Chano for Mayor? After donating $1 million to Chicago Public Schools, Chance the Rapper is being urged to run for mayor of his city.
The rapper’s supporters have launched the website Chano4Mayor.com, where they explain why they’re backing Chance against current mayor, Rahm Emanuel.
“We need a new mayor,” reads a statement on the site. “Rahm Emanuel has been in office since 2011. In that time we’ve seen the closure of 50 public schools, the largest in history. The city shut down 6 of its 12 mental health clinics. The Department of Justice found a pattern of civil rights violations by the Chicago Police Department, including but not limited to the murder of Laquan McDonald. It’s time for change.”
The #ChanoForMayor campaign is getting a head start before the February 2019 elections, urging voters to focus on education, which is why they believe the “No Problems” rapper is the man for the job.
“Hey Chance, We think you’d be a great mayor,” they said. “We love your music—we’ve been following your career from the first 10 days. We also love the work you’ve done to give back to the city that raised you. You represent Chicago on the world stage, and you do us proud. We know you don’t think of yourself as a politician, and we respect that. But this election is an opportunity for Chicago that we don’t want to miss.”
Besides the 10 Day reference above, they also added nods to Good Ass Job while noting Chance’s many philanthropic contributions.
“We think if you ran, you would win,” they added. “And if you won, you would do a good ass job. You’re already making change in our city: your work supplying coats for people experiencing homelessness, your long-running Open Mike for high school students, and your million dollar donation to CPS all demonstrate a commitment to empowering Chicago’s marginalized populations. You’d send a message that Chicago is ready for a new generation of leadership.”
Since Chance remains busy with his music career, organizers said his involvement would still be impactful. “Let’s say you decide not to run. That’s cool too, but we hope you will still get involved,” they explained. “Will you speak with candidates for mayor about CPS, like you did with Governor Rauner? Will you endorse a candidate who will fight for the South and West sides? Will you help Chicago’s youth participate in Chicago elections, and encourage your fans to vote? You don’t have to decide right now. 2019 is kind of a long way away. But the people are screaming for you, and Chicago is hungry for change. Think about it.”
One of the organizers behind the site is Bea Malsky, a 23-year-old who hopes that the initiative makes a difference. “We would be very happy if he ran,” Malsky told Chicago Sun-Times. “We would be very happy if he’d become more politically involved and he endorsed a candidate who stands up for the same things that he stands up for in his music.”
Chance has political ties. His father has been involved in Chicago politics for years, working with President Barack Obama and Mayor Emanuel. And Chano doesn’t seem opposed to the idea. In 2015, on “Somewhere in Paradise,” he rapped: “They say I’m saving my city, say I’m stayin’ for good / They screamin’ Chano for mayor, I’m thinkin’ maybe I should.”
He’s already getting support from other rappers. Asked whether Chance would make a good mayor for Chicago, Drake had this to say to paparazzi: “Yeah, I do.”
Matt McGrath, a spokesperson for Emanuel, also responded to the website. “We’re not thinking about an election that’s two years away,” he said. “We’re focused on continuing to build on the record educational gains our students and teachers are making at Chicago Public Schools, driving economic development in every neighborhood across the city and addressing our public-safety challenge by combating the scourge of gun violence.”