“It is time that we recognize that just as we are attempting to identify, nurture and position that next generation of courageous community-minded
and community-focused leadership;
That others – well-funded others – are identifying, nurturing and positioning, that next generation of individuals to pacify the community, to obfuscate
the issues and solutions, to send out to blunt the progress of our community by using their individual success as a facade for real and
It is time that we recognize this and fight against this…
Therefore, it is time that our families focus on nurturing a sense of community and community-responsibility in their young and that we, as the
leaders we profess to be, put into overdrive, our plans and actions to promote and position individuals true to the goal of furthering our
IC4NewLeadership PAC’s current position is one that we all share: the need to elect new leadership, armed with our agenda and the courage to work with the community to move that agenda forward.
The current state of public education in Chicago is unacceptable. We have a school system that is attacked instead of developed and enriched. Instead of investing in the schools the way a world-class city would, our teachers – community backbones where they work and where they live – are assailed. If that weren’t enough, Chicago made headlines last year for the largest public school closing in United States history. Institutions that anchored neighborhoods, where Chicago kids grew up and made friends, are now lying dormant or being prepared for sale. This is not the education system our children deserve, nor the reputation they should be forced to carry.
- Promote and achieve an elected school board to put our school systems back in the hands of educators and experts in other aspects of learning (i.e. early childhood development) ready to work with communities to prepare our kids for full participation in a global economy;
- Create fully funded neighborhood schools and open a dialogue on a conversation that has been reduced to charter versus public schools (all receive public funding) and focus the conversation and actions on improving the quality of education for our children wherever they receive an education;
- End unnecessary standardized testing where testing is the end goal, as opposed to testing geared towards measuring the preparedness of our kids and their ability to think for themselves;
- Reinstate, on site social workers, case management, arts programs, and vocational education;
- Empower local school councils.
In Chicago, economic development has become a zero sum game, an us versus them dynamic. Our neighborhoods are pitted against each other, our small businesses fight over small portions of opportunities, communities are distrustful of fellow communities.
We need our City to value every resident, every block, every neighborhood, and every community, regardless of income, ethnicity, or geography. I’ve spent my career countering these sorts of problems by building bridges between policymakers and those affected by the programs they administer because I want Chicago to thrive. Our public assets – our airports, roadways, water systems, public buildings – are a trust built by generations of Chicago taxpayers. These things are our parents’ legacy and our children’s birthright. They cannot be sold off, pennies on the dollar, anymore. Investing in our people and the basics of civic life – schools, mass transit and roads, water and sewer systems, libraries, and parks– together, we can build an authentically world-class city that works for everyone.
- Identify development corridors community-by-community and incentivize community hiring;
- Expand vocational training in prioritized and strategic sectors;
- Promote community development plans (CDPs) as a critical component of every public, private-public and major private development plans;
- Preserve affordable housing and increase accountability so landlords provide quality housing;
- Streamline small business licensing and provide incentives for entrepreneurs to hire from the community;
- Promote and achieve parity in City and Sister-Agency contracting across the board;
- Promote growth areas such as healthcare and green industries, and strategically invest in areas of the City that have been long-neglected.
PUBLIC SAFETY and JUSTICE
Today in Chicago, crime persists in our neighborhoods amid growing numbers of unemployed, underemployed and underpaid workers. This is simply unacceptable. We cannot continue to ignore the violence because it is not happening right in front of us. Our neighbors are in trouble and instead of being ignored by policymakers; they should be enriched in redevelopment initiatives. Instead of sending our children to school through war zones, we should be encouraging unity, education and trust. Instead of spiraling crime, our seniors should feel secure in retirement and in their own homes and neighborhoods. We can be the world-class city we believe ourselves to be by building/rebuilding our city the right way, neighborhood by neighborhood as we concurrently focus on the City Center.
- Establish a Civilian Police Accountability Council (CPAC) program / process for Chicago
- Expand restorative justice to reduce crime and increase community accountability;
- Enhance community policing strategies;
- Promote changing the City’s public safety culture that often does not view the black community as part of their ‘protect and serve’ commitment;
- Develop more after school and extracurricular activities, summer programs and youth employment initiatives.
HEALTH AND WELLNESS
- Eliminate food deserts in all un-served and under-served areas of the City;
- Establish a fully-staffed adult trauma center on the City’s southside;
- Restore an appropriate number of mental health clinics and increased access to mental health counseling in all areas of the City;
- Fight hunger and obesity through nutritious school meal programs and by restoring physical education in all curricula.
We are calling on Chicagoans to re-imagine our economy and to rebuild it together. We believe that creating a strong economy means doing more than just asking for jobs or relocating corporate headquarters downtown. It includes reforming our TIF programs, directing resources to attract traditional businesses to our neighborhoods, creating new opportunities by promoting worker cooperatives and community-owned businesses. We support a $15 minimum wage increase, but also recognize that a key to building a strong economy is through building real sustainable wealth throughout our community. To do this we must create a thriving business sector – especially in our neighborhoods. Ownership builds wealth and cooperative ownership is the alternative to reliance on the current low-paying retail and service industry jobs that do not sustain individuals or families to the level that is needed.