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Mayoral Candidates Discuss Healthy Schools

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Chicago Mayoral Candidates Gery Chico, Carol Moseley Braun, Miguel del Valle, Rahm Emanuel, Patricia Van Pelt Watkins and William "Dock" Walls

(Clockwise from top left) Chicago mayoral candidates Gery Chico, Carol Moseley Braun, Miguel del Valle, Rahm Emanuel, Patricia Van Pelt Watkins and William “Dock” Walls (Credit: CBS)

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CHICAGO (CBS/WBBM) – At a forum to discuss making public schools healthier on Friday, the candidates for mayor touched on a number of other issues facing Chicago Public Schools, as well as the race for mayor itself.

As WBBM Newsradio 780’s John Cody reports, candidate William “Dock” Walls said public school students need better food in their school lunches. He proposed forming a public/private partnership to build grocery stores every 1.25 miles so mothers won’t end up food shopping for whatever food they can find at the closest gas station.

LISTEN: Newsradio 780’s John Cody reports

Patricia Van Pelt-Watkins said schools should have indoor recess so kids can be kept inside to keep them safe from gangs, while still having time to play and get some exercise.

City Clerk Miguel del Valle called for a longer school day that would allow more than 20 minutes for lunch, in addition to recess.

Gery Chico, former president of the Chicago Board of Education, said that, during his tenure, the school day was lengthened at Chicago Public Schools and that it can and should be done again. He said doing so would provide more time for kids to play and prevent obesity, which he said is an increasing problem among CPS students.

Carol Moseley Braun also called for higher quality food for school kids. Meantime, she said she had her first two television ads ready to go, but hasn’t decided when they’ll go on the air.

She disagreed with observers who have said she hasn’t raised enough money to advertise on TV.

Chico denied claims that he’d started running negative ads, defending his spots criticizing Rahm Emanuel’s plans to tax luxury services in Chicago.

Emanuel has refused to specify what his “luxury tax” proposal would apply to.

Chico has claimed the tax would apply to haircuts, car washes and hiring service workers like plumbers.

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