Surrounded by a broad coalition of community members, colleagues, and friends Toni Preckwinkle kicked off her campaign for Mayor at the Chicago Lake Shore Hotel in Hyde Park where both Mayor Harold Washington and then State Senator Barack Obama kicked off their historic campaigns.
Former Obama White House Senior Adviser Valerie Jarrett has thrown her support behind Preckwinkle.
“I am proud to announce my support of Toni Preckwinkle’s historic mayoral run. When I announced that I would not run for mayor, I said I would support the candidate who I determine will best serve our city. Toni is the candidate who has a proven track record of strengthening access to affordable health care, confronting violence in our city, and reforming our criminal justice system. To tackle Chicago’s biggest challenges we need to work together, and I believe Toni is best positioned to help unify Chicago at this important time.”
Preckwinkle sharing the stage with community members, emphasized her experience as a teacher and a public servant when discussing the need for the next Mayor to understand and prioritize Chicago’s diverse neighborhoods. She focused on more equitable education, more accountable policing and more targeted economic investment.
“I’m running for mayor because I want to bring opportunities not just to downtown but real investment to the neighborhoods that have been ignored,” said Preckwinkle. “I want to ensure that every Chicagoan has access to a solid education, feels safe and are thinking about their futures not worried about their present. I know that I can do something to make that hope a reality for all of our mothers, fathers, grandparents, aunts, and uncles who are worried yet feel powerless or ignored.”
Progressive State Senator Omar Aquino, Second District, was present also to support Preckwinkle’s mayoral bid.
“Chicago is at a crucial time that calls for a progressive leader like Toni Preckwinkle, who is rooted in a new coalition which crosses gender, race, age, and geography. She understands the values of our city and reflects the diversity of its residents and communities and will bring that into the Mayor’s office.”
When elected, Toni Preckwinkle will make history by becoming the first African American woman mayor for the City of Chicago. Preckwinkle is also distinguished by the unparalleled experience she would bring to the office. Preckwinkle has worked as a high school teacher, served in in Harold Washington’s administration, and represented the 4th Ward City Hall as an Alderman for almost 20 years. Currently serving her second term as Cook County Board President, strengthened access to affordable healthcare, reformed the criminal justice system, particularly and instituted a new regional collaboration focused on economic development.
“I first ran for office because I knew that I had a strong vision for how to make a difference and that I was willing to work harder than anyone else to make it a reality. The same belief motivates me today – my passion and commitment to help improve the lives for all Chicagoans,“ added Preckwinkle. “I’m running for mayor because I want to bring an end to the tale of two cities and unite us as one Chicago.”