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Kenwood Academy High School at 5015 S. Blackstone was the site of yet another round of questioning of Mayoral candidates who will be facing each other in the April 4, 2023 runoff election. Saturday March 18, audience members listened as Journalist Maudlyne Ihejirika and retired judge the Honorable Travis Richardson fired off questions on the issues pertinent to Chicago voters. Here Commissioner Brandon Johnson and Former CPS CEO Paul Vallas answer the question posed by Maudlyne Ihejirika regarding their plans to insure environmental justice across all of Chicago's neighborhoods. Factory air pollution, lack of trash pickup, old rusty plumbing in homes, lead paint, mold, asbestos and other signs of neglect , particularly in lower income neighborhoods, affect the health of residents, causing everything from increased asthma to slow poisoning from poor quality drinking water.
Candidates Paul Vallas and Brandon Johnson take a minute, after addressing issues on education, criminal justice, policing, public safety, business, employment and environmental justice to make their final appeals to voters to convince them that Chicago will be better under their leadership. Both sought to remind voters of their record of achievements on behalf of Chicago citizens. Brandon Johnson spoke of his leadership on the Cook County Board of Commissioners, advocating for better mental health care and Paul Vallas poin tedout new schools built during his time as CEO of Chicago Public Schools and his ability to operate within a balanced budget. Both candidates continue to gain endorsements from prominent leaders and influential organizations representing various races, ethnicities, and communities as they seek to build momentum up to election day.
Audience members at Kenwood Academy High School listened for distinct differences in the Candidates' approach to creating a safe, healthy, progressive Chicago. Photo by Parthenia Luke
Cook County Commissioner Brandon Johnson receives an endorsement from Rev. Jesse L. Jackson Sr. for Mayor of the City of Chicago at a press conference held Friday March 17th at the National Headquarters of the Rainbow PUSH Coalition, 930 E. 50th Street in Chicago. Photo by Marcus Robinson.
"I am deeply honored to receive this endorsement from Reverend Jesse Jackson Sr., a mentor and a friend," stated Cook County Commissioner Brandon Johnson. "He is an icon of our movement, a champion for impoverished and disenfranchised people, and I am humbled to have his support for my candidacy for mayor of the city we both love and call home." Friday's endorsement at Rainbow PUSH was attended by many community leaders and activists who have pledged their support for Commissioner Brandon Johnson for Mayor. Newly elected First Congressional District Congressman Jonathan Jackson had endorsed Johnson's candidacy before the first election.
While many expected voters to be divided along racial lines, clearly the loyalties to the both candidates stretch across racial, ethnic, neighborhood and even generational differences, with both candidates getting their share of endorsements from black and white prominent leaders. Congressman and former Mayoral candidate Jesus Chuy Garcia endorsed Brandon Johnson while former Mayoral candidate and activist Ja'Mal Green announced he was supporting Paul Vallas.
"I'm honored to earn the support of Congressman Garcia and grateful for the opportunity to join our coalitions together to build a safer, stronger Chicago," stated Commissioner Johnson.
VALPARAISO, Ind. - Jill Biden, first lady of the U.S. came to to view the program at Ivy Tech Community College and encourage students to continue preparing themselves with the skills that are in high demand in today's technologically advanced society. Arriving with her were U.S. Deputy Secretary of Labor Julie Su and U.S. Deputy Secretary of Energy David Turk. Joining them and speaking on the program were U.S. Rep Frank Mrvan D-Highland, Indiana; Sue Ellspermann, president of Ivy Tech Community College; and Lane Seibert, an Ivy Tech Community College student who introduced Dr. Jill Biden. Photo by John L. Alexander
Dr. Biden met with faculty, students and a graduate of the college’s energy technology department. In the photo, she speaks to a a student who immigrated from Chad before coming to Indiana and studying renewable energy at Ivy Tech Community College. He said he is expected to graduate in May and his goal is to one day found his own company.
Mike Jones, Ivy Tech adjunct faculty, told her that the local utility NIPSCO has a policy that guarantees their students job interviews. Then, Dr. Biden spoke with the chair of the college’s renewable energy program. He said that Indiana has one of the fastest growing renewable energy grids in the country. Photo by John L. Alexander.
Students involved in a number of projects were waiting to meet Dr. Biden and explained what they are learning. Dr. spoke with Oliver Wood, a high school sophomore, who is taking classes at both Ivy Tech Community College and Chesterton High School. Oliver Wood gave a demonstration of a wind turbine simulator, before Dr. Biden addressed the gathering.
"This is so exciting,” Biden said while speaking with students in the renewable energy program. “This is the future.” The students then gave Dr. Biden a demonstration of a solar energy system simulator. "You are our future," she told them. Photo by John L. Alexander.
In her remarks, First Lady Dr. Jill Biden reiterated the commitment that the Biden Administration has demonstrated in the creation of jobs in America. In the President's State of the Union Address last month, President Joe Biden stated that community colleges provide the “best career training in America,” and highlighted the millions of jobs that the Biden-Harris Administration has created, such as jobs in growing sectors like infrastructure, clean energy, and manufacturing through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, CHIPS and Science Act, and Inflation Reduction Act. Photo by John L. Alexander
Ivy Tech has over 8,000 registered apprentices who will be earning associates degrees from Ivy Tech Community College, stated its President Sue Ellspermann. The school also focuses on serving high school students in its programs and maintains partnerships with businesses in order to offer internships to its students. Ivy Tech is currently serving nearly 175,000 students and is heavily involved in training students for new jobs.
Jobs in manufacturing, infrastructure and clean energy are available right now, as the Biden Administration continues to rebuild the middle class with emphasis on developing technology in America, Dr. Biden told the gathering at Ivy Tech. Students will be prepared to earn a lving and make a life for themselves with the skills they are acquiring at this school, she said, urging other community colleges to follow Ivy Tech's lead.
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