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Amara Enyia becomes 11th candidate for Chicago Mayor

Crusader Staff Report

Amara Enyia, a West Side lawyer and activist has entered the race for mayor of Chicago, becoming the 11th candidate to challenge incumbent Mayor Rahm Emanuel.

In 2015, Enyia ran for mayor, but dropped out of the race and endorsed then Alderman Bob Fioretti.

Enyia, 35, lives in Garfield Park. She is the director of the Austin Chamber of Commerce. One of six children, her parents emigrated from Nigeria.

Other candidates running for mayor include former Police Board president and onetime federal prosecutor Lori Lightfoot, former Chicago Public Schools CEO Paul Vallas, former Chicago police Superintendent Garry McCarthy, millionaire businessman Willie Wilson, activist Ja’Mal Green, Cook County Circuit Court Clerk Dorothy Brown, Chicago principals’ association President Troy LaRaviere, tech entrepreneur Neal Sales-Griffin, attorney John Kozlar and pharmaceutical technician and DePaul student Matthew Roney.

On her website, Enyia said she supports a community benefits agreement for residents, seeking to protect residents from being displaced in their communities.

According to Enyia’s website, “The City of Chicago deserves a bold, transformative plan focused on a vision for Chicago where all communities thrive. This people-centered plan prioritizes innovative ideas that move us forward, a commitment to equitable economic investment, a robust small business environment, quality education for all, an end to corruption, and an emphasis on strategies that build generational wealth. Amara has both the government level experience and grassroots experience and understanding to get it done.”

Enyia holds bachelor’s degrees in journalism and political science and a master’s degree in education, a law degree, and a Ph.D. in Education Policy. She serves as a public policy consultant both nationally and internationally. According to her website, she has spearheaded small and large-scale development projects, drafted and had legislation passed at both the city and state level, and pioneered new strategies that facilitate balanced growth and stronger communities across Chicago. The following is a list of platform ideas:

  • A Public Bank for Chicago – to generate hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue for the city, eliminate hundreds of millions of dollars in interest rate costs and fees currently paid to private banks, reduce corruption, and guarantee more responsible use of funds to promote economic growth.
  • A Cooperative City – Cooperative enterprises are about collective ownership and sharing resources in communities. Make Chicago the #1 city in the country for cooperative enterprises that promote a stronger business climate, drive down unemployment, promote entrepreneurship, and build community wealth.
  • Community Benefits Agreements – Ensure that the community’s voice is represented in development projects from the outset and recognize the importance of making sure that developments are aligned with community vision.
  • Target private investment to neighborhood-based development projects and support with public funding.
  • Fiscal responsibility – end bad bank deals, sweetheart deals, and policies that end up costing taxpayers more money in the long run.
  • Strengthen Inspector General’s office with expanded oversight power.
  • Increase the Restorative Justice as Violence Prevention – Expand implementation of restorative justice models in communities and schools as a violence prevention and community building strategy.
  • Increase the number of community hearings and presentations on key city issues and move key meetings like CPS school board meetings and budget hearings into neighborhoods and at reasonable hours that allow for public attendance.

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