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Chicago Decides: Activist Angela Clay, former Quigley aide Kim Walz vie for 46th Ward

Chicago Decides: Angela Clay, Kim Walz vie for 46th Ward
Chicago Decides: Angela Clay, Kim Walz vie for 46th Ward 06:01

CHICAGO (CBS) --The runoff race to replace Ald. James Cappleman in the 46th Ward has grown heated over the issue of public safety.

Community activist and Uptown native Angela Clay is facing Kim Walz – a former aide to U.S. Rep. Mike Quigley and now an executive for Walgreens.

The ward includes most of the Uptown community and also parts of Lakeview. Cappleman announced back in July that he would not be running for another term.

Clay and Walz both spoke with CBS 2's Marie Saavedra. Clay said organizing and activism has been part of her life since a very young age – and she now wants to represent her community in the City Council.

"This is a dream come true, honestly. I am running in the ward that raised me. My family has lived here for over 80 years. It's been in my blood since a teenager – I've been organizing since I was 14 years old on behalf and with neighbors from all walks of life," she said, "and I really wanted to make sure that we had a leader who embodied this community; who had a love for bringing so many voices together to make positive change, and making history together."

Clay said public safety is a major issue for the ward – and solutions are needed, including ensuring the community has relationships with police officers, and investing in young people. She said focusing on mental health, education, and housing are also crucial components for her plan to improve public safety.

Housing is also a top priority in the ward, Clay said.

"We are in a very pivotal moment where our community is relying on us to step up, because a lot of our neighbors are being pushed out because they can't afford to live here – whether that's due to rising rent or our property taxes are just skyrocketing through the roof. It's playing a major role in the makeup of our community and diversity as well," she said.

Walz emphasized that people no longer feel safe in the 46th Ward.

"We need to work to make sure we're not only dealing with long-term solutions to public safety such as violence prevention and investing in communities – but we have to deal with the short-term public safety crisis. And that means we have to fill vacant positions in the Police Department, and get police back out on the street having connections with their neighborhood," she said.

Walz said it is to the point where people no longer feel safe walking to a grocery store at noon on a Saturday. She charged that Clay supports defunding the police – as Walz's campaign has in attack ads showing a past soundbite in which Clay says, "Defunding the police is going to happen."

"I'm the only candidate in my race who's talking about filling the vacant positions in the Police Department – and that's crucial. I had a conversation with a father the other day at a meet-and-greet, and he told me his 13-year-old daughter had been sexually assaulted the year prior on the lakefront – and he caught the guy who assaulted his daughter and held him down for an hour until the police were able to arrive. That's completely unacceptable," she said. "If we defund the police or disinvest in the police as my opponent has been talking about, that response time is even going to get longer, and we're going to get fundamentally less safe in this city."

You can watch the interviews with both candidates above.

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