Withdrawing from the race
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It's time..

Withdrawing from the mayors race

 

There have been rumors and speculation surrounding our campaign that I want to address. Over the past few weeks, we have been dragged through a challenge process that I wouldn’t wish on any campaign. After collecting over the required number of signatures, the board of elections lost our petition sheets and claimed they accidentally gave me someone else’s. The board of elections hires Madigan's helpers and many who are unequipped to make decisions that affect major races. They said my own mother signature was not her signature on my petition.

During this trying process, I've been assaulted by Willie Wilson’s campaign manager and watched how everyday people such as myself drown in a system designed for the rich and powerful. Willie Wilson’s tactics drained our campaign of money, but they couldn’t drain us of our fight. This process has cost us tens of thousands of dollars to continue and so close to the voting time we are not well equipped for this dirty style of fighting. My desire to be a voice for the people was no match for Dr. Wilson’s dirty dollars. I chose to withdraw my petitions and register as a write-in. 

But after speaking with advisors and family over the holiday, today I am humbly stepping aside and withdrawing from the race completely. With over 50 days left, we don’t feel we can run a winning campaign with minimal resources. Over the past few years as an activist, I feel accomplished at the change we made in our city. From unseating Anita Alvarez, to forcing our current Mayor to pass police reform and supply body cameras and tasers, getting a conviction for Van Dyke, and Rahm realizing he outwore his stay and choosing not to seek re-election.

I entered this race as the youngest candidate and a lot of people laughed at my ambition, but this past year we have made naysayers into believers. They saw a kid, till they heard our policies, our commitment, over 12,500 signatures we gathered and our love for this city we call home. I have watched seasoned candidates take the fresh ideas and insight I brought to this race and embrace them as their own.

Unfortunately, we live in a political system that puts money over policy, and I got to experience that firsthand. People like Willie Wilson have used loopholes in our policies to keep viable candidates out of the race, neglecting to give our people the fighting chance they deserve.

I will admit I came into this race a little too optimistic about the process. In my heart, I held the idea of democracy and that all voices could be heard, and I’ve realized that in this city it’s only the voices with money that matter. 

I am joyous, however. This journey has allowed me to expose flaws in our system that have been ignored for years. Someone once joked “we may not get the government we deserve in a democracy, but we certainly get the one we put up with”

I’m here today to say we will no longer put up with Chicago style political games. Games where leaders grip their political chairs and refuse to let fresh ideas in. Where Senate leaders can try to silence candidates through crooked games and fake documents. Where campaign chairs can physically threaten candidates. Where even with the required signatures viable candidates are bullied and drowned in court to ensure they never have the chance to be heard. 

I now have the knowledge and the voice to face these issues head-on. I started a war for my people back when I was 15, and I am honored to say that 8 years later my strength is greater than before. 

To my team and supporters, I would like to thank you for your words, support, time and your dollars. We had people who were dedicated and showed up every single day to make this vision come true. I want to thank my family for being with me through this grueling time and my sons for understanding and cheering me on despite missing valuable time with their dad. I’m excited that We get to make that time up together. Last, I want to thank the young people who were inspired by our work. You were the only reason I kept going, your countless emails, your cheers as I walked in your school, you made me feel like every moment running was worth it. You said if I succeed we succeed, I’m here to tell you today we have succeeded and we now have a seat at the table!

I also want to thank my colleagues who constantly called to check on me when times were rough, even though we were on different teams and I have taken shots at them. From President Preckwinkle, LaShaun Ford, Bill Daley, Garry Mccarthy, Bob Fioretti, Paul Vallas and many others who recognized that they can’t run this city successfully without the vision we have laid out in front of them. 

So Where do we go from here? I will be proudly standing behind over a dozen new aldermanic candidates to give real progressives a voice on city council, our legal team will be creating a plan to change this process we call an election, and I will be working to make sure that the next mayor possesses the values and policies needed to move our city forward 

I will not stop trying to make this city safe for all, make sure every neighborhood has economic development to create jobs, to make sure school in Englewood are just as good as schools in Ravenswood, to make sure that police officers are held accountable when they do wrong and supported in their endeavors to do right. and finally to make sure that everyone has a fair shot in our city including those in our criminal justice system and those re-entering society. 

I would like to Make it clear today, Ja'Mal Green DID NOT QUIT. The elite in this city may think that they won, but I want to make it known that you just messed up. You lit a fire in me that burns so bright and will not stop until every ounce of corruption, of segregation, of pay to play politics has been reduced to ashes that the Phoenix of a new Chicago will rise from.

Let the fight continue, I still could one day be the youngest mayor ever. But It’s up to us. Thank you. 

Farewell Video: https://youtu.be/U86QBCsW8eo

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Green For Chicago