Leslie Fox for 43

Priorities

The 43rd Ward needs an experienced, independent leader that knows how to get things done.

Leslie Fox is the only candidate able to address the two most pressing issues facing our community: improving schools and reducing crime.

I’ve pledged to be an independent and transparent leader, that’s why I’m releasing all of my questionnaires. You can read them all by clicking here.

 

  1. Schools — The 43rd Ward must be a place where all parents feel comfortable sending their kids to local public schools and confident that their kids are safe walking the streets in their community. As the only parent running with children in Chicago Public Schools, Leslie Fox will fight to:
    • Invest in education as a budget priority because strong schools create strong communities.
    • Have a dedicated social worker to support individual students and families in every school. Social workers teach valuable problem-solving skills to teenagers who might otherwise resort to violence.
    • Return funding to the mental health clinics that were shut down by the current administration and the city council
    • Transition our school boards to be elected in order to be reflective of the communities they serve.
    • Work more closely with the Chicago City Colleges to train young people in the trades and then pressure the trade unions to participate in that training so inner-city students get entry to labor jobs.
    • Host more job fairs with companies that hold city contracts at the airports, Navy Pier, and the professional sports venues.
  2. Safety — People in the 43rd Ward don’t feel safe walking around during the day. In order to create a safer community, Leslie Fox will fight to:
    • Hire as many new police officers as we can and hire retired detectives to work cases and mentor younger detectives.
    • Revitalize community policing to foster connections between police and the community.
    • Change the city’s contract with the FOP to eliminate provisions that provide unreasonable protections of officers involved in questionable or criminal behavior.
    • Institute programs that monitor police officers for signs of stress and be able to reassign them to less stressful duties while seeing counselors or attend meetings with other officers and counselors.
    • Adopt a program for citizens to gather signatures from neighbors on a petition to get installation of closed-circuit television cameras that are monitored by police and available for detectives conducting criminal investigations.
  3. Pensions — We still have a long way to go in regards to cleaning up the city’s finances and ensuring its access to the bond market:
    • I want to ensure that in the process of cleaning up our financial situation, we do not place any further burden on the hardworking taxpayers who have already shouldered far too many of the impact that have resulted from years of budgetary mismanagement.
    • Every municipality in Illinois struggles with pensions. I would work with the state’s Municipal League and officials from all local governments to come up with a statewide solution. 
    • There are many opportunities for new revenue in the city, and with economic growth comes even more of them– we should meticulous explore any and all options that would generate this much needed revenue in a way that is transparent and good for the communities we serve
    • I would work with the new Mayoral administration and my colleagues on the council to explore every opportunity to add more revenue to pay for city services and improve their delivery.
    • We need to look carefully at every revenue raising proposal, so we can freeze property taxes.
    • To achieve the revenue we need to right the city’s fiscal ship, we need to invest in stronger schools and safer streets that will attract and retain high paying jobs and residents to our city.
    • We also have a responsibility to put forward bold and creative solutions for revenue generation that doesn’t rely on placing the burden on working families. It’s for this reason that I support solutions such like:
      1. the taxing and regulation of legalized cannabis, which I believe this will not only help create new streams of revenue but will ultimately also reduce costs in our criminal justice system;
      2. A commuter tax with incentives for clean vehicles and ride sharing programs;
      3. A real estate transfer tax increase, but not for small and mid- size businesses;
  • Vacancies – I am leading the charge against the epidemic of vacant storefronts devastating our neighborhood. As a leader in private and public sector reform I will: 

     

    Attract new businesses – Fill Storefronts

    • Eliminate tax breaks that incentivize landlords to keep their storefronts vacant- this provision obstructs any chance for meaningful long-term business establishments.
    • Recruit small business- our Ward is strongest when we grow and shop locally. As Alderman I will help incentivize small businesses to move to the 43rd Ward. Often the highest barrier to entry is the red tape surrounding the process- with the assurance that the Alderman can guide them through the process, local businesses will surely have more incentive to relocate and stay here.

    Support Existing Businesses – Increase foot-traffic

    • Parking- One of the largest concerns for current businesses is parking and accessibility. Any new business needs to have a parking plan to ensure it doesn’t disrupt the flow of existing traffic. The same strategy applies to construction- without smart planning, construction efforts can undermine a businesses’ flow of customer traffic, severely impacting profits.
    • Housing- Another priority is increasing the amount of foot traffic to existing businesses. This can be addressed through increasing the number of young families that live in the area. We must ensure that we have enough housing that is affordable to those who will increase the commercial vitality of the district. Young graduates and families are those who most often frequent local establishments. We need to provide less triple-zoned lots that lead the way to mega-mansions and more apartments that are affordable for young families.

 

  • TIF —  It’s far past time the city of Chicago fundamentally changes the way we issue TIF funds.
    • I believe the city council should initiate a complete moratorium on TIF’s until there is full transparency and accountability.
    • TIF funds, now in the hands of the Mayor’s Office, should be used for education and funding critical city services, like police and fire.
    • Unfortunately, what we see now is the awarding of TIF funds is a process completely controlled by developers and other wealthy special interests who benefit greatly from them.
    • This is my promise to the people of Ward 43: I will ONLY ever work for you and this community. I will not be beholden to donors, developers, or a Mayor.
  • Ethics — As someone who’s running to serve the 43rd Ward as a bold, independent voice for my community, I hope to be leader on this critically important issue of public trust:
    • Prohibit alderman from accepting a single dime of campaign contributions from the Mayor or their major bundlers.
    • Prohibit alderman from accepting campaign contributions from vendors who receive TIF funds.
    • Prohibit Alderman from holding the elected position of Committeeman. This will avoid the glaring conflicts of interest that inherently present themselves when mixing government responsibilities with political activity.
    • Impose a limit of two consecutive terms an Alderman can serve.
    • Empower the City Council to appoint a committee of professional policy experts and investigators that would be available to conduct research on programs proposed by the Mayor or City Council as well as conduct substantial background checks on Mayoral appointees that require City Council confirmation.

 

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