UChicago to host March 13 Chicago mayoral forum on crime and violence

The Institute of Politics at the University of Chicago, in partnership with the University of Chicago Crime Lab and Harris School of Public Policy , will hold a mayoral candidate’s forum March 13 devoted to the crucial issue of crime and violence.

"Chicago is a tale of two cities," said David Axelrod, director of the Institute of Politics. "Much of our city is safe and prosperous, but some of our neighborhoods are besieged by intolerable levels of crime and violence. We have assembled a thoughtful panel to probe the candidates and, we hope, dig deeper on this grave challenge to our community."

The forum, which will begin at noon at the Reva and David Logan Center for the Arts, will be moderated by Laura Washington, a Chicago Sun-Times columnist and ABC-7 political analyst. It will feature a panel of expert questioners who offer unique perspectives on Chicago crime:

  • Liz Dozier, a former Chicago Public Schools principal and founder and CEO of Chicago Beyond, a social impact investor that backs the fight for youth equity and justice.
  • Charles Ramsey, the former police commissioner of Philadelphia and Washington, D.C. and former deputy superintendent and a 30-year veteran of the Chicago Police Department.
  • Alex Kotlowitz, award-winning journalist, author and documentarian, whose latest book An American Summer: Love and Death in Chicago chronicles the city’s violence through a series of moving, intimate stories.

The forum will begin with a brief overview from Jens Ludwig, director of the Crime Lab and a noted expert on crime and poverty. Nine candidates have agreed to participate in the event should they advance to a runoff in the Feb. 26 election: Gery Chico, Amara Enyia, Bob Fioretti, La Shawn Ford, Jerry Joyce, Lori Lightfoot, Susana Mendoza, Paul Vallas and Willie Wilson. The other candidates have been invited; responses are pending.

"We hope and trust that any candidate who is offering him or herself as the next mayor will seize this opportunity to lay out their plans to address a problem of extraordinary concern to so many of our citizens," Axelrod said.

Details on how to register for this event will be available after the Feb. 26 Chicago mayoral election. The event also will be webcast live.

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