February 24, 2023
At 27 years old, Ja’Mal Green is the youngest candidate on the mayoral ballot. The self-described “neighborhood advocate,” who grew up on the South and West side, also ran for mayor in 2019. Green has worked as a surrogate on Bernie Sanders’ presidential campaigns.
Green’s activism began in the aftermath of Laquan McDonald’s death at the hand of police officer Jason Van Dyke.
In 2020, Green protested against lending disparities between Chicago’s Black and white neighborhoods at JP Morgan Chase, who eventually pledged a $150 million investment in the South and West sides.
Currently, he is the president of homeownership nonprofit ‘My Turn To Own.’
Green told WTTW that he is “uniquely qualified” to be mayor based on his experience. “I’ve done the work without the fancy title, and that’s the person that needs the job.”
Crime and Public Safety
Green’s three part public safety plan proposes “holistic solutions” of economic investment to prevent crime, emergency response teams and reform to the Chicago Police Department to make policing “more attractive.”
Instead of sending the police, Green plans to hire more social workers and have them respond to calls regarding mental health. Green would also create a city app that would show where crime was happening, similar to the app ‘Citizen,’ using data sourced from CPD.
Green would also increase the number of detectives to improve rates of unsolved crime. To make policing more appealing as a job, Green proposes changing to a 4 day, 12 hour work schedule and reducing cancelled days off.
“We have neighborhoods all across our city that are suffering from the lack of economic investment for so many years,” Green said.
Green has proposed a publicly-owned bank, called “Bank of Chicago,” that would provide loans for developments, housing and small businesses to provide, “an alternative to predatory lenders.”
“This is a city’s bank for the people, by the people and invested back into the people.” Green told the Chicago Sun-Times. We’re taking a risk on creating new homeowners, on creating affordable housing, on opening small businesses. That’s the only way we can start to see a reduction in violence. This is how you create a new property tax base.”
Green’s public safety plan includes a “Prosperity Push Pilot,” which would give $1,000 monthly checks to people living below the poverty line for a year.
Green has said that “we need to attack what’s really going on on our public transit system, and that’s gonna be making sure they’re safe, clean and fast.”
Green’s public safety plan includes installing live cameras and creating “Transit Peace Keepers,” armed and unarmed groups that would patrol the CTA.
To address homelessness on public transportation, Green has proposed having social services do case management on the trains.
He would also employ cleaning staff at each station and implement a regular cleaning schedule for the trains.
Green’s plan includes creating a job program for veterans and formerly incarcerated people to address staffing shortages within the CTA.
Green has said that one of the first things he will do in office is “get rid of the waste and the privatization” in Chicago Public Schools and increase union jobs.
Green told the Tribune that he supports a ban on closing public schools with declining enrollment, and he would work with school board and unions.