CHICAGO DESERVES BETTER. I WILL DELIVER.

Crime

police car at night.

The Chicago city government has a fundamental obligation and responsibility to ensure its residents are safe, do not live in fear, and have unfettered access to public safety services, but people all over the city do not feel safe. Fear and violent crime are widespread and out of control and it is impacting every part of Chicago.

People are demanding a restoration of civil order and a plan for lasting public safety. As Mayor, I will work with CPD and every other city agency to help restore peace and safety for all Chicagoans. It is unacceptable that our citizens, especially our children, are vulnerable to violence because it has become the norm in their community. It is no revelation that crime-related violence is concentrated in the communities located on the South and West sides of the city and is rooted in historical issues of poverty, lack of investment and economic development, employment opportunity, education, and more.

But, how many times are we going to make excuses for violent offenders that terrorize the law-abiding citizens in these neighborhoods? How many times are we going to turn a blind eye to the impact that the policies of the State’s Attorney’s Office created by providing a revolving door for those offenders and the lack of leadership from the current Mayor? When will our most vulnerable, such as our seniors and others stop feeling like they are under “house arrest” because they fear going outside during the evening or during large public events? How can we justify neighborhoods feeling compelled to hire private security to keep their homes and businesses safe because they have lost confidence in the Mayor or the CPD’s ability to perform their job because of understaffing, lack of leadership from the current Superintendent, and most importantly, lack of support for the rank-and-file officers from all three?

Public safety cannot be something that is only available to the wealthy and privileged. Everyone in every community throughout the city of Chicago deserves fair and equitable protection and as Mayor that will be one of the pillars of my administration. People are fed up with feckless leaders who make empty promises and deliver nothing.

Though the city is a collection of diverse people and communities, we are ONE Chicago and we deserve a mayor and city government that works for the interests of ALL Chicagoans.

Chicago deserves better, As Mayor, I will deliver.

Toward that end here is my initial common-sense strategy to address crime and safety in Chicago beginning day 1

  • Announce that stopping rampant crime and civil unrest will be the #1 priority of my administration
  • Restore trust and confidence in the mayor’s office by leading from the front
  • Unify Police Command, City Council, and civilian oversight agencies behind my shared vision and goals for CPD
  • Request immediate assistance from the IL National Guard from the Governor
  • Direct new CPD Supt. to immediately review current staffing levels and provide adequate time off for rank & file officers
  • Direct Police Supt. to submit a recruitment plan in 30 days to replenish police staffing to appropriate levels as quickly as possible
  • Appoint a police policy czar to interact with civilian oversight agencies
  • Direct CPD Supt to provide a complete inventory of PPE
  • Allocate the budget for proper police equipment and training
  • Direct Police Supt. to develop and submit a multi-prong plan for police reform within 90 days. This plan will include, but not be limited to training of existing and new recruits, Department-wide leadership and supervision, promotion policies, collaboration with other city agencies and communities, and crime-solving capacity focusing on improved homicide clearing rates
  • Create a new mental health unit within CPD to answer mental health calls and relieve pressure from criminal law enforcement rank and file officers
  • Re-allocate some police funding to the newly formed mental health unit
  • Direct Police Supt. to create an armed CTA unit within CPD with adequate funding and resources to secure all methods of Chicago mass transit and provide a safe environment for passengers
  • Direct Police Supt. to create a Cyber Disobedience unit to monitor social media and develop a plan for social media-fueled criminal activity
  • Direct Police Supt. to create a working partnership and develop a plan to assist during civil unrest between CPD and City Public Works
  • Restore community policing
  • Work with Supt. and FOP to develop a plan to restore trust, confidence, and accountability between CPD and communities
  • Shine a white-hot spotlight on the States Attorney and her office to inform the people of Chicago about her policies and the real impact they have on all communities
  • Work to develop a common-sense policy regarding criminal charging/bail that protects citizens from serial repeat offenders
  • Invest in underserved communities in behavioral, mental, and physical health care
  • Invest in underserved communities to provide adequate funding for and access to quality education
  • Invest in underserved communities to create equitable economic growth through development and job creation that offers opportunities to residents
  • Review compliance with Federal Consent Decree and direct Supt. to work with the Office of Professional Standards and the Police Accountability Task Force (PATF) to make recommendations

Education

I have been a lifelong supporter of education as a vehicle to help lift people out of poverty. I believe that investment in teachers, students, schools, and teaching resources is not only a worthwhile investment but a vital one to help reshape underserved communities plagued by crime and violence into economic opportunity areas for residents.

I will create a multi-pronged approach to this challenge by first, creating TIF districts in these neighborhoods to spur and encourage commercial and residential development. I will work with local stakeholders and CPS to identify under-enrolled schools that can be re-developed to smaller footprints to minimize student vacancies. A Doran administration will work with parents, teachers, and other stakeholders to prioritize providing a safe learning environment for all students in all neighborhoods.

This will include but not be limited to providing greater investment in more social workers, school nurses and counselors as well as making sure that schools have the funding resources needed to support a broad and rich curriculum for students. I will advocate for a reduced school footprint in neighborhoods that have low enrollment and reduce class sizes to foster a more one on one approach between students and educators.

I am fully committed to making every school building safe, clean, comfortable, and efficient for teachers, faculty, and students. Any building that fails to comply with these basic accommodations will be identified and addressed. Students/teachers/faculty should not be subjected to climate-related issues, health or safety issues such as lead or mold poisoning and weapons on school property, and more… Any school currently within CPS that has low enrollment will also be identified and I will work with CPS to identify the root cause of low enrollment and develop a strategy to increase enrollment or as a last resort, close or reduce the building footprint of the school.

Once we have identified and addressed these underlying issues we will simultaneously address the basic structural issues that exacerbate under-enrollment in these neighborhoods such as access to affordable housing, employment opportunities, and necessary changes to criminal justice processes designed to improve opportunities for those struggling to succeed.

Pensions

I believe that city workers who spent their whole career contributing to their pension fund deserve to receive the pension benefits they earned, PERIOD. It is not their fault that the city failed to live up to its fiduciary duty to manage the city’s finances so that these pensions are funded appropriately.

I am open to a state constitutional amendment as it pertains to future hires, but only if all parties can agree on what that would look like. In the absence of such an amendment I will work toward making sure that all city employees that contribute to their respective pension funds receive the benefits therein.

I am not in favor of issuing any pension obligation bonds to address pension funding shortfalls.

I support finding economic efficiencies in the city budget first while also focusing on developing new and creative streams of revenue to help fund the pensions. I also propose the creation of a new public bank for the city of Chicago to reduce our dependence on outside financial institutions that either cannot or will not restructure our debt in a positive manner. This will save the city millions in penalties and fees generated by these banks that could then be used to fund pension funding shortfalls.

As Mayor I will enact creative reforms to solve this pension funding issue. I will work with the Governor and state legislators to create new legislation that would allow pension funds the chance to offer discounted benefit buyouts to Tier 1 contributors. I would also ensure that a large portion of revenue raised through progressive tax rates are diverted toward pension debt obligations.

All current and future expansions of Cannabis and Gaming revenue in Chicago would be allocated specifically toward pension debt stabilization.

Tax Increment Financing (TIF)

Tax Increment Financing (TIF), when properly conceived and implemented, puts life into areas that would be otherwise depressed. When properly conceived and implemented, TIF’s promote new housing, new businesses, new jobs, higher property values and a better quality of life. But for the TIF, many Chicago neighborhoods that now flourish, would have fallen into decay. The revenue created by the well-crafted TIF far outweighs the cost of funding. However, many of the TIF’s were not properly conceived or implemented.

There is no question in my mind that there have been massive TIF abuses. We must demand real transparency of every part of the TIF policy and process. Every year Chicago allocates over 650 million dollars in collected property taxes to fund roughly 144 TIF districts.

As Mayor I will require a full analysis and accounting of all existing TIF districts, including a performance review of each TIF to determine if they are:

  • Meeting their intended objectives
  • That private recipients are satisfying their contractual obligations, including affordable housing as 10% or more of new developments in TIF designated areas being designated as affordable housing are a significant component of new projects.
  • I will amend the ARO to increase the requirement for affordable housing to 20% in all new TIF funded developments.

I will not authorize the creation of any new TIF districts, until this review is complete and all current TIF districts are in full compliance as outlined in the current TIF policy for the city of Chicago. The approval process will be far more stringent.

I will crack down on the application and use of the “In-Lieu” fee that developers can opt to pay instead of incorporating affordable housing in their projects by increasing the fee substantially to encourage developers to build those affordable housing components in their projects or increase the fee enough so that it provides funding for city subsidized affordable housing development. I will consider creating a rebate plan for developers if they commit to creating affordable housing or community assets as a component of their development rather than paying the “in-Lieu” fee.

I will work to make the approval process for creating new TIF districts fully transparent by making TIF documents available to the residents within the proposed TIF district and holding public discussions, such as town hall meetings, before final approval is given. I will instruct the city to monitor private developers to ensure compliance of TIF investment and enforce any and all penalty provisions outlined in the redevelopment agreement including, but not limited to clawing back TIF funds.

I will crack down on the porting of TIF funds from TIF districts in underserved communities to more mature and affluent communities to guarantee that development occurs in the neighborhoods that most need it and for which the TIF was originally intended.

I will support limiting Aldermen from preventing affordable housing developments being built in their wards.

Any annual TIF surplus would be directed to CPS

I will continue to evolve and update my TIF-related reforms and initiatives as my campaign moves forward.

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