U.S. Senate Candidate Gery Chico

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Gery Chico, 47 and a lawyer, is married to Sunny Chico. They have five children, ages 12 to 20. He lives a block and a half from the CHA ABLA homes. His experience with government includes overseeing the Chicago Public Schools budget, which he reports was $ 1.2 billion in the red when he started and $345 million in surplus when he left his position as President of the Board of Education.

Former CPS Board President Gery Chico

He oversaw the provision of services to three million people as chief of staff for the mayor, and practiced law for 18 years. Supporting him is an array of ethnic organizations, including African American, Gay and Lesbian, Hispanic, and Korean groups.

He has the support of mayors from towns and cities around the state, as well as 250 West Side churches, and members of the Board of Education. He has a statewide campaign and hundreds of volunteers who he says “are people who believe in the campaign and want results for Illinois.” The campaign is financed through donations of over 4000 donors. Concerning health care, he said, “if Congress did nothing more for one session but concentrate on the American health care crises, it would be the single greatest contribution in the last three generations.”

Concerning crime and violence, he said he understands what’s required, and that the federal government’s role can be most effective by, first, providing resources to help our police and outreach efforts that provide alternatives to a life of crime, such as Boys and Girls Clubs.

Secondly, Chico advocates the strategic prosecution of certain crimes that affect the nation on an organized basis, such as drugs sales. But he also believes the government has a role to play in giving people a second chance by providing a path toward education that makes it easier for people to get jobs and avoid going back to jail. On housing, he said he will go to Washington to fight for the rights of the common people living in our cities to have programs such as the voucher program.

He also commends the Hope VI grant program that provides demolition grants for public housing developments to be replaced with mixed-income communities but said “we need additional services on site to help people to understand what it means to take care of housing.

“And we need to look at doing more of that and not less of that,” he said. On welfare reform, he said, “One day we’ll look back and see that this was a phase in our history.

“We are on the right path provided that our government and society look with sympathy and with compassion on the needs to move the people from pure welfare conditions to working.

“People are going to need transitional employment opportunities to get started.” On poverty, he said “Poverty can be licked through education.”

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