2022 was an interesting year for Pirate Parties across the United States. While our own Pirate Party in Illinois saw our lone congressional candidate suspend the campaign before anything of significance could occur, the Kentucky Pirate Party saw KY-04 congressional candidate Ethan Osborne secure over 10,000 votes. We wanted to take the time out to congratulate Ethan on a well ran campaign, and as a bordering state of Kentucky, know that the Illinois Pirate Party is committed to assisting our neighbors and friends in the KYPP in future campaigns and events.
Illinois, with the loss of our lone candidate, was left with no candidates in 2022. As we move forward with 2023, we focus in on the major election happening in Illinois: the Chicago mayoral and aldermanic races. While this year, once again, the IL Pirate Party is not fielding any candidates for mayor or alderman, we have decided to give our picks for who are the best choices in this batch of mayoral candidates.
In the spirit of voting reform, we wanted to take this opportunity to endorse a new system of voting for, not only the City of Chicago, but in general. While the ILPP endorses a system that allows the candidate to decide which system of voting they’d prefer to advocate for, the Chicagoland Pirate Party, as an entity, shall officially endorse a system of Ranked Choice Voting, or RCV.
We asked our Chicagoland Pirates to rank their top three choices, and provide a quote for why they support that candidate/those candidates. We have taken critiques in mind in the replies, leaving us with the following consensus reviews for each candidate. Using RCV, we ranked the candidates. We’ve come up with our four picks we think Chicagoans should go with for the February 28th election. All these choices are fantastic and any of these candidates would make a fine mayor.
So without further ado, the Chicagoland Pirate Party‘s choices for mayor and why:
Roderick Sawyer (1) – Consensus Top Pick
Roderick Sawyer, an alderman of the last twelve years, has the most relevant qualifications for mayor. He’s a full blooded Chicagoan who practically grew up in City Hall, as he’s the son of former Alderman and Mayor Eugene Sawyer. He’s a candidate who can fight for, because he understands, the needs of his fellow Chicagoans. He’s worked within the belly of the beast for over a decade; invaluable experience that Chicago needs right now. He’s the only candidate who speaks on a neighborhood level; saying we need things such as grocery stores in all 77 community areas. His most Pirate Party aligned position: he wants to get rid of the CPD gang database.
Chicagoans need someone who bleeds Chicago, who can focus our attention away from the divisiveness of U.S. national politics and back to reminding the Second City that we’re second to none.
Jesús “Chuy” García (2)
Chuy was the right pick in 2015, both retrospectively and at the time for many Pirates who could vote for the election. Rahm Emmanuel was not a great mayor for Chicago, and García would’ve been the ideal replacement. However, a lot has since changed. Chuy has since made it to Washington DC, the big leagues, where he’s a fighter for progressive policy and equality for US citizens. But, as a Congressman, his focuses have shifted nationwide. This is not necessarily a bad thing, but other candidates are more Chicago centric if that issue is important to you.
Chuy García has, perhaps, the most impressive resume of all the candidates. He’s worked everywhere from Chicago City Council to County to State to Federal. His name recognition perhaps gives him the edge versus the others in unseating the incumbent mayor.
Ja’Mal Green (3)
Ja’Mal Green has a bright future ahead of him. He’s undeniably wise beyond his years (he’s in his 20’s), and will likely be a face of Chicago politics for years to come. One policy in particular, Ban the Boot, is the same as one of the more appealing policies from the 2019 candidates, Amara Enyia. It’s a great thing to see a candidate highlight the issue again this cycle, and Ja’Mal Green was the lone candidate to do so. Even without Ban the Boot’s return, Green has one of the most comprehensive plans of all the candidates, with particularly good stances in the name of police and housing reform.
Green might not be ready to be mayor of Chicago. Chicago might not be ready to have Green as mayor. But he will be a great leader in the city one day. If you think that day should come in 2023, then feel confident that you’re making a great pick.
Brandon Johnson (4)
Johnson has the qualifications of working in Cook County and Chicago Public Schools. He’s a Progressive who lives in the city, the Austin community area (as he’s often mentioned in debates), and isn’t completely out of tune with Chicagoans. Johnson has the makings of someone that would listen to Chicago, and get things get on a citywide scale.
Johnson would be a fine pick for Mayor.
Don’t forget to vote on February 28th!
Early voting is available as well if you
wanted to vote before the 28th