The residents of the 47th ward support policies that expand opportunity, combat climate change, and ensure that Chicago remains a welcoming place to all regardless of race, religion, sexual identity, or immigration status.
With a president hostile to all of these core values currently residing in the White House, it is more important than ever that our local leaders stand up for progressive values. During my time at City Hall, I played an important role in increasing the minimum wage, providing legal defense to undocumented immigrants, and working to reverse climate change.
As alderman, I will join the City Council Progressive Caucus and continue to stand up for these progressive values and advocate for policies that create opportunity and protect the rights of all.
As alderman, I will:
Support a $15 minimum wage. As the child of two union parents, I know firsthand that our economy as a whole benefits when working families have the income and protections they need to achieve the American Dream. That is why I am proud to have played a leading role in City Hall to raise the minimum wage and provide paid sick leave to workers. I support increasing the minimum wage to $15.
Work to strengthen trust in City Hall. I will support ethics and transparency measures to increase faith in our city government. As alderman, I will support the following initiatives:
- Strengthening the City Council independent budget office. Alderman Ameya Pawar led the way in establishing an independent budget office, named the Council Office of Financial Analysis (COFA), for the City Council to provide aldermen with information on the city’s budget ordinances. Earlier this year the Council expanded the COFA’s authority to include impact analyses on certain types of legislation. I will support further expanding the scope of the COFA and requiring it to publish its work online.
- Reform ethics rules to prohibit aldermen from having side jobs that conflict with their duties. Members of the City Council should not have outside jobs that conflict with their official duties. These jobs can range from representing legal clients with matters before city departments or City Council committees to filing property tax appeals. I will support ethics reforms to prohibit alderman from holding these types of jobs.
- Support public financing for city elections. Candidates for office spend too much time focused on raising money for their next election. In 1988, New York City created a small donor matching fund that remains a model to this day. In New York City, candidates for public office who agree to spending limits and additional oversight are eligible to receive six dollars of matching funds for every one dollar raised donations under $175 solicited from New York City residents. This program encourages candidates to seek grassroots support for their campaigns and I will support establishing a similar program in Chicago.
- Support strengthening the City’s Inspector General. In 2016, the City Council passed an ordinance granting the City’s Inspector General the authority to investigate allegations of misconduct against aldermen and their staff. I support going a step further by granting the Inspector General the power to to audit or review Council programs, operations and committees.
Defend the Rights of Immigrants. As the son of immigrants, I will fight to ensure that Chicago remains a welcoming city to all regardless of country of origin. During my time at City Hall, I successfully advocated for the establishment of the City’s Legal Protection Fund, which has leveraged $1.3 million in investment from the City to serve more than 22,000 Chicago residents. As alderman, I will advocate for continued investment in this program and to remove the carve outs from Chicago’s welcoming city ordinance.
Stand up for Women’s Rights. I would not be where I am today if it were not for the hard work and sacrifice of my mom, who held down part-time jobs while raising us and going to college en route to becoming a CPS teacher in her 40s. And I am fortunate enough to be married to a strong woman and talented lawyer who is the primary income earner in our family. As alderman, I will:
- Fight for Pay Equity. I will support efforts at the State level to prohibit businesses from asking employees about their salary histories, a practice that is known to perpetuate pay gap for women. If this advocacy continues to run into roadblocks in Springfield, I will work with advocates to supporting such legislation at the city or county level.
- Defend the Right to Choose. I will support continued access to choice and stand against any efforts at the state and federal levels to interfere with a woman’s right to choose. I will also oppose providing city subsidies like TIF to any hospitals and health care providers that deny women the right to choose.
- Support a Chicago Women and Girls Agenda. In October 2018, City Clerk Anna Valencia launched a Status of Women and Girls task force that will issue an action plan in March 2019 focused on economic security, education, health care, housing, public safety and young people. I will work with Clerk Valencia and other aldermen to ensure that these recommendations are implemented.
Protect LGBT Rights. I will support equal rights for our LGBT residents and efforts to establish Chicago as a national leader on LGBT rights. We have learned in recent years that equal rights are not only a moral imperative but vital to our economic success. After the State of Indiana passed a discriminatory law in March 2015, the city of Indianapolis lost nearly $60 million in tourism business and roughly a dozen conventions in the months that followed.
Support Initiatives to Reverse Climate Change. As a staffer in City government, I played a leading role in our recent efforts to reverse climate change including increasing building energy efficiency, transitioning the City to cleaner energy, investing in public transit and bikes, and hosting the Chicago Charter Climate Summit in December. As alderman, I will support the following efforts:
- Making Chicago’s energy 100% clean by 2030. I will call upon the next mayor to set a goal of having the city’s energy be 100% clean by the year 2030. With more clean power sources under development in Illinois and throughout the control, reaching this goal without breaking the bank is within reach. There is a range of initiatives that the city can pursue, from changing its approach to buying power to purchasing clean electricity on behalf of residents, and I will advocate for City Hall to lead on this issue.
- Putting Chicago on the path to becoming a Zero Waste city. According to a Better Government Association investigation, only 9% of our waste is recycled. I will call upon the next mayor to set a goal of diverting 50% of city waste by 2030. Reaching this target will require improved management of our recycling program, better information about recycling bin contents and waste streams, and more education for our residents.
- Advocating for an environmental justice framework for new developments. I will push the Chicago Department of Planning and Development to adopt a new framework for determining whether new projects will have a disproportionate environmental impact on disadvantaged neighborhoods. This reform is needed because of the long history in Chicago of siting business operations with harmful environmental and public health effects in communities of color.