The Rev. Jesse Jackson on Monday used a pile of garbage on Chicago's South Side to illustrate how city services are lacking in impoverished neighborhoods and said Cook County Commissioner Jesus "Chuy" Garcia was the better candidate to lead the city.
The high-profile endorsement from Jackson is a big boon to Garcia as he tries to earn the support of black voters, who are seen as crucial in the April 7 runoff with Mayor Rahm Emanuel.
Garcia over the weekend was endorsed by Rep. Danny Davis and by Teamsters Local 743, which endorsed Emanuel four years ago. Meanwhile, a poll out over the weekend continued to show that Emanuel and Garcia are in a statistical dead heat in the race.
But Garcia also has big-name detractors. At a separate event Monday, a group of city leaders said everything Garcia has promised during the campaign -- additional police officers and the removal of all red light cameras -- could cost the city an additional $1.9 billion.
"Since November, Chuy Garcia has been promising, promising, and promising to spend the city's money like it's a money tree," said Ald. Carrie Austin (34th), who chairs the City Council's Committee on the Budget and Government Operations. "But after 20 years in public office, he isn't doing, he has no plan to pay for all of these pipe dreams."
Emanuel worked with Jackson's son, Jesse Jackson Jr., when both were in the House of Representatives. Jackson Jr. is currently serving time in prison on charges he used campaign cash on personal items. Jackson Jr.'s wife, Sandi Jackson, was a Chicago alderman until she resigned in 2013.