Police Union Contract Must End "Code of Silence"

Since 2004, the City of Chicago has paid out a staggering sum of $625 million to victims of real and alleged police misconduct.  Think about that for a moment.  Remember the outrage over the $540 million property tax increase that I voted against? Well, these settlements are $85 million more than that coming out of the pockets of renters and owners alike. If we had common sense reforms in place twenty years ago, much of that $625 million in lawsuits and settlements could have been averted.  Simply put, Chicago taxpayers cannot afford to ignore the way we police our citizenry. Therefore, I have proposed three common sense reforms to restore citizens’ trust in our police.   Continue reading

Our Disability Taskforce Will Increase Employment, Education

Jointly created by Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Alderman Roberto Maldonado, the Task Force on Employment and Economic Opportunity for People with Disabilities launched today to advise the city on relevant policies and programs to increase employment and other opportunities to benefit residents with disabilities. “There is no question that the only way to succeed in today’s economy is with a strong education and well-paying job,” said Alderman Maldonado. “This Task Force will address the employment  gap for persons with disabilities head on, with a goal of opening new doors of opportunity that will  lead to economic advancement for everyone in our city.” Continue reading

Keeping the 26th Ward Affordable for Our Neighbors, Next Generation

Can you guess how many Chicago households can buy a million dollar home? If you guessed less than 5%--you're right!But the 26th Ward's history is all about the 95%. And I want to keep it this way--for our current neighbors and the next generation of families to come. This City Lots for City Living Program will keep Humboldt Park in its historical place, serving the 95%." Continue reading

I'm pressing CPD to fill police shortages in 12th and 14th Districts

In response to an uptick in crime, Alderman Roberto Maldonado has requested a meeting with First Deputy Superintendent Kevin Navarro to urge him to assign more police officers to the 12th and 14th Police Districts. Independent sources report the current combined shortage exceeds 50 police officers in these two districts. Maldonado explained, " Police Commanders' Kulbida (12th) and Saldana (14th) need these men and women to restore peace and quite to the 26th Ward. Despite newly added officers, these districts still suffer shortages. I want to be proactive and prevent crimes instead of reacting to them." Continue reading

I voted "YES" on the Immigrant Legal Defense Fund

As the main sponsor of the first County Sanctuary Ordinance in the nation--which I championed in 2007 when I served as a Cook County Commissioner--I am proud to join the Mayor in establishing this fund to, once again, protect our undocumented residents from threats of deportation. Continue reading

My Ordinance for Snow Parking Will Stop Car Towing for 1st Violation

As the City of Chicago's Winter Parking Ban takes effect, Alderman Roberto Maldonado will be urging his fellow Aldermen in the Committee on Pedestrian and Traffic Safety to pass a proposed ordinance so that motorists will first receive a warning citation before getting towed. Maldonado explained, "I'm calling for a warning notice for first time violators of the overnight parking ban." Continue reading

Honoring Teamwork with Javier Baez Street Sign & Resolution

Did you know that Chicago's Puerto Rican community has kept alive the American pastime of neighborhood baseball leagues in Humboldt Park? The formation of this league 48 years ago was the catalyst that revived Humboldt Park after years of neglect. It is for these avid players that I introduced an ordinance to name a street near “Little Cubs Field,” the Wrigley Field replica in Humboldt Park, in honor of  Javier 'Javy’ Baez. It's also why I set aside funds to build a batting cage in the park. Continue reading

I voted "NO” on the Mayor’s Civilian Office of Police Accountability (COPA)

Recently, I was one of a handful of Aldermen who voted “No” on the Mayor’s recently proposed new police oversight watchdog group, the Civilian Office of Police Accountability (COPA).  My biggest problem with the proposal is that COPA and the proposed new Inspector General position would still be under the thumb of Mayor Emanuel and future Mayors.  COPA would not have a guaranteed, sustainable budget, ensuring future budgets to be at the whim of politics. Also, COPA as proposed would not have subpoena power, and would have to rely on the Mayor’s City Law Department for those investigatory powers, a clear and unarguable conflict of interest. Since 2004, the City of Chicago has paid out a staggering sum of $625 million to victims of real and alleged police misconduct.  Think about that for a moment.  Remember the outrage over the $543 million property tax increase that I voted against? Well, these settlements are $85 million more than that coming out of the pockets of renters and owners alike. Continue reading

I Urge Swift Passage of TIF Ordinance for CPS

If a strike occurs, I will stand in solidarity with the teachers walking the picket line. As a single parent with 3 children attending public schools, I stand with our union teachers and their valuable support staff of assistants, librarians, counselors and school nurses. TIF surplus taxes must be sent to our schools. As Alderman, it is my duty to ensure that we have high-quality public schools. That's why I've co-sponsored an ordinance to send TIF surplus money to our schools. I pledge to push for speedy passage. According to Cook County Clerk David Orr, Chicago TIFs will produce a surplus of $461 million this fiscal year. Most of this surplus money is currently being banked in downtown TIFs. Despite decades of fiscal mismanagement, some political leaders seek to blame the teachers for the school budget deficit. That must stop.  Soaking the working-class homeowner, shortchanging our teachers, and building more charter schools must stop too.