VALLAS’ STATEMENT:

“In the past week, my opponents Toni Preckwinkle and Gery Chico have called for the firing of Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson. Not exactly a profile in courage.

Johnson isn’t the problem, Mayor Emanuel’s micromanaging of the police department and its budgets are the problem.

Emanuel balanced his budgets by decimating the ranks of the detectives and supervisors, leading to an abysmal clearance rates on shootings and murders.

Emanuel put officers and citizens lives at risk when he provided for a fraction of the number of Tasers that other major cities provide.

Emanuel waited until his 7th year in office before hiring more officers, thereby forcing vast amounts of overtime and lack of beat integrity.

For Preckwinkle and Chico, blaming Superintendent Johnson was easy, taking on Mayor Emanuel not so. This is why Preckwinkle, Chico, Daley and Mendoza didn’t have the courage to run against Emanuel. Myself and a few others did.

They didn’t because they are part of the same political and lobbying machine that have created this crisis.

For Preckwinkle and Mendoza, they don’t have the courage to put their political power and prestige at risk by challenging the machine.

For Chico and Daley, it was their fear of putting their career of appointed positions and the ability to make millions of dollars a year lobbying City Hall at risk that kept them from challenging a vengeful Emanuel.

The city is at a precipice, and demands leadership. You lead by telling voters your specific plans and by calling out decisions made and what you will do differently. When you’re asking to lead, you need to provide a record that will give voters confidence that you can and will do what you say you’ll do, and that you can manage this city from day one, and in the best interests of all Chicagoans.

And when you run for Mayor, you have to show the courage that will be needed in making the tough decisions, and the courage to take on the political and monied class that have put Chicago in crisis.

Blaming Superintendent Johnson or being afraid to challenge Emanuel and his policies shows the lack of courage Chicagoans desperately need to lead our city.”