Abortion Rights PAC Backs Johnson, While 3 City Council Members Back Vallas – NBC Chicago

Endorsement wars continued Tuesday in the race for mayor of Chicago, with Paul Vallas lining up support from three more pro-police members of the City Council and Brandon Johnson getting help from women supporting abortion rights and an organization that champions reproductive rights.

Throughout the mayoral campaign, rival candidates have attempted to paint Vallas as an anti-abortion Republican who is a threat to women’s rights.

Vallas insists he is a “lifelong Democrat.” He ran for governor and lieutenant governor as a Democrat. He tied his personal opposition to abortion to his Greek Orthodox faith while affirming his public support for a woman’s right to choose.

“Personal religious conviction is unrelated to my public position supporting women’s reproductive rights. It’s like asking Joe Biden as a Catholic, ‘Are you for abortion?’ Or [asking] Rich Daley or John Kennedy,” Vallas told the Sun-Times last month.

Sarah Garza Resnick, CEO of Personal PAC, doesn’t buy that explanation.

“In a post-Roe world, this race is too important. After meeting with both Mr. Vallas and Commissioner Johnson, it is clear to us that Brandon Johnson is the only candidate who will protect and champion reproductive rights in Chicago,” Resnick was quoted as saying in a news release.

“We were troubled by Paul Vallas’ failure to comment at all for months following the leaked Supreme Court decision to overturn Roe v. Wade. Further, we take him at his word — based on his own statement that he fundamentally opposes abortion — that we cannot trust him to protect our reproductive rights.”

Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s 2023 budget includes $3 million for “reproductive services” tied to the influx of women coming to Chicago for abortions outlawed in their home states.

Johnson has vowed to maintain that level of funding and increase it if needed. He also promised to “use city resources to ensure the security of abortion clinics” in Chicago.

Tuesday, he also was endorsed by former U.S. Sen. Carol Moseley Braun and state Sen. Mattie Hunter. A “Women’s Rally for Brandon” is scheduled for 3 p.m. Saturday at the Johnny Miller Center, 2622 W. Jackson.

Johnson will also pick up the endorsement of Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul on Wednesday, with Raoul participating in a number of lawsuits seeking to protect abortion access in the state.

“Abortion is health care. Reproductive health must be an integral part of any health program, and my administration will ensure a full range of reproductive health services are available and accessible to all,” Johnson was quoted as saying.

“It’s an honor to receive the support of Personal PAC, an organization that has stood at the forefront of reproductive justice for more than three decades,” Johnson said.

Vallas picked up endorsements from three Hispanic alderpersons who are among the police union’s biggest City Council supporters: 23rd Ward Ald. Silvana Tabares; retiring 30th Ward Ald. Ariel Reboyras, a former Public Safety Committee chair; and 31st Ward Ald. Felix Cardona Jr.

Tabares pointed to Vallas’ law-and-order platform, which includes filling 1,700 police vacancies, taking the handcuffs off demoralized officers, ending merit promotions and replacing departing Supt. David Brown with an insider and sweeping out Brown’s entire leadership team.

“With a wife who is a police officer, Paul Vallas understands that the police — they’re spread too thin and are overworked and overburdened, given the 12-hour days and canceled days off. We share the same vision when it comes to investing in recruitment and training. When it comes to public safety and police, Paul understands that we need quality and quantity,” Tabares told the Sun-Times.

“Here in Latino communities, we’re tired of the carjackings. We’re tired of catalytic converter thefts. We’re tired of the gangs taking control of our streets. Paul Vallas is gonna put crime reduction and public safety first. That’s what I believe,” Tabares said.

Tabares recalled that, about a year ago, Johnson issued a statement demanding that the City Council “defund Chicago Police Department resources like ShotSpotter.”

Tabares was so incensed, she tweeted a response defending the $33 million ShotSpotter contract, which Johnson has vowed to terminate if elected mayor.

“That is what alerted me to his defund the police” position, Tabares said.

“When a gunshot victim is suffering and bleeding, seconds matter,” Tabares said. “And ShotSpotter alerts the police to respond to those rapid gunshots. That’s what I’m afraid of. I don’t want to see ShotSpotter taken out of our communities. ShotSpotter is working.”

When it’s all said and done, Vallas is likely to have lined up support from roughly 19 veteran alderpersons, most of them old guard members with the closest ties to the Regular Democratic Organization. Johnson is supported by eight progressive and independent alderpersons, including members of the Socialist Caucus.

Soruce : https://www.nbcchicago.com/chicago-mayoral-election-2023/abortion-rights-pac-backs-johnson-while-3-city-council-members-back-vallas/3095442/

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