CHICAGO (CBS) — With less than a week until the runoff election, Mayor Rahm Emanuel picked up more endorsements from black leaders on Wednesday, including from a state lawmaker who a year ago accused the mayor of failing the city on violent crime.

Among the black lawmakers throwing their support behind Emanuel was state Rep. Ken Dunkin (D-Chicago), who just months ago was highly critical of the mayor and Chicago Police Department over gun violence.

However, Dunkin said Emanuel is doing a better job since then, and he questioned challenger Jesus “Chuy” Garcia’s agenda.

“Yes, I have been critical, but I think it’s proven the mayor has grown. I’ve grown. We see things a little differently, and quite frankly, I don’t know what Chuy’s plan is,” he said.

Last April, Dunkin accused Emanuel of failing the city on gun violence, and said he should fire Police Supt. Garry McCarthy.

Dunkin said he thinks the mayor is doing a better job of engaging the community in the months since he ripped Emanuel for failing to live up to his 2011 campaign promise to hire 1,000 more police officers, and questioned the accuracy of Police Department data showing historic drops in crime.

“You see him engage a little differently; better. He’s out in the communities. I think he’s listening. This is my opinion. He’s listening better. He is approaching the city, approaching his work … much better than he was, I would say, several years ago,” Dunkin said Wednesday.

Emanuel acknowledged he’s concerned with the latest numbers on shootings and murders – which both are up in the first three months of the year.

“Yes, homicides are up and shootings are up. Gun seizures are up. We’ve seized guns more by 20 to 25 percent. Overall crime is down,” he said.

The mayor said he and lawmakers must work to keep more guns off the streets.

He also touted his accomplishments on redevelopment of the South Side and West Side – including construction of a new $251 million campus for Malcolm X College. The new campus is part of a program to overhaul the community college to prepare students for careers in health care and pharmaceuticals.

“We’re rebuilding right now on the West Side. Malcolm X, it’s going to be the premier healthcare school, and that’s why we brought the industry in, and like Red Line South, Malcolm X, people from the neighborhood and community are actually working on that project, getting their first chance at a trade,” Emanuel said.

Challenger Chuy Garcia says Mayor Emanuel must bear responsibility for the rise in the city’s shootings and the homicide rate because for one, the police force isn’t big enough.

“Cuts in police staffing levels have hammered the ranks of detectives in the Chicago Police Department,” Garcia said. “These are the men and women who investigate the shootings.”

Garcia spoke outside Chicago Police 12th District headquarters. He insists his ideas for fighting crime are not all about numbers.

“Community policing… essential to it,” Garcia said. “Having the right number of officers, a better number of officers, of course. But it also includes teaching young people conflict resolution.”

He says he will find the money to do it all.

Mayor Emanuel sat down with CBS 2 Chief Correspondent Jay Levine in a one-on-one interview at CBS 2. Chuy Garcia’s people said no to the interview, saying his schedule was jammed.

In a new TV ad that started airing Wednesday, Emanuel admits he can do better.

“I’m trying to be honest and straightforward, Jay in same way that for you and for me and for everybody, your strengths are your weaknesses and when you make a mistake, I am not looking to pass the buck, I own them,” Emanuel said. “That is part of being responsible and accountable. I am saying that upfront in the same way that we are a great city, we can even be better. There are things I have to work on to be the mayor I want to be the mayor if I ask for their vote they expect.”

Asked about criticism from Garcia about being too confrontational, Emanuel said, “I will never apologize for fighting for our children. Are there always ways to do it a slightly different way? You [Levine] can do any story different also from a different perspective. I can do things differently and I’m owning up to that.”

The latest polls have shown Emanuel with a healthy lead over challenger Garcia. A Chicago Tribune poll this week showed Emanuel leading Garcia 58 percent to 30 percent, with 9 percent of voters undecided. A weekly Ogden & Fry poll had Emanuel leading the race 58 percent to 42 percent; or 48 percent to 34 percent if undecided was an option, with 18 percent of voters undecided.