Chicagoans: Vote for Vallas - The American Spectator | USA News and Politics
Chicagoans: Vote for Vallas

Voters today should elect Paul Vallas mayor of Chicago. He is running an anti-crime, pro-school-reform campaign to keep the Windy City from blowing into Lake Michigan.

“Residents in ALL neighborhoods will feel safe,” his website promises. “Suburbanites and tourists will no longer fear traveling downtown.”

This comes not a moment too soon.

According to the latest Chicago Police Department data, the city endured a meltdown in crime while outgoing, humiliated incumbent Democrat Mayor Lori Lightfoot literally danced in the streets.

Here are the Chicago Police Department’s year-to-date crime statistics through April 2 for the Big Seven crimes that law enforcement typically tracks:

2023 vs. 2022

Murder:                               -15%

Criminal sexual assault:        6%

Robbery:                               15%

Aggravated battery:               6%

Burglary:                                 8%

Theft:                                     23%

Vehicle theft:                   133%

Total:                                 46%

This data is far more damning when it confirms the explosion of crime on Lightfoot’s watch:

2023 vs. 2019

Murder:                                33%

Criminal sexual assault:       -1%

Robbery:                                30%

Aggravated battery:               -2%

Burglary:                                -17%

Theft:                                      40%

Vehicle theft:                     258%

Total:                                  62%

No wonder Chicago’s chief executive got crushed in her reelection bid. She landed in third place among eight primary contenders on Feb. 28. With a dismal 16.8 percent of the vote, Lightfoot failed to secure either a contest-ending majority or at least one of the two spots in today’s runoff. (READ MORE: Chicago’s Rampant Crime, Collapsing Schools Dominate Today’s Mayoral Vote)

Thus, Lightfoot made history as Chicago’s first mayor not to win reelection since Jane M. Byrne lost her primary to then-Rep. Harold Washington in April 1983. Lightfoot also was the first-ever black lesbian to crack that glass floor. So, she’s got that going for her.

“Mayor Vallas will treat education like the civil rights issue that it is,” Team Vallas states regarding schools. “ALL families will have access to quality education options, regardless of income or ZIP code.”

Here, again, Vallas has plenty with which to work. The status quo is a landscape of shocking educational failure.

A local think tank ground the numbers from the most recent Illinois State Board of Education Report Card. Wirepoints discovered that 18 Chicago high schools have zero students who are proficient in math and zero who are proficient in reading.

That’s right: None. Not even one young man or young woman can read or compute at grade level on 18 different high school campuses in America’s third-largest city.

This is a total disgrace and a national emergency. Vallas understands this and knows how to respond.

Vallas’ runoff opponent, Brandon Johnson, is offering the opposite of Vallas’ agenda: He wants to defund the police amid this massive crime wave! He also is the personal plaything of the Chicago Teachers Association, the strike-happy union.

Johnson itches to hike taxes, starting with affluent taxpayers and wealthy neighborhoods. This should export even more prosperous Chicagoans to Miami, Naples, Palm Beach, and other places where they would be appreciated and their money would be treated kindly.

If elected, Johnson would make Lori Lightfoot look like Margaret Thatcher. No wonder socialist heartthrob Sen. Bernie Sanders headlined a pro-Johnson get-out-the-vote rally on Thursday.

Decrying “Wall Street” and the “greed of real estate speculators,” Sanders performed his finest Karl Marx impersonation before the huddled masses at the University of Illinois’ local campus. Sanders said: “What this campaign in Chicago is about is bringing the working class together.”

Chicago voters have a rare and urgent opportunity to break with the left-wing, radical Democrats who have turned their once-great city into an urban dystopia. Today offers them the chance to take the Paul Vallas off-ramp. They should follow it to a brighter future.

The alternative: Stay the course and then clam up when they wind up in downtown Hell.

Deroy Murdock is a Manhattan-based Fox News contributor.

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