Platform

GOVERNMENT TRANSPARENCY

The recent revelations of Alderman Solis's misuse of the powers of elected office for personal gain only add to the large body of conclusive evidence of the alderman's’ engagement in corrupt activities during his 23-year tenure. If we truly want reform, transparency, and accountability in local government, however, we need to acknowledge that this corruption was enabled for years by those who turned a blind eye to it for their own political or financial benefit. We have to hold accountable those who have ignored indisputable evidence of corruption. As alderman, I will:
  1. Implement participatory budgeting where residents decide how the $1 million allocated to ward development should be used
  2. Support public financing of municipal campaigns so that big money interests have less influence over elections
  3. Advocate for the expansion of the powers of the Inspector General so that they be given subpoena power, committee oversight and the agency to conduct independent investigations
  4. Call for an immediate forensic audit of the entire $100 million Workers Compensation program by outside counsel in concert with the Inspector General – a program which has been opaquely overseen by disgraced Alderman Ed Burke
  5. Continue to refuse donations from developers, advocates of privatized charter schools and large corporate interest PACs
  6. Propose changes to Rule 14 that would require all City Council members formally file written notice of any conflict of interest ahead of a matter’s consideration, and that they then recuse themselves and be physically absent from all debates, hearings and votes on said action–including committee chairs
  7. Urge Rule 36 be followed to the letter so that committee chairs are selected not by the mayor, as they have historically been, but by City Council

HOUSING

Housing is a human right. More than 10,000 people have been displaced from the ward since 2000 because of the escalating cost of housing. Nearly a third of our households are rent burdened while small homeowners carry unfair property tax burdens. As alderman, I will:
  1. Employ community-driven zoning where constituents can provide input on proposed zoning changes and other community projects
  2. Call for lifting the statewide ban on rent control to open up more avenues of intervention to stabilize rents and reduce housing costs for renters and homeowners alike
  3. Advocate for property tax exemptions for long-term homeowners
  4. Support the Development for All Ordinance requiring 30% on-site affordable housing for all large-scale residential housing developments and that would eliminate “in-lieu” fees that allow developers to avoid upholding affordable housing requirements
  5. Champion the Homes for All Ordinance, establishing an automatic approval process for affordable housing applications not acted upon within 90 days
  6. Enact policies to ensure that there is an adequate supply of affordable family sized units available to families in the Section 8 program

EDUCATION

I arrived in America alone as a teenager without speaking a word of English. I enrolled in a public high school in Tennessee where I learned the language, among many other things. I am ultimately an example of what public education can do. But I also acknowledge how fortunate I’ve been, and more importantly, how the quality of education our children receive shouldn’t be something that we leave up to chance. As alderman, I will:
  1. Fight to prevent school closings and open new schools in underserved neighborhoods
  2. Fully fund all public schools, implement initiatives in public schools such as lowering the student-teacher ratio, increasing special education funding, and providing wraparound services for students with complex needs
  3. Advocate for establishing a democratically-elected school board, as I have since 2012
  4. Continue to call for a moratorium on charter school expansion until they meet the same requirements of accountability and transparency as traditional public schools

PUBLIC SAFETY

I view crime not as a punitive issue but a structural one and therefore will prioritize restorative justice and holistic community safety initiatives with stakeholders engaged at all levels to work together towards building healthier communities. As alderman, I will:
  1. Create a Civilian Police Accountability Council (CPAC) to allow for better civic accountability in policing
  2. Close the carve outs in the Welcoming City Ordinance and end CPD-ICE cooperation to make Chicago safer not just for undocumented immigrants but for all
  3. Introduce holistic community safety initiatives, youth programming, second chance programs, and better fund alternative crime prevention programs like Cease Fire
  4. Abolish the Chicago Police Department gang database
  5. Back the resolution introduced by the Black Caucus in 2017 demanding critical reforms to the Fraternal Order of Police contract
  6. Support the Chicago Police Accountability Task Force’s call for the creation of a Community Safety Oversight board with the power to oversee CPD, COPA and all police oversight mechanisms

ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT & EQUITY

While it is crucial that we address our budget deficit, it is also clear that devoting large sums towards costly projects of questionable use like the $95 million police academy at the expense of public services like mental health clinics needs to be addressed. I oppose all forms of regressive taxation, and believe that the rich should pay their share. As alderman, I will:
  1. Support The Back to Basics TIF ordinance that restores the TIF program to its original purpose: to spur economic development in blighted communities
  2. Reinstate corporate head tax, introduce LaSalle Street tax and advocate for progressive income tax as means of revenue generation to address our pension crisis and budget deficit
  3. Champion the Fight for $15 and work to further strengthen the Office of Labor Standards
  4. Oppose SSA tax and any other forms of regressive taxation that disproportionately puts the burden of taxation on the poorest and most vulnerable
  5. Support local business development in business corridors in Pilsen, Little Village, Chinatown and West Loop