Can't Decide Who to Vote for Tuesday? Let Music Guide Your Mayoral Selection

It's a momentous time in Chicago.  The changing of the guard represents a possible opportunity or a possible setback in terms of the city's music scene.  In case you still can't decide who to vote for, take a look at four of the candidates' musical preferences as well as their positions on several issues relating to music.  The information was taken primarily from answering several standardized questions presented by the Chicago Tribune and Time Out Chicago



Rahm Emanuel:
• He had a fundraiser at the House of Blues at which Jennifer Hudson performed.  He had another fundraiser at the Park West, that one headlined by Wilco's Jeff Tweedy
• Favorite band: "Wilco is my favorite local band, and Jeff Tweedy is my favorite local artist--when they played all of their albums over the course of five days at the Riviera a couple years back, I made it to three shows and regret that I couldn't make the other two. I also have to include the early Smashing Pumpkins' albums."
• Thoughts on Lollapalooza: "Chicago is a fantastic city for local music all year round, and the fact that the Lollapalooza festival has chosen to make Chicago its home reflects that. We should work to ensure, however, that local music venues are not adversely impacted by the music festivals and events that come to Chicago."
• How should the city nurture and manage its music clubs? "Just as the theater district revitalized the Loop into a thriving entertainment area, I would like to see that same energy invested in neighborhoods around the city... I would like to see these neighborhood-based artistic communities grow across the city by prioritizing zoning and development funding for arts and cultural hubs."


Carol Moseley Braun:
• How should the city nurture and manage its music clubs?  "As our peer cities find new ways to remain competitive in attracting workforce talent and generating new revenue in these tough economic times, the next mayor must establish new and deeper ties with the music industry.  As mayor, I will work to eliminate bureaucratic red tape and foster a stronger partnership between City Hall and our creative enterprises and entrepreneurs. I will work with diverse representatives of the music community, including venue owners, and at-large business community leadership to craft a plan for how the city and private sector can better promote Chicago music for the benefit of all Chicagoans."
• When asked about her favorite band, artist, comedian or restaurant, Carol only mentioned restaurants- hmm, not a great sign...
• On Lolla, she gave this generic answer: "It appears to me to be both a challenge and an opportunity. I welcome having music festivals on our city's front yard."


Gery Chico:
• Gery promises a strong cabinet member for the arts; that individual will be responsible for promoting public and private neighborhood arts projects.  He also claims he'll get rid of licensing hassles currently faced by clubs.
• He says his favorite local "band" is the Chicago Symphony Orchestra.  Okay, it's not rock, but at least he gave an answer, and we can't criticize someone for appreciating culture.
• When asked about Lollapalooza, Gery said, "I see it as a huge boost to the music scene because of the attention that it draws on our city as a host to one of the more exciting musical programs in the country."


Miguel Del Valle:
• He recently attended Jersey Boys and music took him back to his early youth
• When asked how he would nurture and manage the city's music clubs, Miguel said, "I believe that we can nurture and manage our music clubs in much the same way that I propose we support all small businesses, by expanding access to capital through reconfiguring existing programs that provide capital, and by streamlining the licensing and permitting processes by cutting unnecessary bureaucratic red tape and regulations.  It is also important that we establish a communication process between groups such as music clubs and the Departments of Cultural Affairs and Special Events to make sure that we are promoting these groups properly through our tourism offices."
• He doesn't have a favorite band (don't worry, he also doesn't have a favorite restaurant or type of food)
• Q: Do you see Lollapalooza as a boost for the local music scene or a challenge to local venues?  A: It is both. I believe an event like Lollapalooza taking place once a year is reasonable and contributes positively to Chicago's cultural economy. But the high price of Lollapalooza and the fact that it takes public space out of use for its duration make it a model that should not be expanded upon. Also, when participating musicians' contracts limit them from performing at other venues while they're in town, local clubs and all of Chicago loses cultural opportunities.

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