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Vallas, Johnson keep busy on campaign trail ahead of early voting in mayoral race

Mayoral candidates keep busy on campaign trail ahead of early voting
Mayoral candidates keep busy on campaign trail ahead of early voting 02:11

CHICAGO (CBS) -- A day ahead of the start of early voting in Chicago, mayoral contenders Brandon Johnson and Paul Vallas spent a busy Sunday meeting with community leaders and getting out their campaign messages.

South and West side community leaders met with both candidates for mayor on Sunday about their plans to rebuild neighborhoods.

United Power for Action and Justice hosted a forum Sunday afternoon, asking Johnson and Vallas to commit to affordable housing and reclaim vacant lots.

"It's about creating a pathway to home ownership, but it's also about building public housing as well," Johnson said.

"I'm going to take that property, I'm going to remediate it, and I'm going to repair the infrastructure, and I'm going to turn that property over to the community," Vallas said.

United Power has set a goal of creating 1,000 new affordable homes on the South Side and another 1,000 on the West Side, with the idea of reducing crime, creating jobs, and building generational wealth.

With the Black vote in Chicago playing a pivotal role in the upcoming runoff election, both candidates also spent part of their day Sunday trying to shore up support among the African American community.

With little more than two weeks until Election Day, Johnson visited six Black churches on the South and West sides, including Progressive Baptist Church in Armour Square.

"What this moment requires is a leader; someone who can collaborate with folks to build understanding and knowledge, to think about the prevailing problems that exist today, and then come up with the right solutions," Johnson said.

Johnson also made campaign stops at a popular West Side restaurant and with The Union to End Slums, a West Side community organization.

Meantime, Vallas joined former mayoral rival Willie Wilson, who already has endorsed him in the runoff election, as Vallas was endorsed by a group of Black clergy members.

"Clearly, we know what the issues are; public safety, quality of education, and equity and affordability," Vallas said. "We can't make progress in any of these three areas if we're not partnering with the strongest institutions in our communities, and those strong institutions are your faith-based institutions of all denominations."

Early voting in the mayoral runoff begins Monday, and Election Day is on April 4.

Monday night, you can watch Johnson and Vallas answer questions as part of Chicago's Black and Latino Future: Conversations with the Mayoral Candidates. CBS 2 Investigator Dorothy Tucker will be one of the panelists asking questions at the Chicago History Museum. You can watch the q&a live on on Monday at 5:30 p.m.

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