About Paul2018-07-02T00:53:25+00:00

“For Chicagoans to succeed, it is critical that their City leadership creates, empowers, and maintains long-term stability and continuity.”

“I’ve spent my entire career responding to requests for help in extreme crisis situations, not only in Chicago, but nationally and internationally.”

My Personal History With Chicago

I was born and raised in Chicago and for many years raised my three boys in Chicago. For twelve years I was Chicago’s Revenue Director, then Budget Director, then CEO of Chicago’s Public Schools. I care deeply about the people in every corner of Chicago. Chicago is a GREAT city. I love it, you love it, and the tourists who visit by the tens of thousands love it. But living in Chicago is very hard for many and it’s getting much harder. Demographics don’t lie.

I want to be our next Mayor. In the next weeks and months I look forward to laying out my specific thoughts and ideas as well as showing you how and why the current model for our city is failing. I look forward to earning your trust. I believe that without earning your trust I could never be the leader that our city deserves. My sole focus will be working day and night for you, for your families, for our children, and for our city. This job would be the pinnacle of my lifetime of service.

Watch My Mayoral Race Announcement

My Work Started Right Here, in Illinois and Chicago

In my 12 years as Chicago’s Revenue Director, Budget Director and CEO of Chicago Public Schools, we balanced budgets, improved bond ratings thirteen times, held the line on property taxes, while putting a record 13,500 police on the streets. We renovated 70% of Chicago’s streets, built 78 new school buildings, completely renovated over 350 schools, while we academically improved schools and increased student achievement. Pensions were fully funded and we negotiated fair contracts to ensure labor peace. As a result, residents and businesses in all communities had greater faith in Chicago’s ability to serve their needs.

Work in Haiti

RECOVERING FROM DISASTER

I worked in Haiti developing a plan to build a functioning school system after the devastating earthquake of 2010 that killed over 200,000 people. My work with the Haitian Ministry of Education resulted in a comprehensive education plan for that country, which was endorsed by the International Haitian Reconstruction Commission. The plan served as a blueprint for the creation of Haiti’s first-ever publicly subsidized school system.

Some career highlights are as follows…

1985-1990

I was the State of Illinois Executive Director, Economic and Fiscal Commission. I was responsible for analyzing legislation, assessing legislative impact and making recommendations with regard to state finances, state and local taxes, and economic development.

1990s

I reformed the City of Chicago’s Department of Revenue in the early 90’s. Specific accomplishments include implementation of: (1) parking enforcement program that practically doubled Chicago’s parking ticket collections; (2) an impoundment program for vehicles used in crimes; and (3) an information – sharing program with the Illinois Department of Revenue that assisted state tax investigations.

1990-1993

Taking over as City of Chicago Budget Director in 1993 when the City was in budget crisis, balancing three budgets without borrowing or deferring obligations like pensions, while putting a record 13,500 police officers on the street. I rewrote the City’s tax and fee ordinances, generating record revenue increases from many of the revamped ordinances. I also reformed the Department’s audit functions to generate record collectibles from account settlements. The financial performance earned an upgraded bond rating.

1995-2001

I became CEO of the Chicago Public Schools in 1995, closing a $1.2 billion projected five year deficit, leaving the schools with six straight balanced budgets, and hundreds of millions of dollars in cash reserves, leaving a teachers pension system 100% funded, while raising $3 billion for school construction that included funding the construction of 78 new school buildings and over 1,900 renovation projects. The financial performance earned twelve bond rating upgrades.

2002-2007

I had similar success in Philadelphia, where I instituted long-term financial planning, resulting in $200 million being shifted into classrooms and a structurally balanced budget for three consecutive years. In 2007, more than 70% of the District’s budget now directly supported classrooms. I also established a teacher recruitment and retention program that increased teacher applicants threefold. This resulted in fewer than a dozen teacher vacancies in an 11,000 teacher system in the 2005 – 2006 academic year. This also raised teacher retention rates to nearly 94%.

2007-2010

I was responsible for developing, implementing and managing reform measures within the Recovery School District of Louisiana (RSD), which was the turnaround district responsible for rebuilding, reopening and overseeing most public schools in post Hurricane Katrina New Orleans. Together we opened 22 schools and hired 500 teachers in 90 days to serve waves of students returning to New Orleans after the storm.

2010-2012

I worked in Haiti developing a plan to build a functioning school system after the devastating earthquake of 2010 that killed over 200,000 people. I was later recruited by the government of Chile to advise on post earthquake school rebuilding strategies, and on the general condition of its education system.

2011-2014

I was recruited by the Connecticut Commissioner and Board of Education to lead the management of recovery from crisis in the state’s largest school district. We developed and implemented a comprehensive five-year financial plan, and balanced two consecutive budgets with no borrowing. We replaced 10-year-old textbooks with new language arts, math and science books. We upgraded lacking technology with Smart Boards and desktops for all teachers, and laptops for all high school students.

2016

I directed a team of experts at the invitation of Deputy US Attorney General Sally Yates to develop a plan to revamp and improve the adult education and occupational training program in the Federal Bureau of Prisons which manages 122 institutions. My focus was on the program’s current capabilities and opportunities for improvement in all areas including offender education assessments, special education, adult literacy, vocational and occupational training and post-secondary education.

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