February 24, 2023
Mayoral candidate and self-described “pro-business progressive” Kambium Elijah “Kam” Buckner has represented Illinois’ 26th district since 2019, and also worked as an aide to Illinois Democratic Sen. Dick Durbin.
Buckner grew up in South Side Chicago and has a law degree from DePaul University College of Law.
Buckner told the Chronicle that the main reason he is running for mayor is to bring a true commitment to prioritizing public safety to City Hall.
Crime and Public Safety
Buckner’s public safety plan is designed to accomplish four key objectives: lower the murder rate, increase the clearance rate, repair the rift between communities and police officers, and restore morale and accountability.
His administration would work to strengthen the existing public safety and justice structures in place, foster collaboration among law enforcement and the communities they serve, increase violence prevention investment, provide support for our first responders and solve more crimes.
Buckner told the Chronicle his administration would work to make Chicago “an economic powerhouse” through an economic opportunity platform. He intends to do so by supporting the business community, giving more opportunities to small businesses in neighborhoods throughout the city and providing support for workers citywide.
His comprehensive housing platform would reform the Real-Estate Transfer Tax, bolster city-level structures to manage housing, appoint a cabinet-level position that is directly responsible for affordable housing and create new housing options across the city.
“Housing is a human right, and addressing the city’s housing crisis is crucial,” Buckner said.
Buckner’s public transportation plan will make key investments in the CTA like electrifying the bus fleet and improving the reliability of trains and buses. He also proposed building non-automobile infrastructure and a completely connected and protected bike grid.
“Ghost buses run rampant, security is lacking and schedules are inconsistent; these issues lead to a myriad of other problems,” he said.
His education plan addresses decades of underfunding and lack of resourcing that Buckner has led to a decline in CPS enrollment.
“It’s a vicious cycle, and students in the district who go to our neighborhood schools, who are primarily Black and Brown and low-income, are the ones who bear the brunt of the impact.”