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PIEMONTE

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Fifth Ward

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Elect

PIEMONTE

for Fifth Ward alderman

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PLATFORM OVERVIEW

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GUIDING PRINCIPLES

• Every resident of the Fifth Ward has the right to happiness. 

• Local government has an obligation to remove  barriers whenever it is feasible to the efforts of our communities’ citizens to achieve that happiness.

• Economic theory and principles should serve people, not the other way around. Any and all economic tactics and strategies that can improve the quality of life in our communities will be utilized when they are useful. 

• Black wealth has been systematically stripped from South Side communities for as long as Black people have been in Chicago. We have an obligation to implement reparative policy on as large a scale as is practicable, both short and long term. 

• Every elected official in the United States representing descendents of enslaved Black American citizens has a moral obligation to support efforts to pass federal Reparations legislation. 

• Power is best used when it is devolved into smaller, more local units of power and distributed to ordinary citizens whenever possible. 

• Health care, housing, safety, and work are inalienable human rights. Every human being has a right to live a life of dignity and purpose.

• If one of us is not free, none of us is free. If one of us is suffering, we have a collective responsibility to take action whenever possible.

REPARATIVE JUSTICE

• Distribution of city-owned properties to local Freedman with long-standing ties to the community

• Public reports from the city on disaggregated data related to city contracts and employment, with the descendants of enslaved Black American citizens being the focus of the disaggregation

• A percentage of contracts to be awarded to descendants of enslaved Black American citizens

• Establishment of a Freedmen’s Bureau in the ward, to provide support for local residents, education, and lobbying support as part of a national network of advocates for lineage based, federal Reparations

• Support City Council subcommittee on Reparations; lobby for promotion of Ald. Coleman to head of Health and Human Relations Committee; increase funding to subcommittee

• Support lobbying efforts for federal Reparations bill

ECONOMICS

• Major jobs bill introduced in first year of first term; jobs guarantee within five years

• Prioritize reparative justice (see platform item)

• Bring the South Side Community Federal Credit Union to the ward, with a main branch in South Shore within first term and smaller branches in the three other communities in the ward over 10 years

• Cannabis businesses in the ward will only be licensed to residents of the ward who are descendants of enslaved Black American citizens

• Launch Fifth Ward First as local full employment and investment program

ELECTORAL REFORM

• Public financing of elections

• Ward remap reform

• Ending the signature challenge as a political tool

EDUCATION

• Raising funds for teachers’ programs and after-school and summer activities pre-school through high school

• Support efforts to increase teacher autonomy in curriculum

• Support increased access to schools for parents and voice for older students through a parent-student advocate staff position for the ward office

• Convene public meetings to explore implementing the community schools model

• Strategic support for the Chicago Teachers’ Union

ANIMAL WELFARE

• Incentivize reporting on puppy mills both in and outside of city limits by Chicago residents; establish a task force to inform other municipalities when they are housing puppy mills

• Open a dog park in the Fifth Ward

• Convene a charrette for the design of a first-of-its-kind cat colony shelter; convene a fundraising committee for the shelter

• Establish and fund an Environmental Resources Survey to mirror the Historic Resources Survey

• Afford protections to habitats similar to those given to historically and architecturally significant buildings

PUBLIC SAFETY

A SMART POLICE BUDGET, not a bigger and bigger one: CPD budgets go up every year and arrests go down — for the last TWENTY YEARS. They need to show performance numbers, including positive engagement and de-escalation.

 TREATMENT NOT TRAUMA is often thrown out as a catchphrase, but the truth is that we ABSOLUTELY DO need to reallocate funding and create some new options for people to report emergencies that do not include the police. 

 EMPLOYMENT – We need to get as close to 100% employment of people who want work as we can. My plan to create jobs gets into economic development. I see a lot of opportunity in this area and have detailed some elements in other platform planks.

 EVICTION MORATORIUM: It has been proven beyond a shadow of a doubt that housing insecurity leads to increases in violent crime. The alderman can effect a de facto moratorium with many of the big landlords in the 5th Ward by linking future cooperation in property development and acquisition to a nonviolent tenant crisis resolution approach.

 Huge INCREASES in ANTI VIOLENCE program FUNDING: We fund every one of these programs like a pilot program. They need long term, substantial funding. 

Outdoor civic project funding and support : Everything from gardens to block parties to outdoor theater reduces crime. Bring people outside.

TRANSIT POLICY AS SAFETY POLICY: See our transit initiatives to learn about how we propose to make traveling by bike, on foot, and using public transportation safer for everyone.

 Do we also need to use stronger measures? I think we need community conversations to figure that out, but we should not close the door on any options without robust PUBLIC ENGAGEMENT first.

PUBLIC SPACES

• Develop outdoor marketplaces and piccole piazze (small plazas)

• Return park benches where they have been removed, add benches where they will encourage more outdoor activity

• Hire people to provide ward with additional cleanup services and open space support services

PARKS

• Expand parks

• Fund park advocacy work and PACs

• Local workers to provide additional support for parks

• Increased data collection on park use and pollution collected and made public

• Introducing Parkland Purchase and Leasing Disclosure Act – Law to require substantial additional financial disclosure from all organizations on land which is currently or was prior to acquisition public parkland

• Policies specific to the preservation of Promontory Point to be announced

FOR SENIORS

• Seniors FIRST program: Develop and implement program to identify and fill in gaps in services to seniors (pilot in Fifth Ward)

• Private transit system to bring seniors to 53rd Street from other parts of ward; trolley route on 53rd Street

• Good samaritan system

HOUSING

• Eviction moratorium

• Public hearings on the cost of affordable housing 

• Compel CHA to rent the more than 1,000 units that remain vacant in its portfolio

• Re-affirm our commitment and legal obligation to build housing on public housing land

• Amend OPC CBO to include South Shore

• Convene committee to assess impact of Airbnbs on Chicago rental market

EMPLOYMENT

• Employment legislation to establish an employment guarantee in Chicago within 7 years

• Subsidy to small, very small, and virtual businesses to add new employees to their staff

• Tax incentives for all-Chicago staffing

• Develop local initiatives in such a way as to strategically add employment components (outdoor marketplace, cleanup, South South restoration, etc.)

LOCAL DELIBERATIVE DEMOCRACY

• Establish local development councils in parts of Hyde Park, South Shore, and Pocket Town/Greater Grand Crossing in the ward

• Extend 20th Ward community input process to part of Woodlawn in Fifth Ward

• Participatory budgeting to be implemented effective immediately

• Establish a local election fund to provide funds for PAC, LSC, and ECPS candidates who agree to limit their spending to the grant provided

CITY FINANCES

• Budget – Participatory budgeting for the entire city budget, not just in a handful of wards and at the discretion of aldermen.

• Subcommittee to end TIFs (likely in Budget and Operations).

• Prioritize reduction in pension obligation in budgeting                             

ENVIRONMENT

Establish and fund Fifth Ward Environmental Task Force 

Ward-wide review of health impacts of auto traffic, tree removal, and other priorities as identified by residents during a public comment period prior to drafting document

Introduction of ordinance to require environmental impact statements for removal of more than three trees for any project, with establishment of a temporary environmental oversight council where 10 or more trees are impacted by development. 

PRESERVATION

Ward-wide review of entire built and natural environment, funded via philanthropy and individual donors

Publicly accessible inventory of Fifth Ward environmental survey

Amend citywide preservation and landmark policy to include natural environment when intentionally designed

Increase funding for Adopt-A-Landmark

Extend demolition delay for historic properties; add provision to convene hearings if sufficient public demand

Toughen requirements to allow bypassing of public hearings for demolition of historic survey properties

 

FOR YOUNG PEOPLE

• Emergency funding of jobs program for summer 2023 and a jobs guarantee thereafter

• Passage of the Peace Book ordinance

• Three at-large youth alderpeople added to city council

•Public hearings, co-organized with youth organizations, on the state of the city for young people

• Strengthened Local School Council role, details to be determined

• Convene panel on foster care in Chicago

HEALTH

• Add at least one Federally Qualified Health Center in each neighborhood

• Robust local pandemic practices support (grants, points in awarding contracts, partnerships for diligent organizations)

• Support citywide for improved telehealth options

TRANSIT EQUITY

• Free public transit for public school students and people over 65

• Public hearings on the state of the Chicago Transit Authority

• Forensic audit of CTA

• Citywide plan for bikeways (street closures to provide uninterrupted access from north to south and west to the lake)

• Local meetings on street reorganization to slow auto traffic, increase safe bike and pedestrian travel space. Infrastructure to be proposed will include traffic slowing measures, street closures, and substantially reinforced bike lanes

• We endorse the proposed bike grid

 

 

BROADBAND ACCESS

• Special ordinance approving TIF funds from every TIF to be ported into a fund for high-speed internet access to serve the communities with the greatest need.

• Advocacy for a policy that will provide real-time information on implementation of improved high-speed internet access.

• Public school-relate remote access policies keyed to a universal minimum standard of high-speed internet access.

OPC AND GOLF COURSE

• A freeze on all work related to the closure of Cornell Drive

• A moratorium on the cutting of all trees in Jackson Park over five years old

• A freeze on all golf course-related work by CDOT and other entities

• Open negotiations for relocation of Tiger Woods-designed golf course to U.S. Steel site

• Assets destroyed in Jackson Park by development of the Obama Center cannot be replaced by redeveloping other parkland. This includes the proposed UPARR development at the east end of the Midway

• Initiate study of costs and logistics to submerge Cornell Drive

POLICING

• Full support for the Empowering Communities for Public Safety (ECPS) District Councilors

      ->  Fundraise to provide a budget for each councilor

       -> Share resources such as communications staff and tools

       -> Assist in establishing physical location for an Office of the District Councils

• Support for referendum to add critical powers to the Commission and the District Councils created by the ECPS ordinance

• We need smart police budgets, not bigger and bigger ones: Reform of police budget to tie increases of line items to measurable improvements in public safety and decreases in allegations of police abuse

• End qualified immunity

BUSINESS

• Small business wraparound support

• Incorporate local people who have an interest in participating in economic projects in earliest phases of project planning to allow lead time to prepare for participation; provide prep support

• Independent funding for chambers of commerce

SUGGESTIONS

Do you have a change you would suggest to a policy area? A new area you believe should be added? Please let us know! We review and respond to every suggestion.