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.