, whether that’s economic development and community development. My record over many, many years says to people that when I say I’m going to do something about developing a community like North Lawndale or rebuild schools or repurpose schools or hire people, I can prove that I’ve done it before and that’s most likely the best predictor of what you’re going to do in the future. SAMBOLIN – You’ve thrown your hat in the ring before and you’ve not had success yet. What is your strategy this time changing?
CHICO – In 2011, I was the only person to challenge Rahm Emanuel. There was a lineup of people for him. he looked invincible. I thought it was important that the citizens of the city have choices. I raised nearly $5 million, got about 25% of the vote and I’ll tell you right now, if I did that again, I’ll be in the runoff.
SAMBOLIN – I know you ended up supporting him in his reelection bid.
CHICO – Yes, you know why? Because it’s about the city it’s not about us as individuals. I could have easily chosen to keep fighting him and talk about my agenda. But it’s about what is best for the people of this city. When I collaborated with him to bring S.T.E.M. partners into Chicago Public High Schools, it’s not about me. It’s about what we can do for people and what’s best for the students of Chicago Public High Schools.
SAMBOLIN – Let’s talk a little bit about what you would do differently. We know that you do align yourself a little bit with Mayor Emanuel. That is who would be leaving office. What would be different as far as your priorities?
CHICO – I think my depth of having lived in all the neighborhoods of the city, McKinley Park, Rogers Park, Brighton Park, Back of the Yards, has me knowing the people of Chicago to a deeper level. My experience in having run the Chicago Public Schools, the City of Chicago, the city colleges, the Chicago Park District, the State Boards of Education all give me a depth of experience that will allow me to hit the ground running on day one of that job. We have no time to waste in this job. You can’t learn on this job.
SAMBOLIN – One last thing before we go. It was a poll that came out Global Strategies Group. It shows if the election were right now it would be Toni Preckwinkle and Susanna Mendoza.
CHICO – Well that’s Mendoza’s poll, first of all. I wasn’t even included and this is not about retail name i.d. it’s about who raises the resources to bring their message to the voters, which we will do and who will do the best job on day one for the citizens of this city.
SAMBOLIN – Gery Chico, thank you for coming in.