ENDORSEMENT: Susana Mendoza for mayor

ENDORSEMENT: Susana Mendoza for mayor

By Editorial Board

With the mayoral election coming up on Tuesday, Feb. 26, college students are looking at a field full of candidates making big promises. Most are progressives whose policies line up fairly well with our interests and passions. Their websites are full of brief stances written in traditional, mostly-empty political language we’ve seen time and time again during every election cycle. Though we feel that Amara Enyia or Lori Lightfoot would make a fine mayor compared to the plethora of candidates, Susana Mendoza is the standout, and The Chronicle is proud to endorse her.

Mendoza has served as a state representative, city clerk and comptroller over the past two decades, and she has the leadership qualities necessary to empower Chicagoans across the board. She is Illinois’ first Hispanic person elected to statewide office and was the first female city clerk. As comptroller, she introduced and pushed for three bills to push for government transparency in spending, hiring and budgeting. These actions have increased accountability and set the stage for a more honest government.

Though Mendoza, like many other candidates, has had ties to the Burke family and has received backlash for their relationship, she has done enough to distance herself and make it clear that corruption scandals are unacceptable. She called for Ald. Ed Burke’s (14th Ward) resignation from the Finance Committee and has routinely pushed for financial reform in Chicago. Voters have trusted her before, and we can trust her again.

Chicago needs a mayor who can represent the people who live here. She may not be the highest-funded candidate in the race, but it is clear that she will fight for women, people of color and the LGBTQ community throughout her term as mayor. She has been on the side of the oppressed with her support of marriage equality as early as 2005, long before many other progressives ever did. She will be proactive in solving the unique problems these communities face.

As college students, artists and advocates, we care about the future of Chicago. The city must become a place that doesn’t disproportionately force out low-income residents and people of color due to taxation, food deserts, lack of education and violence. Police must be held accountable and exist to serve communities, not terrorize them. The financial crisis and debt burden must be alleviated. Above all, we want the corruption that permeates local government to end so we can achieve these critical goals. For that to happen, we need a strong leader who is willing to combat it.

It’s clear that she takes this push for accountability and transparency seriously, as she has done due diligence to make every detail of her plan for the mayor’s office easily accessible and visible to the public. There is more information about her specific goals and plans on her website than any other candidate’s. Reformation in the government, for Mendoza, is not just a buzzword to throw around; this is apparent in the very way she’s chosen to run her campaign. Mendoza’s candidacy is a strong stand against a corrupt government that has run rampant in Chicago for decades, and her election will be the push needed for that culture to end.