CHICAGO (CBS) – In the hustle of Chicago politics there is only one candidate for mayor who has been a city alderman, a cook county commissioner, and a member of the United States Congress.
Danny Davis, who also was once a Chicago public school teacher, is a politician with close ties to organized labor.
He spoke with those ties in an interview with CBS 2 Chief Correspondent Jay Levine, including whether those ties could be a problem.
Some have suggested the city should privatize garbage collection and perhaps other city services to help cut costs and balance the city budget – moves that undoubtedly would be opposed by labor unions.
“I’m not necessarily a great fan of privatization unless it is going to protect all elements of the system,” Davis said. “I’m not interested in privatization to the extent that you get rid of people who have jobs.”
Instead, Davis said he’d look to attrition and unspecified budget efficiencies, as well as new revenue from the state.
“I’m hoping that, for example, that the state of Illinois will approve the governor’s proposal for an increase in the state income tax, a one-percent increase, that would be very helpful to the city of Chicago,” Davis said.
While saying he welcomes development in Chicago, Davis said he would also put certain requirements on developers.
“There are pockets of desolation, pockets of misery and poverty that didn’t get necessarily the same attention, nor the same opportunity and I think we have to link downtown developement with neighborhood and community development,” Davis said.
How would he do that?
“I think you do it by, just simply, if you got a project here (downtown), you also can develop or fund a project out there,” Davis said. “You must.”
Davis was endorsed by a coalition of African American political, religious and business leaders hoping to come up with a single consensus African-American candidate.
But he still finds himself in the race against candidates like former U.S. Sen. Carol Moseley Braun and State Sen. James Meeks.
“You have to be willing to compromise some of your own thoughts and ideas and say it’s more important to reach the consesnsus or to agree than it is to go my way if the group does not agree with me,” Davis said.
You can watch Davis’ full interview with CBS 2 Chief Correspondent Jay Levine by clicking the video below:
With 20 candidates in the race at this point, Davis said a runoff election is nearly inevitable. A candidate must get a majority of the votes in February’s election to avoid a runoff.
“I find it unlikely that any single candidate will be able to get the 50% plus 1 of the vote,” Davis said.
With former White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel widely seen as the front-runner, Davis was asked what it would take to pose a serious challenge in a runoff.
“I think if one can get 20, 22, 23 percent of the vote (in February), that they’d probable be in a good position,”
According to a new poll commissioned by local retailers, only Emanuel, with 39% support, stands above that threshold.
Next is Carol Moseley Braun at 12% and Gery Chico at 9%. Davis had 7%, but perhaps most significant is that 19% of those polled are still undecided.
Among other interesting findings of the poll, Emanuel had support of just over half of white voters, while all the African-American candidates combined had less than half the African-American vote. Emanuel was the top candidate among African-Americans, as well, with 32% support.