Chance the Rapper is a singer of songs to crowds, a giver of money to schools, a thrower of dodgeballs at mascots, and a lover of his hometown. He is also the son of an Obama advisor and an outspoken critic of political skidmark and current Chicago mayor Rahm Emanuel. The creation of a new campaign urging the 23-year-old to run for mayor, then, isn't something that's so easy to laugh off. Chance the Rapper could absolutely be the mayor of Chicago.
The campaign-for-a-campaign is centered around chano4mayor.com, a sleek website with Coloring Book-like illustrations and pretty clear-headed appeals to Chance. Up top, they lead with Chance's own words, from "Somewhere in Paradise: "They say I'm savin' my city / say I'm stayin' for good / They screamin' Chano for Mayor / I'm thinking maybe I should."
Pointing out that Emanuel's six-year tenure has led to the closure of half the city's mental health clinics, 50 public schools, and a pattern of civil rights violations in wake of the murder of Laquan McDonald, they point out that turnout for the last mayoral elections sat at 33%. "We want a mayor who will fight for public education," they write. "We want a mayor who will reinvest in black and brown communities on the South and West Sides. We want a mayor who will address our epidemic of gun violence without the brutality of police or prisons. We want a mayor who will let the young people of Chicago lead."
The case is compelling. Chance is a philanthropist, a guy with a shitload of ideas who has given, and keeps giving, to his local community; he's unwilling to back down when confronted with bullshit from the other side. He likes Jesus. A lot. That's a plus. You only need to be 18 to run for mayor, so chance is basically a veteran. And it's hard to imagine him losing to Emanuel, who is only ever one grotesque scandal away from sliding back towards single-digit approval ratings. (Seriously, Rahm Emanuel is awful).
Add it up, and you can't just take the whole thing as a whimsical joke. If Chance ran, he'd have a very real shot at victory. So before signing this petition at chano4mayor.com, consider the fact that Chance the Rapper is 23, that you're not getting any albums while he's in office, and that possibility is always more intoxicating than reality. Chance the Rapper will probably run for mayor of Chicago one day. In the meantime, let's let him figure this out in peace; a 35-year-old Chance with grey hair is too upsetting to think about.
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