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Election 2015: 25th Ward candidates discuss the issues

The five candidates for 25th Ward alderman agreed on one thing.

“I think we all would agree it’s economic development that will get us out of this,” Roberto “Beto” Montaño said.

RELATED: Election 2015: Your guide to Chicago mayor, alderman candidates

But each had very different ideas about how to achieve the kind of economic development they agreed would lift people out of poverty and address the underlying social issues that lead to violence in the city.

Jorge Mujica called for a $15 minimum wage, accusing Ald. Danny Solis of neglecting Pilsen. Meantime, Byron Sigcho called the incumbent’s approach to businesses in the ward “pay to play” and worried about the impact of businesses backing him, including a company that wants to put a metal shredder in the ward. They worried about gentrification, something Montaño called a “powerful” issue in the neighborhood.

Solis maintained in his 19 years as alderman he has invested 10 times as much in Pilsen as Chinatown, another neighborhood in the ward, and said he wanted to create neighborhoods where people can live and work. That’s what’s happening in Pilsen, he said. Young people are coming back to the neighborhood, historically a strong immigrant community.

And, he said, “It is the top community for Mexican-Americans to come and congregate.”

Those were just a few of the issues on the table when candidates met Monday, Jan. 19, with the Chicago Sun-Times editorial board ahead of municipal elections on Feb. 24.

You can hear from all who filled out a candidate questionnaire in their own words below.

CANDIDATE QUESTIONNAIRES

PHOTOS

<strong><small>Ald. Danny Solis talks to the Sun-Times editorial board about running for re-election to represent the 25th Ward in Chicago City Council on Jan. 19, 2015. | Peter Holderness / Sun-Times</small></strong>
Ald. Danny Solis talks to the Sun-Times editorial board about running for re-election to represent the 25th Ward in Chicago City Council on Jan. 19, 2015. | Peter Holderness / Sun-Times
<strong><small>Jorge Mujica talks to the Sun-Times editorial board about running to represent the 25th Ward in Chicago City Council on Jan. 19, 2015. | Peter Holderness / Sun-Times</small></strong>
Jorge Mujica talks to the Sun-Times editorial board about running to represent the 25th Ward in Chicago City Council on Jan. 19, 2015. | Peter Holderness / Sun-Times
<strong><small>Byron Sigcho talks to the Sun-Times editorial board about running to represent the 25th Ward in Chicago City Council on Jan. 19, 2015. | Peter Holderness / Sun-Times</small></strong>
Byron Sigcho talks to the Sun-Times editorial board about running to represent the 25th Ward in Chicago City Council on Jan. 19, 2015. | Peter Holderness / Sun-Times
<strong><small>Ed Hershey talks to the Sun-Times editorial board about running to represent the 25th Ward in Chicago City Council on Jan. 19, 2015. | Peter Holderness / Sun-Times</small></strong>
Ed Hershey talks to the Sun-Times editorial board about running to represent the 25th Ward in Chicago City Council on Jan. 19, 2015. | Peter Holderness / Sun-Times
<strong><small>Roberto Montano talks to the Sun-Times editorial board about running for election to represent the 25th Ward in Chicago City Council on Jan. 19, 2015. | Peter Holderness / Sun-Times</small></strong>
Roberto Montano talks to the Sun-Times editorial board about running for election to represent the 25th Ward in Chicago City Council on Jan. 19, 2015. | Peter Holderness / Sun-Times

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