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. 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.

How I voted on the water tax

In order to shore up an important and constitutionally mandated pension fund, I made a tough vote in the Finance Committee of the City Council to approve a small (initially approximately 15 cents/day) increase in the water bills of Chicago residents.  Some senior citizens with lower incomes will be exempted. While I voted to allow the proposal to move forward to the floor of the City Council, I placed several important conditions upon my further support because I voted "No" on the Mayor's recent property tax increase. Continue reading

Improvements to the Mobile Carts Ordinance

I'm proposing reforms so we can grow Chicago’s food cart industry. I introduced a city ordinance in September to reduce license fees for mobile food vendors, or food carts. Chicago’s food cart license fees are out of line compared to other large cities in the nation. New York, Boston, Phoenix and Denver all have food cart license fees under $100 annually, compared to Chicago’s $350. We have the opportunity to create jobs and generate highly-needed revenue for the City of Chicago. The first step is breaking down financial barriers by reducing licensing fees. We should be encouraging the entrepreneurial spirit, not limiting it. Continue reading

I voted "No" on the Mayor's $588M Property Tax Increase

As you may know, I voted “No” on the Mayor’s $588 property tax increase. As the Chicago Tribune accurately reported before my vote was cast, I was "adamantly opposed to such a large property tax increase." The City of Chicago simply cannot continue to reach further into the pockets of working Chicagoans to finance decades of economic irresponsibility and mistakes. Alternatively, I proposed several revenue ideas consistent to restoring economic and social justice to keep our streets safe, educate our children well and make city services the best they can be.  These proposals include: a tiny transaction tax on every financial transaction that occurs at the financial exchanges on LaSalle Street a new property tax surcharge on every commercial building in our city with an assessment of more than $500 million