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We’re less than a week away from Chicago’s municipal election on Feb. 26. For many Black folks living in the South Side’s 20th Ward, the jury still is out on which candidate is most deserving of the ward’s aldermanic seat. 

On Feb. 16, seven out of the ward’s nine aldermanic candidates made their cases for the people’s vote at a forum co-hosted by The TRiiBE, youth advocacy group GoodKids MadCity, and South Side Weekly newsmagazine.

After initially committing to the forum, candidates Andre Smith and Dernard D. Newell didn’t show up. Kevin Bailey arrived late and left early, citing his commitment to another aldermanic forum.

Residents are cautious about who they vote for this time around, considering that three of the last four 20th Ward aldermen have been indicted on bribery, fraud and other corruption charges.

Ald. Willie Cochran, who’s held the seat since 2007, is awaiting trial right now. He’s accused of using charitable ward donations for personal expenses, and shaking down businessmen in exchange for business deals in the ward, according to the Chicago Tribune

Since Cochran isn’t running for re-election, residents are looking for a candidate who will breathe new life, hope and opportunity into the 20th Ward. Watch our 20th Ward Forum (above) to see the candidates thoughts on everything from the Obama Presidential Center and community investment to the Chicago Public Schools closings and improving education for Black youth. 

Before the forum, we asked candidates to submit their answers to lightning-round questions about the cop academy, rent control, and more that we projected on a screen during the event. Those slides are included above. Check out more looks from the forum in our photo gallery below.