Candidate for Mayor
Education: Mendel High School; University of Illinois, BA in political science; Northern Illinois University College of Law, JD
Home: West Loop
Past Political/Civic Experience: Alderman since 2007
Q: What are the top two issues that should be on the minds of young Chicagoans?
Safe streets and strong neighborhoods. We're at a crossroads today where we could have more of the same – a pro-privatization agenda that leaves our neighborhoods behind, or an inclusionary government that strengthens vital neighborhood institutions and brings jobs to our communities, which will help make all our streets safer.
Q: Chicago counted more than 400 homicides in 2014. What is your strategy to lower homicides, shootings and crime in general?
We need a holistic approach to policing. My public safety platform calls for more police, stemming the flow of illegal guns, expanding restorative justice programs and more. We need to also address the root causes of crime. Good jobs and strong neighborhood schools should be part of our crime fighting policy.
Q: As mayor, how will you create new jobs in the city?
I want to make sure that local companies have access to contract opportunities on public works projects. Additionally, we need to make certain that Chicago becomes a world class hub for technology and innovation. I will work with hubs, like BLUE1647 in Pilsen, to bring the jobs to our neighborhoods. I'll work to encourage small business growth and creative ideas like worker owned cooperatives.
Q: Where does improving the CTA rank on your list of priorities? What specifically would you like to improve for riders?
Addressing transit deserts in the city would be a top priority. Roughly half a million of Chicago's residents lack access to fast, frequent bus and train service. This disproportionately affects low income people and people who live on the south and west sides. All residents in all our neighborhoods deserve equity.
Q: Does the recently-passed minimum wage hike in Chicago go far enough?
No. By 2019, $13 an hour will be pennies above the poverty line. The mayor had a chance to work collaboratively with workers, small business owners and the Progressive Caucus on a proposal that would've made certain large companies making over $50 million paid their workers at least $15 an hour.
Q: Should the Lucas Museum of Narrative Art be built on the lakefront's Museum Campus? Why or why not?
No. Our lakefront shouldn't be a private parking spot for Jabba the Hut's palace. I welcome the Lucas Museum and there are many other parcels of land in many neighborhoods that can be developed for it.
Q: What would you do to help bikes and cars peacefully coexist on city streets?
Drivers and cyclists both need to remember that we share the roads here in the city. We need smart bike lane development that works with communities. At the same time, we need strong education on the rules of the road for both parties – and maybe even an anger management class or two.
Q: Do you support or oppose the decriminalization of marijuana?
I am in favor of decriminalization but would need to see specific legislation in order to comment further.
Q: What's your favorite movie filmed in Chicago?
The Blues Brothers.
Q: Pick one: Blackhawks, Bears, Bulls, Cubs, Sox, Fire?
Let's go Hawks! The Bulls and the Hawks practically play in my backyard. I consider the Billy Goat on Madison my second office. I don't even need a schedule for games, I just see whether all the people in my ward are wearing hockey sweaters or basketball jerseys.
Q: Which fictional political TV show do you watch: House of Cards, Veep, Scandal, The Good Wife, Parks and Recreation, Alpha House, Madame Secretary?
Q: What is your favorite spot to grab a beer in Chicago?
It depends - if I want to grab a quick drink and I'm downtown, I'll head over to Brando's. But sometimes I want a delicious cheezborger with my beer, and there's no better place than the Billy Goat
Q: Which is worse: ketchup on a Chicago-style hotdog or thin crust pizza?
As an attorney I reject the premise. Thin crust, the kind made in neighborhood taverns -- cut into party squares -- is the REAL Chicago pizza. Deep dish is great, but Nicki (my fiancée) and I like Home Run Inn. If we aren't feeling social we pick one up and bake it at home.
Q: If you played hooky a la "Ferris Bueller's Day Off," how would you spend your day?
A long bike, which is a great way to see a lot of buildings, architecture, and even nerdy stuff like bridges and tunnels and the infrastructure that make cities work. Maybe top it off with a visit to Buddy Guy's to catch some great live music and a much needed Old Style.
Q: If elected, do you commit to an interview with the RedEye within one month of taking office?
Feel free to come by the fifth floor of City Hall anytime you like.