Candidate for City Council, 34th Ward
Education: Bachelor of Arts- Field of study-Accounting Master of Science-Criminal Justice
Occupation: Sr. Financial Analyst
Age: Not answered
Past Political/Civic Experience: Not answered
Q: Last year, the Chicago Tribune's investigative series "Broken Bonds" reported that, since 2000, Chicago had issued long-term bonds to spend nearly $10 billion, much of it for short-term operating expenses. Hundreds of millions of dollars went to delay bond payments by refinancing old debts, a tactic known as "scoop and toss" that extends payments far into the future. Was this borrowing justified? Going forward, how should City Hall change its finances to pay down existing debts and provide services? Will you argue primarily for cuts in spending or for tax increases? Please be specific.
I think one way to cut spending is to combine operating budgets from the Chicago transit Authority and Chicago Park District and have one large operating budget to fund both department services, both funding sources comes from federal dollars. This will eliminate wasteful spending, such as having two account receivable and payable departments and etc. This can also help reduce city personnel cost. These are the kind of concessions both New York and the city of Los Angeles are currently operating under.
Q: Chicago will face a substantial increase in contributions to its police and fire pension funds in 2016. Chicago's unfunded pension liability amounts to about $7,000 for each resident of the city. How should the city solve its pension crisis? Please be specific about pension changes, spending cuts or revenue increases you would support.
To change pension, spending cuts or revenue increases, the city must reform its existing pension system. Real reform must be negotiated with labor at the table, and must ensure revenue sources to fund our pension obligations short and long term.
Q: What changes should be made in the city's use of tax increment financing? Would you support expansion or extension of TIF districts in your ward? How should excess TIF funds be spent? Do you support the $55 million allotment of TIF funds to buy land for a Marriott Hotel and DePaul basketball arena? Please explain.
The city use of TIF should be made transparent for each ward. I would support the extension of TIF district in the 34th ward. The excess TIF funds should be spent in the CPS. TIF forecasting will be a huge component of the community planning task force.
Q: The Tribune Editorial Board recently offered "12 ways to heal a city" — the best ideas among more than 1,000 suggestions from readers on how to craft "A new Plan of Chicago." These proposals are available at chicagotribune.com/plan. Please tell us which ideas you would champion. We invite you to offer additional ideas for dealing with Chicago's challenges.
Curb Crime. Save Chicago. The police and community leaders should work together to help create safer environments for residents. I believe that more police services should be re-allocated to high crime neighborhoods. This clearly is in need of further study, re-allocation of police resources to match challenges to the safety of City residents must be the main factor in resolving these critical crime issues in Chicago. In addition the City residents have to do their part to help curb crime and save Chicago.
Q: Should the City Council keep or abolish the office of legislative inspector general? Should the city inspector general be given the authority to investigate aldermen and their staff members? Do you have other ideas to improve government ethics in Chicago? Please explain.
The City Council should keep the office of legislative inspector general. They should be given authority to investigate alderman and their staff members. The feds have done an excellent job indicting and convicting past city council members.
Q: The Chicago Public Schools system has seen significant improvements in freshmen on track and high school graduation rates. CPS has also closed dozens of schools, used fiscal 2016 revenue to balance its 2015 budget and faces a roughly $700 million pension payment in 2016. Please give us your assessment of the academic and financial performance of the city's public schools. What is the key to improving public education in the city? Should members of the Board of Education be elected by the public or continue to be appointed by the mayor? Do you support the longer school day and year? Should CPS expand or reduce the number of charter schools? How should CPS close its significant budget gap?
I strongly believe that the Board of Education should be elected by the public. The city need and deserves a Superintendent that has an extensive back ground in education. The overall record of charter schools is not significantly better public schools. If charter school are the future of Chicago, they must become a part of the overall education plan for the city with a clear purpose and on going assessment of their success or failures. We need educational leadership which will train our children to compete in the global society. I support longer school day and year.
Q: How would you attract more employers to your ward? How would you encourage employers to hire local residents? What have you done to promote economic development in your ward?
I will develop a plan for the 34th ward to attract employers and to hire local residents when I'm elected Alderman. In addition, I will implement a plan to promote economic development in the ward.
Q: Do you support or oppose the City Council vote to increase the minimum wage in several steps to $13 an hour by 2019? Please explain.
I support the City Council to vote to increase the minimum wage to $13.00 per hour by 2019. The wage increase will help lessen the struggles families are currently experiencing due to lack of income.
Q: Should the Lucas Museum of Narrative Art be built at the proposed location on Chicago's lakefront? Please explain.
Q: How can the city improve public safety? Please address the role and performance of the Chicago Police Department and the role of neighborhood residents in crime prevention. What have you done to improve public safety in your community?
The police and community leaders should work together to help create safer neighborhoods for residents of Chicago. I've attended several block club meetings in the 34th ward to discussed how we can improve safety within our community. More residents are getting involved with reporting crimes that are being committed in their neighborhood.
Q: Do you support Chicago's traffic light camera program? Please explain.
No, I do not support Chicago's traffic light camera program. I personally feel that the city is using the traffic light cameras to steal money from residents to increase their revenue.
Q: Should Chicago reduce the number of aldermen in the City Council?
Q: What is your highest priority for improving your ward? What is the greatest concern you hear from residents of your ward?
Improve economic development with community based input. Develop educational programs for all ages. Job growth, better schools and safer streets.
Q: Please tell us something about yourself that would surprise us.