Hearts and flowers on the 2nd Ward Aldermanic campaign trail? Not so much!

Date: 
02/13/2015
KimLizNeal

Kim Jackewicz, Liz Kuhn and Neal McKnight were moderators at the Feb. 5 Debate

Prelude:

With less then 2 weeks to go, life on the 2nd Ward campaign trail is not strewn with hearts and flowers but rather deep potholes, flying arrows, dribbles of finable acts and and ever increasing pile of dirty tricks. 

Listening to candidates at multiple forums/debates, looking at their literature, researching facts in public records, receiving a robo-call, being challenged as a viable signature on a petition and learning from multiple reliable sources about "behind the scene activities," this seasoned, skeptical area resident (now in the 2nd Ward) writer is in a state of amazement. (As a Chicagoan by birth...NOT a state of shock.} 

My plea to all 2nd Ward residents as well as those in other wards, please do your civic duty and really learn about the candidates in the race for your alderman and Chicago mayor. Then make an informed decision and be sure to VOTE! Voting has already begun. 

NLocke

N Locke was the moderator for the Pulaski Park event

Candidates and residents alike are not totally clear about how to approach/handle the outrageously configured new 2nd Ward.

Mayor Emanuel's interest in "sending a message" to Bob Fioretti with the help of some Alderman involved in the remapping "process" is and will continue to plague the lives of tens of thousands who reside, work or visit the Ward for the next 6 to 8 years*. The nearly 4-mile wide ward stretches, sometimes only a block deep, from Lake Michigan (Streeterville) to Wicker Park's Oakley Ave. (2300 W), extending as far south as Chicago Ave. to as far north as Wrightwood Ave., encompassing at least part of 19 neighborhoods. 

As the six candidates have worked, from the first forum through the third on the west side of the ward, to state or clarify what they say the issues are and how they would handle them in the 2nd Ward, two things have become more evident. First, the statements some make about what is happening in the neighborhoods would indicate they do not know the area they say they want to serve and secondly the friendly comradery among them no longer is so friendly. The zinging sound of verbal bullets heard at the last debate on Feb. 5 were not heard a week and half before that and were not limited to fellow 2nd Ward candidates.

From the beginning of the campaigns until now, overt and covert operations are leaving evidence of Chicago political slim or some may say thuggery along the trail. 

The 2nd Ward candidates are Bita Buenrostro, Brian Hopkins, Steve Niketopoulos, Alyx Pattison, Stacey Pfingsten and Cornell Wilson. Two, Buenrostro and Pattison, do not live in the Ward. 

A trio of 2nd Ward west side forums/debates focused on issues relating to the west side and the City. Many issues such as crime, safety and density exist on the East side but have a slightly different twist. Density, for example, is an issue to both but it "looks" differently in the high rise canyons along the Lake than the lower rise buildings along North Ave.

Two major projects that will be part of the new ward, were given little to no attention. They are the redevelopment of Finkl's in Lincoln Park and the improvement project for North Lake Shore Drive.

Buenrostro

Bita Buenrostro

Priorities
The top problems identified by the 6 candidates in the last two west side events were:

  • Crime/Safety
  • Development
  • City services

Other issues addressed the City's financial mess, school closings, snow removal, liquor moratoriums, ward infrastructure, sale of public assets, police body cameras, ability to work with other aldermen, candidate contributors and candidate uniqueness. 

Crime/Safety
The issue of crime and safety encompassed a broad range of topics. They are:

    • the City-wide issue of not enough Chicago Police Officers
    • the perception of increased crime, despite Mayor Emanuel's and Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy's citing of crime stats 
    • the high officer overtime without hires
    • the pan-handlers on the North Ave. highway ramps
    • the need for increased foot and bike patrols
    • the need to connect people and the police
    • the beefing up of the Chicago Alternative Policing Strategy (CAPS) program, which was dismantled in 2012
Hopkins

Brian Hopkins

Police
Hopkins said that Emanuel promised 1,000 new officers and he did not fulfill that promise. He looks to make that increase, as do several other candidates, including Buenrostro, whose husband Marcus is a cop. 

Hopkins also pointed out that 911 calls are up and that is an indication of not enough police patrols. In addition, a lack of call center staffing means that 911 calls go into a waiting line.

"If Emanuel cut 25% of the police overtime, 250 new officers could be hired and trained and added to the force." 

Pfingsten said that it is troubling that $100 million in overtime is budgeted for the new year but the Administration will not give specifics where that is being spent. She is for more officers, more  patrols, strengthen our Chicago Alternative Policing Strategy (CAPS) program and more events so we're building a more cohesive police strategy. She likes Niketopoulos' idea of crime text alerts from the Police Department. 

Pattison says she wants more police too and to "connect people to their police, adjusting how CAPS works and bringing officers to some of the places where we are, with increased bike and foot patrols." 

Another advocate for more officers, Niketopoulos, who lives in the area of the former 13th Police District, points out that with fewer police and the physical distances from the police stations, residents are further away from police than before. He believes in a crime strategy, engaging community members in a partnership aiding in the issue of safety by building trust between community and police. He substantiated that belief by talking about his efforts in the local neighborhoods. 

Wilson believes that it is important to build relationships with police. He believes that the police goals/actions need to be reviewed in the neighborhood. Further more, he expressed that the long term strategy is for a healthier economic city environment. He tied schools into the issues of policing, pointing out that it is important to have economic opportunities for kids when they get out of school. 

Buenrostro also believes in good jobs for kids and believes in community and police relationships as do others and encourages people to be involved in CAPS. 

Regarding police body cameras, all candidates agreed that more technology for police officers is a good thing. This type of technology protects citizens and the police and is expected to help build trust with the officers.

Niketopoulos

Steve Niketopoulos

Panhandling
Facts around panhandling at the ramp to the expressway at North Ave., seemed to surprise many in the audience. 

It was pointed out that many of the panhandlers are not homeless. In fact, one of the "regulars" comes on the weekend from Indiana. He is said to be a construction worker who collects a lot of tax-free money, then gets in his "fancy truck" and goes home over the state line.

Others are druggies. A local resident said that there is really only one homeless person who panhandles there. 

All the candidates feel that there needs to be a solution for this problem. Residents are interested in this and are concerned about this being the wrong way the entrance of their neighborhood should look and "feel." 

Pattison said that she learned while knocking on doors that, "…people actually know the names of the panhandlers, know where they come from. Some come in from Indiana and they are known to have Saturday morning shifts, which they share. It boggles my mind that the police do not know the names the way that the neighbors do. And they don't.

"So, one of the things we have to think about is an increase of police presence with more foot and bike patrols in the neighborhood, but also a real connection of CAPS to the neighbors. What I mean is that community policing can be fostered by an alderman. It must be fostered by an alderman.

"When I go to CAPS meetings I am often disappointed because there are the same 5 people. They are wonderful and truly engaged in their community, but the police are not coming out to us. This neighborhood is building some really great traditions, in part to combat crime. Bosworth has a chili fest in the fall. Police should be coming to them in their neighborhood.

"They should be coming to us like an Alderman does or an aldermanic candidate. It troubles me that they are not knocking on doors," she continues, explaining that if they did that they would better be able to handle what is going on at the North Ave. ramps. 

Pattison went on to say that those activities are not seen at the downtown ramps because the Mayors Daley and Emanuel made sure those areas are kept clean. 

Pattison

Alyx Pattison

Niketopoulos pointed out that the issue is broader. "Police know who they [panhandlers] are, but what are they going to do with them? Put them in jail? They keep coming out."

He went on to say that one has to look at the reasons underlying the behavior. In fact, they may need some city services or mental health services. In addition, the law enforcement jurisdiction of the area [which can be 3 at that location] can be involved." 

He then emphasized that the complicated issue of the homeless is another important reason for people in the community to share information with others in the community. "If everyone gets together, you find out that what seems to be a huge issue is really a micro issue and everyone feels they can get ahead of this." 

Picking up on those points, Wilson said that we can't be cynical about the homeless. "Four years ago we had a deficit of $600 million which was cut almost in half." To achieve that homeless shelters and mental health facilities were closed.

"Where do they go? They do go to prison. They know they are going to get food, a bed and their medication…Someone is going to get hurt and too often it is the least of us." 

Wrap around services is where, Wilson said, there must be a focus. "I know that all too often there are scam artists out there but we must be aware of that and provide opportunities for the homeless to get their lives back on track." 

Buenrostro pointed out that we do not have enough police to respond to regular police calls much less going door-to-door. "I will, as Alderman, be aware of the difference between criminals and people who just need help." 

The moritorium on Single Room Occupancy (SRO) is what Hopkins supports. He pointed out that they are often the last rung on the housing ladder and necessary, making the difference for many between living under a viaduct versus having a home.

Having worked with a homeless group for a few years, he explained that many of the chronically homeless choose to live under a viaduct. Though they know where the homeless shelters are, they will not use centers because they do not feel safe.

"There was a lawsuit a few years ago that did some good for us. It reaffirmed that homeless people have human rights and they have civil rights. They have to be treated in a certain way. Their possessions have to be treated in a certain way. Their possessions have to be protected. They can not be brutalized and they can't be harassed." 

He then pointed out that that does not give them the right to panhandle and that the issue has to be treated with sensitivity. Many entities have to be involved in addressing this issue, treating each person with dignity on a case to case basis with a caseworker.

SPfingsten

Stacey Pfingston

Pfingsten confirmed that the issue of the homeless must be treated in a delicate manner. "When I was in the Alderman's office, I got to know many of them, building a relationship so they would trust me."

She expanded that experience by working with other agencies serving that population. In fact she advocates for re-opening the shuttered mental health facilities, focusing on making the health wellness facilities and adding to them. 

On the other hand, she said that the North Ave. location has out-of-state non-homeless making a good buck. Her solution was to be creative and have the alderman and community do something positive like a PSA campaign to educate people on what is happening. Another was to do a sting operation that would sort out the homeless from the scammers.

Development
Pfingsten believes in community-led development and that each community should have long and short term plans. Looking at the many components of development, those plans would be the benchmark against which proposed developments would be measured. She is committed to not taking developer dollars, like some of her opponents. 

According to Pattison, "there are good and bad developers and developments." Acknowledging that though the housing stock on the east and west sides of the ward are different, there can be bad development in both. 

*I have taken and take developer money and I think that that's not indicative of anything because no amount of money is going to buy my decision or change my desire to serve you well in the neighborhoods." 

Niketopoulos, who like Pfingsten does not take development money, asked, "Do you know how much power aldermen have over zoning changes? Rarely do they get turned down. But the question is where is the accountability for this?  

"The check and balance is actual representation from the community. Then it is holding the alderman accountable to make sure you have a say in it." 

Wilson, who is also anti spot-zoning. He believes that the key in avoid ing spot-zoning is to work with the community to develop, refine or review plans. 

Interested in protecting the character of the neighborhoods, Buenrostro said that congestion and safety are two considerations in development and says that she will not be a rubber stamp. 

In favor of community planning, Hopkins says that spot-zoning is generally used to do something that is out of character to the neighbor hood. Reminding the audience that an alderman in the area who did a lot of spot-zoning is now a former alderman, he said that would not be a practice he would pursue. 

In response to a request to name a development project in the last 5 years they would support: Buenrostro and Hopkins gave praise to the Walgreens project in the original Noel State Bank at Milwaukee/North/Damen, while Niketopoulos favored Forbidden Root on Chicago Ave. Pfingston chose the former Goldblatt's building (West Town Library) on Chicago Ave. and Pattison chose the Northwest Tower Building, soon to be a hotel across from Walgreens. Wilson gave high praise to the reuse of the building at 900 North Branch St. (Halsted and Chicago Ave.) that is now Kendall College. 

All named the development they opposed as the Trader Joe's on Division St. Most hoped Trader Joe's would come to the area but the site at Honore across from LaSalle II school, was definitely not the right location. 

Wilson

Cornell Wilson

City Services
The issue of the very "unique" configuration of the Ward is recognized as an immediate Menu Money problem.

Hopkins and Pattison state that they will request additional monies to service the Ward. Hopkins believes that since there is no part of the new ward that was part of the former 2nd Ward, it is inherently unfair that parts of this new ward have not had proper city services for two years.

Thus, the ask to City Council would be for a one-time remedy in the form of a year's menu money, giving the new alderman two pools of menu money for one year, the one to aid in "catch-up" for the neglected sections.  

Pfingsten, who worked in the 2nd Ward office points out that Menu Money funded projects are often on the books for several years before they are implemented. "Staffs are so cut [in the City], that projects are taking longer to be handled," she explains. "The first job is to talk with the alderman in whose ward the sites in need of repair are, finding the status of the plan."

Additionally she points out that many other wards are lacking infrastructure work as well. They could claim other hardships. The fact is that there is not enough money to increase payments to wards.

Conspiring

The Feb. 5 moderators actively conferred, changed and added questions on-the-fly

Liquor moratoriums are an important question for residents in the East Village area as well as elsewhere in the new ward.

Neighborhood organizations and the prior and current aldermen have used them as a planning tool. The candidates were asked, "Would you, as an alderman for the 2nd Ward, support lifting the liquor moratoriums and if so under what circumstances?  

Wilson said each request would be studied and addressed. "If the community didn't want to lift it, I wouldn't." 

Buenrostro responded by saying that she will protect the character of the neighborhood, listening to what neighbors want. 

Hopkins said that it would be on a case by case basis but made it clear that he is not for 4 a.m. liquor licenses.

"Why did EVA have a liquor license moratorium," asked Niketopoulos. "Because Moreno [1st Ward Alderman Proco "Joe" Moreno] runs wild and you have to reign that guy in. So if you have an alderman who does whatever he wants to do, you have to take extreme measures to hold him accountable. That is why neighborhood organizations can work because the aldermen have to pay attention to them. It is not about dictating what everyone in the community should think." 

Pattison agreed with Hopkins. 

Pfingsten also agreed that it would require vetting with the community, commenting that she believed EVA's approach to having a Plan of Operation (POO) was also a great way to handle a situation as they did with Forbidden Root. [POO is used in Deleterious Impact cases by Business Affairs most commonly.] "That is a smart way to handle such issues in a community." 

City-wide issues
Considering the City's financial mess, candidates were asked how they see raising more income. No one felt that raising property taxes was the solution. 

With the looming payments for pensions, Wilson pointed out that it is quite important to deal with the fact the City is going broke. He wants to work with the City's financial committee and to look at creative solutions. 

He cited all the things that have been done including cell phone taxes, [51] school closings and mental health facility closings, saying he preferred using Tax Increment Financing (TIF) money to go toward meeting the pension obligations. 

Two targets for Buenrostro are expanding the sales tax and using some of the unused $7.12 billon in TIF funds. 

Hopkins said that 2nd Ward residents already pay the highest property taxes in the City and they can't be told it will be even more. He also pointed out that the pension debt alone puts $7,000 on the head of each Chicago resident.

 "Instead of going to Springfield to expand the sales tax, I would like to see us get them to change the distribution forumla to return more state taxes to Chicago. It was changed a few years ago and has cost Chicago millions of dollars."

He looks to reducing spending as well, pointing at Cook County Commissioner Toni Preckwinkle, who solved a similar crisis at the county level. 

Wilson cited all the things that have been done including cell phone taxes, school closings and mental health closings, saying he preferred using TIF money. He said that he wants to focus on solutions that the City Council could enact immediately, not ones that require passing legislation in Springfield or bringing in some new business. 

Imposing a three-year sunset on all the taxing possibilities was a suggestion from Niketopoulos as he pointed out that that was a way for voters to hold their public officials accountable. He also looked to the TIF funds and  suggested eliminating double dipping in multiple payrolls. 

Pattison sees having a sales tax on services as the big solution. "That would raise about $450,000 per year, according to estimates. I also support a Casino, not on Navy Pier or downtown. 

"I was disappointed to see that our $600 million pension payment due next year was not addressed in this year's budget," said Pfingsten. If a tax has to be imposed she prefers the City income tax. According to her research, 17 city's in this country have one. In a study, Inspector General Joe Ferguson said that just a 1% tax could bring in about $500 million. 

Pfingsten also said that cutting the waste in spending is another source of funds. "There are too many contracts going out of each department. They need to be looked at as do the ones being doled out for private contracts."

The Candidates
Candidates were asked to briefly describe why they are the most qualified for the job. 

Buenrostro says that the job of an alderman is a customer oriented business. Her experience in the restaurant business and her caring about the community makes her the best candidate. "We need to have someone who knows that if you don't pay the bills, you don't stay in business. I could never sell the furniture from the restaurant to pay current bills. We may not sell just what we need to survive just for another month. As a business woman, there is no room to make mistakes on our budgeting." 

Hopkins' view is that his parents' service-oriented beliefs, his many years of community service with CAPS, court advocate, the Streeterville community and professionally working with the homeless and their issues, other alderman, Mayor Emanuel, the Daleys and Toni Preckwinkle make him the one to select. 

Niketopoulos says that he has been in touch with real community issues. On the ground fighting first for his neighborhood and surrounding neighborhood rights over the last 5 years, he believes that community involvement is the only way all the neighborhoods are going to get a fair share of the 2nd Ward "pie."  A communications plan and being a feet-on-the-ground alderman is how he will make his unique plan successful.   

Pattison feels that her experiences from her first job as a teen to the last as a partner in Katten Muchin Rosenman, LLP [a position she left last year] have prepared her to deal with issues that affect people. Her drafting of  legislation, building of coalitions to pass legislation, then learning to build other types of coalitions coupled with her community service on a local school council, connecting the three, government, business and community. make her the best choice. 

Pfingsten said that she is the best choice because she does not need on-the-job training. She just left the alderman's office in September. She can start immediately because she knows how to setup a ward office, has driven the Ward several times with Streets and San and has a 10-page list of things to get done from simple signage to streets in need of repaving.

With good relationships with 5 of the current aldermen, whose old wards partially make up the new 2nd, she is in the position of being able to determine existing commitments of the Menu Monies in each of the new Ward segments. "I can do that and I'm ready to start today." 

Wilson cites two reasons that he is the best candidate: experience and independence. His breadth and depth of experience are that he led a platoon in Iraq, led Marines in battle as well as "doing the softer things like helping build schools, deliver medicines and, build hospitals in Africa with the Marines. I am an attorney, practiced for a few years and know the law and can understand policies and how they effect regular people. 

I am not beholden to any political organization, any politician or any special interest. I do this just as I did in the Marine Corps after 9/11 I decided to serve. I want to serve, I want to serve you. I will serve you by listening to you, being your advocate, going to City Hall, not being a rubber stamp and fighting for each and everyone of your interests."

Candidate Campaigns
RunClean is a new non-partisan, not-for-profit vehicle that allows candidates to campaign with dramatically less money. Participating candidates agree to fundraising or spending caps. 

The idea is to have clean and simple campaigns, run without big money. Candidates choose to partner with RunClean to reach this goal. Four of the 2nd Ward candidates are participating: Buenrostro, Niketopoulos, Pfingsten and Wilson

Their pledge was to not raise more than $125,000 from the end of December 2014 to the election.

Many residents in the new ward are concerned about pay-to-play (donations to aldermen by developers or other vendors looking to do business in the ward). Candidates were asked for a list of their last 3 largest contributors from last quarter and why they are contributing (see question #10 from Feb. 5 below). 

Pattison, who has raised the most among the 6 between 3/5/2014 and Jan. 31, 2015 in 405 receipts totaling $241,049.07, answered the question with, "I have so many 1,000 contributors…I  know  there are a couple 2,500 but I don't know my last three big contributors …don't know  don't know." 

The other reports on the government website, in order by size of donations may be reached below:

Bita Buenrostro from 6/27/2014 thru Jan. 31, 2015, from 127 receipts total $178,067.49 

Brian Hopkins from 3/3/2014 thru Jan. 31, 2015, from 279 receipts total $170,241.50

Steve Niketopolus from 8/27/2014 thru Jan. 31, 2015, from 28 receipts total $7,635.52

Stacey Pfingsten  from 8/29/2014 thru Jan. 31, 2015, from 53 receipts totaling $36,097.52

Cornell Wilson from 6/9/2014 thru Jan. 31, 2015, from 85 receipts total $102,954.67

BaHopkins

Brian Hopkins' wife and mother

Please note that in many of these lists, the candidates have loaned money to their own campaign. 

Hopkins stated that he would not take money from anyone who had business pending before the City. [That is the ordinance.] He also pointed out that his mother, Barbara, was his biggest financial supporter. On a lighter note, Niketopoulos said, "If Brian drops out to sail around the world, I hope I have his mom's vote, I've been talking to her a lot, she's a great great lady." 

Endorsements
Based on information from multiple candidates, endorsements from some of the biggest of media outlets to political officials, are questionable at best.

"Judges" are looking for certain criteria that have nothing to do with a candidate's knowledge about the area, ability to do the job or connect with people. And endorsers, often endorse because the candidate has been persistent. 

Kudos to the producers
Kudos to Kapra Fleming, Pulaski Park Neighborhood Association (PPNA), and Mieko Yoshida, Near North Montesorri, 1434 W. Division St., for organizing and hosting the Jan. 27 event. 

Praise for the Feb. 5 event goes to organizers and presenters Neal McKnight, East Village Association (EVA); Kim Jackewicz, Ukrainian Village Neighborhood Association (UVNA); Lyn Wolfson, Chicago Grand Neighborhood Association (CGNA); and Liz Kuhn, newly formed West Town Neighbors Association (WTNA). 

Special thanks to Wells Academy High School, 936 N. Ashland Ave., for hosting the Feb. 5 event and their Law Academy students for providing three great questions.

Questions at the Pulaski Park Neighborhood Association (PPNA) on Jan. 27 and Near North Montessori School:

  1. As part of introducing yourself, please list the top 2 priorities that you will address in the first 100 days in office.
  2. The Pulaski Park neighborhood has become a victim of many auto thefts with easy access to the expressway entrances and even shootings from cars that are passing through our neighborhood. How will you, as the 2nd ward alderman, help to ensure the safety of your constituents from spill-over violence that has started to occur from Michigan to Bosworth Avenues?
  3. Pulaski Park Neighborhood Neighbors are historically against spot-zoning and feel that we have lost many family-friendly units within the past ten years. In what way will you ensure that neighborhood groups are an integral part of decisions on zoning, variances and planned developments in the 2nd ward?
  4. North Avenue is one of the central streets to the new 2nd ward going from east to west. The west side of North Avenue at the Kennedy underpass has become a haven for panhandlers and the homeless with belongings piled high as a welcome to all who exit I-90 into the city. This has been curtailed at Division Street and is not condoned at the downtown ramps. As Alderman, how would you address this issue that is in the center of our neighborhood and the gateway to both sides of the 2nd ward?
  5. The Pulaski Park area has not seen any street or alley improvements since 2003 and between patchwork from new construction and 12 harsh winters many of our neighborhood streets and alleys are in desperate condition, how will you prioritize street and alley re-pavings within the new 2nd ward and when could we expect to see improvements in our infrastructure?
  6. The City of Chicago has in the past sold off assets and recently has farmed out the management of 50 city plazas with the hopes of not having to pay for upkeep in these areas 3 years from now. As an Alderman, what is your stance on maintaining assets and finding financing to maintain basic city infrastructure not only in the 2nd ward, but throughout the city.
  7. Participatory Budgeting is being embraced by only one of the candidates in the 2nd ward but is working successfully currently in 3 other wards: the 22nd, 45th and 49th. Can you provide 2 reasons why you are either for or against Participatory Budgeting. 

Questions from the multi-organizations' event at Wells High School on Feb. 5 were:

  1. What do you see as the number one problem facing the 2nd ward, and what would you do to help solve it? In addition, what do you see as the biggest problem that is specific to the West Town portion of the ward, and what would you do to help solve it?   
  2. The 2nd Ward has a strong field of candidates. Why are you more qualified to be the next alderman than the other 5 candidates?  
  3. From Wells Student: I recently read an article about there being a new test trial on police recording their arrest and traffic stops. Where do you stand on this subject? Do you agree or disagree?
  4. From Wells Student: Based on the recent heavy snow fall, what actions do you plan to put into action for further heavy snow fall?
  5. The new 2nd ward shares borders with the 1st, 27th, 32nd, 42nd, and 43rd wards, and is also within a couple of blocks of the 26th ward. Given the unique boundaries of the 2nd ward, what will be your approach to work with other aldermen to jointly get things done to benefit the residents of both wards? Examples of this may include schools whose attendance boundaries are in multiple wards, large scale development projects which impact the quality of life of residents in multiple wards, and long-term streetscape plans on streets, boulevards and avenues that traverse through multiple wards. 
  6. Given the current state of the finances in the city of Chicago, there is a strong likelihood that the city will need to raise taxes in order to fund its pensions. If you are required to raise taxes, what is your preferred method of raising taxes and why? 
  7. The communities in West Town have important and large historic districts, as well as a large number of historically significant orange rated buildings. How will you track new or proposed development projects in the ward?  What protocols will you put in place to address development issues in such a geographically diverse ward, and specifically West Town so as to preserve our historic architectural heritage? 
  8. Name a development project within the West Town area completed in the last 5 years that you would have supported, and one you would have opposed. These developments do not specifically need to be within the 2nd ward boundaries, but do need to be in the West Town area.
  9. From a Wells Student: Would you agree with the issue of the recent school closings in Chicago and do you have any plans to try and re-open any of them? 
  10. List the names of your largest 3 financial campaign contributors from last quarter and state why you think they are contributing to your campaign - particularly if they are from out of state or involved in real estate development.
  11. Will you be a full time Alderman, and are you willing to release your tax records to prove it?
  12. In the WestTown community there have been, over the years implemented, a series of tavern  packaged  liquor moratoriums on the major thorough fares. The moratoriums have been used as a planning tool by neighborhood associations, the current and prior aldermen. Would you as an alderman for the 2nd Ward support lifting the liquor moratoriums and if so under what circumstances? 
  13. A heated issue in West Town is that of the proposed Ashland Bus Rapid Transit, or BRT. Do you support the proposal in its current form?  If you don’t support it, what changes would need to be made to earn your support? (1 minute each)

 *Ward boundary changes must occur after the 2020 Federal Census is completed.

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