On Thursday, Jan. 24, I met with Ald. Anthony Beale at his campaign office on the South Side of Chicago.
Beale focused heavily on his experience as an alderman during the interview, citing past Chicago alderman who have gone on to become United States representatives. He drew on his 14-year history in his current role and used examples of his work in the city to convey what he would do for the 2nd District.
Visit Anthony Beale's candidate profile on Patch to watch the extended video of the interview.
Beale placed education squarely at the top of his list of important issues during our interview. He cited his determination to secure $32 million to upgrade Gwendolyn Brooks College Preparatory Academy as proof of his leadership skills in fighting for education.
Beale also connected his plan to bring jobs to the district to his experience as an alderman. Bringing Walmart to the 9th Ward led to more jobs, and Beale said he plans to do something similar for the South Suburbs, as well as Will and Kankakee County. He spoke in favor of the long-discussed Peotone airport, and said he would bring the counties together to make the perceived job-creator a reality.
"Because I have a base in the city of Chicago, and so they want to scare the South Suburban area, that Anthony Beale is from the city. But at the same time, let's look at Congressman Gutierrez. He's a former alderman. Congressman Bobby Rush, former alderman. Congressman Danny Davis, former alderman. And soon, former Ald. Anthony Beale will be the congressman for the 2nd Congressional District." - On the divide between Chicago and the South Suburbs.
"They're basically stealing my platform because of what I'm able to bring to the table. No one else can say what they've done and have the experience that I have ... As I go this process and I educated, not only the community, I'm also educating the other 21 candidates." - On what separates him from the other candidates.
Anthony Beale is confident in his background and has used his track record to separate himself from the pack.
It's always good to be hear examples of what a person has done to evoke positive change, and this is something several other candidates will be unable to replicate, giving Beale an advantage among some voters.
On the other hand, a track record also gives his opponents something to talk about. Beale bringing a big-box store like Walmart into his ward could be turned against him, especially in the small business-heavy suburban communities.
What do you think? Is Anthony Beale right to emphasize as an alderman, going into the election? Tell us in the comments!
NEXT: Patrick Brutus talks about his background in the public sector and why it makes him a strong congressional candidate.
Return to our intro page to learn more about this series and see the full list of candidates.
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