WEST ENGLEWOOD — Candidates running for 17th Ward alderman proposed a number of ways to address unemployment on the South Side, including launching a call center and building an airport.
Englewood Votes! on Saturday presented the Englewood Political Symposium at Lindblom Math and Science Academy, 6130 S. Wolcott Ave. on Saturday. Throughout the day, candidates from the 17th Ward, 6th Ward, 15th Ward, 16th Ward, and 20th Ward participated in individual forums for their ward.
With 17th Ward Ald. Latasha Thomas not seeking a re-election, the seat is open.
David Moore, a Cook County Board of Review staff member, said that he supports the South Suburban Airport project. The state of Illinois has acquired land in Will County, which includes some of Peotone, Beecher and Monee.
Moore said that another airport in the Chicago area is needed and it will create jobs for people on all skill levels.
He said getting people, especially young people, into training programs now will prepare them for jobs if the project is successful.
The candidate also said that getting small businesses to work closely with city Treasurer Kurt Summers is crucial.
“We have to have a real economic plan for our community that encompasses the community, so you have to have to get the community involved,” Moore said.
Bishop James Dukes of Liberation Christian Center, 7400 S. Michigan Ave., said developing a call center over the next three years is what the South Side needs. He said it could serve companies like State Farm and Southwest Airlines.
“A lot of those jobs get outsourced and so that creates job development right here in the ward, Dukes said. He said the call center would create between 400 and 500 jobs.
“We must create jobs because we can’t continually wait for these large corporations to come and do business with us,” Dukes said.
Challenger Glenda Franklin is endorsed by the Rev. Michael Pfleger, the pastor of St. Sabina Church. She said her focus is helping young people gain real work skills.
She said not everyone will go to college, so she proposed a program that would offer local youths trade union apprenticeships.
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