Why I’m Running For Mayor of Chicago2018-05-27T17:48:30+00:00

I want to be the Mayor because I am a problem solver, not a politician.

I am in this to win for ALL Chicago, not a chosen few. The City is in crisis and City Hall needs a challenger like me.”

Why I Am Running

Chicago is at a crossroads, and is in need of a leader who is a problem solver not a politician. I will be that leader for Chicago. It starts with a balanced budget.

The budget needs to be a comprehensive long-term financial plan. The history of budgeting in Chicago has been just the opposite. Backroom deals and politics permeate every aspect of the budgeting process. As a result:

  • There is no long term planning for the most critical governmental functions, public safety, schools, and economic development.
  • The cost of programs and initiatives and critical problems to be addressed are all too often deferred to the post-election season and, sometimes, the next generation of Chicagoans.
  • There is an absence of certainty, predictability, continuity, and trust in our City government, which perpetuates governmental inefficiency and ineffectiveness.
  • When initiatives are funded, they are often the product of politics – decided with little-to-no debate or public input – that offer little real or lasting benefit, not part of a long term strategic plan to most effectively benefit the City and its residents
  • Citizens are fed up. 

Turning It Around

GETTING THE BALANCE RIGHT

The City’s budget needs to be part of a long-term financial plan that makes investments in areas critical to City growth and prosperity. When a city is safe and secure on every block; when all families have access to quality school choices; when there are equitable economic opportunities for all who seek them; when the cost of living is affordable for everyone; when the city’s infrastructure is being maintained in every neighborhood; when its environment is healthy for all; – then, and only then, do you have conditions that nurture positive growth and thriving, diverse communities in Chicago. Each of these things needs to be planned for and paid for. In a well-run city, budgets must be long-term financial plans that enable the city to grow.

What Happens When the Budgets Go Wrong…

Here’s what it’s meant over the last decade, let’s dig deeper to learn more:

Dramatic fluctuations in the number of police officers protecting our streets and the consistent failure to fill even budgeted positions within the Chicago Police Department. In fact, despite promises during the most recent election to add 1,000 new police officers, over 2,000 police positions were initially eliminated after Mayor Emanuel’s reelection.

After ignoring the West and South Sides for over six years, a “Developers Fee” on downtown development was enacted to finance the new “Neighborhood Redevelopment Fund” (NRF) – a fund that will allegedly help long-neglected areas. However, there is an absence of any real oversight or accountability of the fund’s application. As a result, as of 2018, NRF dollars are being awarded in a non-transparent, political fashion and are not being used as a part of community driven economic development planning. Grants up to $250,000 can be awarded without City Council approval. In fact, the Mayors Office just committed $250 million from the NRF towards job training for the Amazon HQ2 proposal, an amount well in excess of what the Developer’s Fee will generate.

Delays in investing in the right technology, inadequate and ongoing training, and insufficient supervision (sergeants and training officers) have contributed to police action that has resulted in an escalation of court settlements. Other City departments and agencies also suffer from a financial and process efficiency standpoint for the lack of investment.

The non-transparent decision to build an arena for DePaul University at McCormick Place over eight miles from the University’s campus at a cost of $175 million ($100 million taxpayer subsidized), using, in part, backdoor TIF surpluses – a tool supposed to be used by the City to promote public and private investment and development. All of this despite the offer by the United Center to let DePaul pay there for free.
The failure to think and plan proactively, sustainably, and contextually to lay the foundation for Chicago’s success for years to come. The current administration, failed take advantage of having a Democratic Governor for five years and the veto-proof Democratic State House of Representatives and Senate to push for a fairer school funding formula and equity in State funding for the Chicago teachers’ pensions. Instead, the City sought extension of the pension holiday in 2010 (approved) and in 2013 (rejected). The decision to wait until 2017 to secure State funding equity has already cost the City almost $1.5 billion in State pension contributions. This is $1.5 billion that Chicago property taxpayers will ultimately have to cover because of the lack of forward-looking, problem-solving thinking in City Hall.

Together We Succeed

BENEFITS OF A LONG TERM PLAN

For Chicagoans to succeed, it is critical that their City leadership creates, empowers, and maintains long-term stability and continuity. City agencies and departments manage and deliver services best and most efficiently when they know what resources they will have over an extended period of time. 

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