The Daily Northwestern

Mayoral, aldermanic candidates discuss police violence, affordable housing

Mayoral+candidates+Mark+Tendam+%28left%29%2C+Jeff+Smith+%28center%29+and+Gary+Gaspard+%28right%29+talk+Thursday+night+at+an+election+forum+at+Chute+Middle+School%2C+1400+Oakton+St.+The+forum+was+intended+to+increase+awareness+about+mayoral+and+aldermanic+candidates+ahead+of+the+upcoming+elections.
Mayoral candidates Mark Tendam (left), Jeff Smith (center) and Gary Gaspard (right) talk Thursday night at an election forum at Chute Middle School, 1400 Oakton St. The forum was intended to increase awareness about mayoral and aldermanic candidates ahead of the upcoming elections.

Mayoral candidates Mark Tendam (left), Jeff Smith (center) and Gary Gaspard (right) talk Thursday night at an election forum at Chute Middle School, 1400 Oakton St. The forum was intended to increase awareness about mayoral and aldermanic candidates ahead of the upcoming elections.

Jeffrey Wang/Daily Senior Staffer

Jeffrey Wang/Daily Senior Staffer

Mayoral candidates Mark Tendam (left), Jeff Smith (center) and Gary Gaspard (right) talk Thursday night at an election forum at Chute Middle School, 1400 Oakton St. The forum was intended to increase awareness about mayoral and aldermanic candidates ahead of the upcoming elections.

Zoe Miller, Reporter

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.


Email This Story






Evanston mayoral and aldermanic candidates discussed police violence, racial equality and affordable housing at a forum held Thursday to increase voter awareness ahead of the upcoming election.

The forum, held at Chute Middle School, 1400 Oakton St., was hosted by the Organization for Positive Action and Leadership of Evanston, a group aiming to educate voters and encourage civic engagement. Three aldermanic candidates and all five mayoral candidates attended the forum.

Though candidates disagreed on some topics, most expressed support for expanding affordable housing in Evanston. According to a city report from 2012, at least 10 percent of Evanston’s population is either homeless or at risk of becoming homeless.

“If we want to continue to have diversity in our community, we have to pay more attention to how we’re addressing (affordability),” mayoral candidate Steve Hagerty said.

The candidates spent most of the time answering audience questions, which ranged from racial equality to police misconduct.

Ald. Brian Miller (9th), a mayoral candidate, said he has long called for police reform. Earlier this month, Miller pushed the city to release a video depicting the arrest of Lawrence Crosby, a Northwestern graduate student who in 2015 was arrested in connection with stealing a car that turned out to be his own.

The video has since gone viral and sparked a debate over proper police procedure and racial bias in Evanston.

Mayoral candidate Gary Gaspard also addressed police misconduct and said he would make community relations with police one of his top priorities.

But Jeff Smith (Weinberg ’77) — who is also running for mayor — said he did not support additional policies to prevent police misconduct. He said incidents of police wrongdoing are not representative of the Evanston police as a whole.

In 2016, police received 17 formal complaints out of 109,000 interactions, Police Chief Richard Eddington told The Daily in an interview last week. It found police wrongdoing in three of them.

“Compared to other departments, we’re definitely one of the better departments,” Smith said.

Many forum attendees’ questions reflected anxiety over President Donald Trump’s impending policy agenda. One audience member asked the mayoral candidates how they would deal with potential threats to women’s rights.

Trump campaigned as a pro-life candidate and on Monday signed a memorandum that bans U.S. aid to any group that promotes abortion abroad.

In Evanston, all the mayoral candidates expressed support for reproductive rights.

“We certainly want to be a safe harbor for women who choose to exercise their right to carry or not carry a child,” said Ald. Mark Tendam (6th), a mayoral candidate.

First Ward aldermanic candidate Lee Cabot (Kellogg ’86) applauded Evanston’s efforts to remain an open and welcoming city and pledged to expand those efforts as alderman.

“I was proud of Evanston for staying true to our values,” she said, referring to City Council passing a “welcoming city” ordinance in November. “Most of us have been horribly disheartened by the federal election. But what a lot of us have said is, ‘I can double down locally.’ … That’s a way that we can say ‘stop’ to things that don’t align with our values.”

Email: zoemiller2020@u.northwestern.edu

Comments