Kam Buckner - 2023 Mayoral Candidate


Illinois state Rep. Kam Buckner (D-Chicago) is one of several progressive candidates looking to unseat Mayor Lori Lightfoot. Recently reelected for a second full term in the state legislature, Buckner was first appointed to the Illinois House of Representatives in early 2019 and currently chairs the Illinois House Black Caucus.

During his campaign announcement, Buckner called for an approach to public safety that incorporates justice as much as safety. As a state legislator, Buckner has sponsored successful bills to crack down on organized retail crime and ban the sale and possession of ghost guns, or guns without serial numbers. He has also filed bills to ban no-knock warrants and establish a task force on missing and murdered Chicago women.

Buckner has also put forth legislation to make the City Colleges of Chicago Board elected rather than appointed and helped lead a successful Chicago Teachers Union-backed effort to chart out an elected school board for Chicago Public Schools. Buckner is also a strong supporter of the SAFE-T Act, which he helped pass.

He has also promised to have a better relationship with the City Council than Lightfoot, saying he’d engage each alderman in conversation and give them more independence. “I think we’ve got to spend more time talking about how we put forth real City Council reform to give the 50 alderpeople the ability to do their job,” Buckner  . “They do not work for the mayor; they work with the mayor.”

Buckner is a graduate of the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign and DePaul University’s College of Law. He previously worked for U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) and a New Orleans mayor. Buckner grew up in the Roseland and Washington Heights neighborhoods on the South Side.

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