I want to thank everyone for their hard work over the past 3 months. We did well in a crowded race but came up a few hundred votes short to avoid a runoff election on April 17th. I want to congratulate Tim Egan, Rachel Goodstein, and Peter Zelchenko on their valiant campaigns. They offered a number of worthy suggestions, and I look forward to working with each of them in the future on issues in the 43rd Ward.
While some of my supporters see this as a disappointment, I see this as an opportunity. This is an opportunity to continue engaging our neighbors in a discussion about our community.
On one side we have forces outside this ward that have waged a false, misleading campaign distorting and criticizing the work we have done together to make our community the best in the entire city. They have not run a campaign on real issues, they do not offer any real improvements for our lives, and they ignore the achievements we have made as a community. Their vision is not ours.
As our neighbors continue to hear this, I'm confident that they will ultimately reject it. I'm confident that they will agree with our vision which has been developed through experience and accomplishment in the 43rd Ward. This vision continues the progress we have made in our schools through innovative programs such as pre-kindergarten and healthy, organic lunches. It protects and improves the quality of life we so cherish while working to cap and stabilize our property taxes with real tax reform. And this vision is for sensible planning in our ward on which we have a long record to speak.
Our vision is something that I'm not only proud of but proud to run on. I look forward to comparing it to that of these outside interests and their candidate who has no record of any participation in this community.
The next few weeks will be tough, and I can't do this without your help. As knowledgeable members of this community, you have an important job in telling the story about this neighborhood and defending the progress we have made together. So keep the signs in your windows, keep talking to your neighbors, and let's keep working together on behalf of our community.
It's your voice that will matter six weeks from now on April 17th.
Thank you again for all your work and participation in this community. We have much more to do today, tomorrow and after this election."
So, it looks like Vi's tactic is to run on her lengthy record and pigeon-hole Smith as an "outsider" supported by outside forces. It will be interesting to read Smith's initial statement and how she chooses to posture going forward. (Please e-mail it to me if I've overlooked it at Theplacewherewelive (at) gmail (dot) com.)
I was surprised that Vi did not include any bit of concession to the sizable number of disgruntled constituents in her ward who voted against her. You've got to think that from a strategy point of view alone, if she voiced a little bit of willingness to change her approach, rather than offering a "business as usual" tone, it might have gone a long way toward sedating those who voted against her.
That being said, she's going to be a formidable force in this race given her long record in the ward and the oodles of good will she has built in many pockets of the ward. Not to mention, Mayor Daley has a war chest he barely touched.