Bill Marovitz on Chicago’s Election

by Bill Marovitz, Former Senator 

March 24, 2023

A preface by John Kass

To my loyal readers:

Our guest column today is by former Illinois State Senator William Marovitz (D-Chicago), who has a few things to say about the upcoming Chicago election.  I am grateful to the many people who have stepped up to help fill this space with meaningful words while I am recovering from major surgery.

Several weeks ago, I invited all the Chicago mayoral candidates to write an op-ed on their candidacy for Mayor of Chicago. I would have run a commentary from Brandon Johnson, even if Tony Preckwinkle, Lori Lightfoot or Tim Evans had written it. But none of the candidates took me up on my offer to share their ideas on this platform.

Now, Bill Marovitz has written an op-ed on Paul Vallas. 

I’ve known Bill for years. And even though we might not agree on everything, there’s one thing we do agree on:  Americans must continue to have the freedom and opportunity to debate ideas.

I salute Bill Marovitz for sharing his.

~ John Kass

My name is Bill Marovitz and I have lived in Chicago all my life. I love our city, but I’m very worried about its future. The future of our city is at stake with the election of a new Mayor. The candidates have very different views and would take very different paths forward. Paul Vallas wants to put more police in the neighborhoods and on the CTA buses and trains. Brandon Johnson wants to defund the police and is opposed to replacing the 1500 Police offers that left the force. I have known Paul Vallas for over forty years, since he was a staff person doing policy work for me in the Illinois Senate. He’s a life long Democrat, a brilliant man and knows how to get things done….actually make his ideas and goals a reality. It’s easy for any candidate to talk a good game….talk about what they would like to do. It is a lot more difficult to put those words into action and effectuate positive change.

Paul Vallas will bring together the best and the brightest from all parts of the city. He will not be influenced by race, religion, ethnicity, or zip code. Our city needs transformational government and I have seen Paul do that with the schools and in his choices of people he entrusts to take action. The city of Chicago is a $30 billion dollar corporation. How can we entrust it to someone who has absolutely no experience running anything. That’s a bet I’m not willing to make.

Another issue I am concerned about is travel and tourism. As a former member of the Chicago Convention Bureau, I know that our city is more dependent than any other city in the country on conventions and tourism. Brandon Johnson wants to substantially raise the hotel/motel tax in the city to the highest rate in the country. All that will do is discourage conventions and tourists from coming here. Fewer conventions and fewer tourists mean fewer people in hotel rooms, fewer people shopping in our retail stores, and fewer people eating in our fabulous restaurants. All that means is less revenue for the city in the form of hotel taxes, retail sales tax, and restaurant sales tax. How does that lost revenue get made up? Well, of course, it gets made up by more taxes coming from Chicagoans instead of conventioneers and tourists. That’s another place where Paul Vallas and Brandon Johnson differ.

 Paul Vallas will keep our taxes down and revenues up. He will restore safety to our streets. He has a wealth of experience in running the schools of Chicago, New Orleans, and Philadelphia. The difference in experience and leadership is huge between these two candidates. Our city cannot afford to be turned over to someone with no experience or leadership skills. If you love our city, please vote for Democrat Paul Vallas for Mayor.

About the Author:

William A. Marovitz, served in the Illinois House of Representatives from 1974 to 1980 and the Illinois State Senate from 1980-1993. He served as Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee and Vice Chairman of the Senate Public Health Committee. Bill also focused his attention on efforts to prevent crimes and discrimination against minorities, gays and lesbians. He authored and passed the Hate Crimes law in Illinois, which prosecutes those who commit crimes based on race, ethnicity, religion or sexual orientation. In an effort to guarantee fair treatment and compensation for those who were the victim of criminal acts, he wrote, sponsored, and passed the Illinois Crime Victims’ Compensation Act. He was also Senate spokesman on behalf of guaranteeing women the right of choice. He authored and passed the country’s first Safe School Zone law, aimed at protecting school areas from drugs and weapons.

Throughout his long legislative career, he was given ‘Best Legislator” awards by numerous Illinois organizations. In 1993, Marovitz decided to retire from the Senate and devote most of his time to business development. Bill has continued to be actively involved in government and civic affairs, serving as the Democratic State Central Committeeman for the Ninth Congressional District and the Vice-Chairman of the Democratic Party of Illinois.

Comments 18

  1. Well said Billy, we are at the Rubicon with this election and there will be no going back if this race baiting moron from the CTU gets elected. Electing Paul Vallas is the only way to save our once great city. No thanks to the Chicago media who have legitimized their fake candidate and refuse to call out his lies and BS background. If Paul Vallas doesn’t win on April 4th we can all kiss Chicago goodbye.
    Vote for Paul Vallas for Mayor of the city of Chicago or pack your bags. I’m praying for a Paul Vallas victory!

    1. You’re 100% correct Mr. Houlihan. I came into this world when the real Mayor Daley ( J not M) was in office and spent considerable time working and playing in the city of Chicago, as did my family. We owned a small manufacturing company on the near-north side by the site of the old Montgomery Ward headquarters and, but for a while in 1968, never had issues of any kind. While I lived in the suburbs, it was a basic Econ 101 lesson as to how taxes and tourism and the like affect everyone. Little by little after “J” died, the city began to erode. Ultimately, I left my home state and have never looked back nor have I had a single regret. I would love to drive in and walk Michigan Avenue again or stroll around the Loop or museums deciding which restaurant we should eat at for dinner but that’s never going to happen again unless real steps are taken to shore things up. How Chicago got from Richard J. to Lori Lightfoot is not a mystery but it’s shameful.

  2. Maybe Vallas and Bill can pass along their “taxation policy” to the White House where that guy thinks you have to raise Corporate taxes in order to generate more money when it was shown that lowering Corporate taxes, keeps jobs in this country and generates more tax revenue at the Federal level.

  3. I don’t know what the elites and the CTU bobos are thinking. Im not opposed to taxes, but they’re already sky high, and punitive towards the poor and others the Dems say they love so much.

    Highest property taxes, sales taxes, these are regressive and affect working people. Highest crime in the region, which as we all know, disproportionately affects black folks. But if the shooter is black and the victim is black, it’s ok with Foxx, Evans, and the invisible man, Attorney General Kwame Raoul. The streets aren’t safe, CTA isn’t safe, parks aren’t safe, but these elites don’t use these spaces, so it’s ok with them.

    I saw Ja’Maal Green on Twitter, and he summed it up. We have black people in charge at all levels of government, and things are actually worse. Black elites actually care as little for poor people as white racists elites. Green calls them puppets, and I cannot disagree. For all his DEI and virtue signaling aside, Obama was an elitist puppet, a BLM manager, who did their bidding and now is rich and hangs out with Springsteen, another sell out.

    We don’t have a revenue problem, we have a spending problem. Money must be reallocated as the taxes are already egregious. Some people may have to lose their city jobs, or take a haircut as only essential departments should be maintained at current budgetary levels. It’s also clear that benefits, even for retirees must be adjusted to fall in line with current revenues as the actuarial tables tell us we will be insolvent in a matter of time.

    I’ll get into my ideas about pensions another time, but widows who are getting by on 2500 a month, should be spared, thise with pensions over 100 grand should be cut first and the hardest. The politicians should be cut the most. Pensions need to ended for all future elected politicians., same goes for the lifetime Blue Cross they get. Most people don’t even know that after 8 years of “service” in the State legislature, you get lifetime BCBS paid for by the taxpayers. It’s undeserved, and criminal.

  4. As an interested down stater, can someone explain to me why the very brilliant Paul Vallas is hitting home runs with endorsements, but is dropping in the “polls”?
    Are the pollsters over sampling far left liberals?
    Have polls outlived their usefulness?
    What is the mood at street level?
    And are teachers campaigning for Johnson in the classrooms on the taxpayers’ dime?
    I’m a precocious 70 year old, aren’t I?

  5. This column is pathetic. A whole 4 paragraphs. Wow. Hope it didn’t wear you out Bill. And such monumental thoughts! Summary: don’t elect the black man or we’re screwed. I lived in Chicago when real estate taxes were low, public transportation very good and cheap, city services good and schools good. My mother put me on CTA to go to school at age 7!! It was safe. She told the bus driver were to let me off. I traveled the city on bike and public transportation. For my 21st birthday my parents bought me a Camaro. I said: what for? Don’t need it. Left in garage! As I said before: the city that we knew is dead and will never return. It was a city of many diferent immigrants who were needed for the manufacturing jobs. We were a city of big shoulders because we made things and needed cheap labor. Now that labor is in Asia. Our corporations sold us out for the almighty dollar. RE taxes are sky high, public transportation and schools worthless and dangerous. Law enforcement is not allowed to do their job. Who the hell wants to live like that.
    Recent polls show Johnson will beat Vallas. CTU, SEIU and other unions money makes it a certainty. A once great city now joins Detroit, Baltimore, St Louis, Cleveland, Philly, etc.: shell of itself, never to return.

    1. “Summary: don’t elect the black man or we’re screwed. ”

      This is a cheap and stupid comment. Mr. Marovitz never mentioned eith Mr. Johnson’s or Mr. Vallas’ race and there are no racial aspects to his commentary. It’s always telling that the left seeks power by making claims centering on race when it has no actual role or relevance to the issue at hand.

  6. “The problem with socialism is you soon run out of other people’s money to spend.” Margaret Thatcher. Johnson and the CTU push a socialist agenda without addressing the result of progressive policies favoring criminals and singling out the “wealthy” for extra taxation. THEY LEAVE. Walmart, a favorite target of “progressives” has closed shop in Portland due to high taxes and theft. Cracker Barrel is leaving Portland also. What’s the use of a business paying taxes if they get no protection from criminals? Businesses are leaving urban areas due these so called progressive policies. River Oaks Mall in the south suburb of Calumet City, once a showpiece of suburbia, is largely empty thanks to “progressive” Cook County policies towards crime and high taxes. An alderman from there recently bemoaned having to make up the lost tax revenue on the backs of the homeowners. As the Lightfoot/ Preckwinkle/ Foxx agenda is advancing we see even more businesses bailing from Chicago. “Tax them, they will pay”. They won’t pay, they’ll leave. Johnson’s cure to Chicago ills is to tax businesses even more and throw more money to “progressive” and anti police causes. You can already see the beginnings of urban decay with all of the downtown businesses boarded up and empty. We have regressed Chicago to the Chicago of the 60/70’s when the downtown area was abandoned in the evening hours and surrendered to lowlife and criminals. You didn’t want to be there after dark. As the city loses its tax base Chicago homeowners will pay for this. They always do.

  7. Senator Marovitz … Excellent article with Great Insights…especially this passage:

    Paul Vallas will bring together the best and the brightest from all parts of the city. He will not be influenced by race, religion, ethnicity, or zip code. Our city needs transformational government and I have seen Paul do that with the schools and in his choices of people he entrusts to take action. The city of Chicago is a $30 billion dollar corporation. How can we entrust it to someone who has absolutely no experience running anything. That’s a bet I’m not willing to make.

  8. But Bill, Johnson had a good job…as a community organizer….just like someone else we elected with no experience! Oh well, I just hope and pray, as you do, that Paul becomes mayor come April 4th, and begins the turnaround of this once great city. Education, crime, high RE taxes, unfunded pension liabilities, tourism, job opportunities, all await his consideration and solutions. Let us pray….thanks for a spot on assessment of the current state of affairs in Chicago!

  9. If Chicago elects Brandon Johnson as mayor crime will continue to spiral out of control. Besides reducing the funding of the police, he thinks states attorney Kim Foxx is doing a good job. Here’s an excerpt from an article in today’s Chicago Tribune (3/24/23). I agree with most of what Bill says but I feel he should have spent more time on crime in Chicago.

    “ It started when each was asked whether Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx had made Chicago safer, about which the candidates starkly differed.

    Johnson praised Foxx’s record seeking justice for those wrongfully convicted under torturous conditions and false confessions.

    “She’s been a part of the type of reform that’s needed,” Johnson said. “This is a very brave approach by our state’s attorney.”

    Vallas, who has spent much of the last few years criticizing Foxx on social media, had a different take. He rattled off statistics from the outlet CWBChicago about crimes allegedly committed by defendants out on pretrial release and laid blame on the state’s attorney.

    “I believe she has not been aggressive at keeping dangerous criminals off the street,” Vallas said.”

  10. This race is all ideology. The Lexus Leninists, the WTTW addicts, the bourgeoise balance sheet go-alongs e.g. (Ann Marie Newman Voters:How’d that one work out?), skilled tradesmen who owe fealty to Toni Preckwinkle, Gen X nodders and race=hustlers of all classes and ethnic groups on one side and the rest of the population who politely pay taxes, obey the laws and remember what they have read in the news and experienced in life behind Paul Vallas.

    The former seems to have bulge on Paul Vallas in this one. Bernie Bros and go=along Catholics will pull for Brandon Johnson. Marxism v democratic republican Americans. Those are your choices.

    The facts of the case and the details layed out by Paul Vallas all of these months mean little to nothing,

    This is up to the stay-at-home voters. God save Chicago. Vote for Vallas or pack up.

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