Monday, March 2, 2015

Chicago Mayor Election: candidate policies side-by-side comparison

The election is on Tuesday April 7, 2015

Find your voting place here:

 Chuy Garcia Rahm Emanuel
Past employers and sources for campaign money
2011 – present Cook County Board of Commissioners

1993 – 1999 Illinois Senate

1986 – 1993 Chicago City Council
2009–2010 White House
2005–2007 Democratic Campaign Cmte
2002–2008 US House of Representatives
2000–2001 Freddie Mac
1999–2002 Dresdner Kleinwort
1993–1998 Executive Office of the President
1989–1989 Richard M Daley Campaign
(Center for Responsive Politics: Revolving Door Summary)

Hired by one of Chicago's largest corporate investment firm (New York Times 12/3/2008)
SEIU Illinois (Chicagoist 12/3/2014)

American Federation of Teachers (Chicago Business 12/12/2014)
Top Contributors for 2008: UBS AG, AT&T Inc, Simmons Cooper LLC, Blackstone Group, Goldman Sachs (Center for Responsive Politics: Contributors summary)
2011: Chicago Mercantile Exchange (NBC Chicago 10/21/2011)
Top contributors 2015 Grosvenor Capital Management, Madison Dearborn Partners, Plumbers and Pipefitters unions, Citadel, Muneer Satter (Steve Can Plan 2/1/2015)
City services
  • Wait-and-see approach to firing (In These Times Nov 12, 2014)
  • 1,000 new police officers on the street and expand neighborhood policing(Chicago For Chuy: Safe Neighborhoods)
  • Replace foreclosed properties with community peace hubs on high-violence blocks
  • Fund and coordinate mental health services for residents.
  • Reduce the risk of exposure to toxic materials and unsafe physical conditions in our homes
  • Remove tipped subminimum wage, and replace it with an hourly wage to reduce poverty and increase economic growth (Chicago For Chuy: Women's Rights)
  • Expand social and economic programs for women and with concern for women of color
  • Use public funds to integrate poor into communities by supporting rent or mortgage
  • Open the books of the neighborhood investment TIF program and move more of it back into schools away from hotel development (Chicago For Chuy: Tax increment finance reform)
  • Earned sick leave (Chicago For Chuy: Equity in health)
  • Advocate for state and federal funds for healthcare
  • Raise awareness of domestic violence
  • Promote a nursing mom’s bill of rights
  • Review the clinic closings
  • Train police in to respond appropriately to mental illness
  • Heavily lobby Springfield to create an elected school board out of the mayor's control (Chicago for Chuy: Elected school board)
  • Lobby state and federal governments to expand roads, buses and trains in Chicago as opposed to downstate (Chicago for Chuy: Safe and reliable transportation)
  • Consider private funds for transit
  • Lobby for a state gas tax to expand buses and trains, and encourage public transit by taxing car drivers
  • complete the railroad and intersection projects identified by the CREATE public-private partnership to speed rail shipment through Chicago
  • Expand dual language programs in schools
  • Halt school closings
  • Reduce standardized testing
  • Require that charters report the same data as traditional public schools
  • (Chicago For Chuy: Better Neighborhood Schools)
  • Create councils and registers to allow immigrants to learn about city services (Chicago For Chuy: Inclusive City)
  • Advocates neighborhood festivals (In These Times Nov 12, 2014)
  • Sent development money to River Point office complex (Chicago Reader 12/12/2012)
  • The largest Chicago TIFs in 2013 by revenue are: Near South ($65.2 million); Canal/Congress ($19.9 million); Chicago/Kingsbury ($19.0 million); Kinzie Conservation ($18.6 million). (Cook County Clerk: 2013 Report)
  • Ended effective $1 million grant for therapy for gang members in 2013, replaced it with database analysis (Chicago Sun-Times 05/14/2014, PBS 6/4/ 2012)
  • Fired 200 CTA employees and cut 12 bus lines (NBC 10/13/2011, The Daily Northwestern 11/12/2012 )
  • Rebuilt the Red Line for 2 years, spending $425 million on it (Chicago Tribune 7/3/2013)
  • Plans to renovate Chicago Blue Line with $492 million (Red Eye Chicago 2/5/2015)
  • Closed 6 health clinics, and fired 125 medical employees to save $1.7 million dollars (Chicago Reader 3/26/2013)
  • Supported the demolition of Prentice Hospital (Chicago Tribune 10/30/2012)
  • Replaced janitors and schoolteachers with new hires to Aramark and charter schools that are not covered by contracts applied to other employees (In These Times 1/21/2015, Democracy Now! 2/23/2015)
  • Hired financial firms Madison Dearborn and John Buck to invest worker pensions (International Business Times 11/13/2014)
  • Fired 150 music and visual arts teachers, and tilted millions of dollars of culture funds towards wealthy neighborhoods. (Chicago Sun-Times 07/09/2014)
  • Created a 3:59 second video of Chicagoans saying they don't know what TIF means (Chicago Reader 6/6/2012)

Sunday, March 1, 2015

My letter to Chuy Garcia

I am a resident and a voter of Chicago. I am concerned with the corruption of Chicago, and am close to despair. I am writing to show you the power of the organizations in Chicago and what they have accomplished. I hope to state my position and let the chips fall where they may.

From the bottom up, there was the program Cure Violence, also called Cease Fire. As far back as Harold Washington, there was a demand to stop gang shootings. Yet alderman candidates are still not well-versed in treatment of crime and violence as a disease. This is truly a tragedy. We now know that the horrible Guantanamo prison has brought in psychologists to work on the inmates. So we already use psychology to treat criminals -- once they're in cages. But when it comes to stopping crimes, it's a different story. It comes down to the notion of justice. Look at the candidate going up against Mr. Daley Thompson. He speaks of infiltrating gangs. Others talk about school programs. Gangs looked at in this fashion are treated as a disease of the society, not on the individuals. Chicago can be a compassionate city, and it can act to change this. From a scientific point of view, Cure Violence has dropped crime in every city it's instituted through helping people learn cognitive therapy -- the ability to challenge one's own thoughts, emotions and behaviors through "self-talk." The Chicago Police raised a hell of a stink over this. To them the criminals are the enemy, and giving them therapy rather than jail is a betrayal.

Science today can also tell us about the economy. We can list what we want and follow those blueprints, even though nobody can understand the whole picture. The internet was invented mostly by experts funded by the federal taxpayer, not pensions. Breakthroughs in the economy need lots of hard work until the foundation is laid for a new step. There is a grassroots movement to "opt-out" of standardized tests Australia right now. But in the States there is much more severe problem. The privatization of schools is not getting educated people into the workforce, rather it is putting them into debt. The debt strike has been announced on Democracy NOW!, a popular alternative media service. Support for this movement would be historic and show a strong interest in investment priorities and the rights of students against private tyrannies. I predict the Sun-Times to dislike it, but the Reader and the International Business Times probably will lend support.

On the environment, global warming is already rearing its horns. The environmental movement needs an educated and involved population, and independence from oil, not only "foreign oil." Illinois pollutes through two main forces: energy and transportation. Global warming is giving us hotter and hotter summers, and Illinois is in danger of losing topsoil, even while Governor Rauner expands coal programs. To see what a country looks like without topsoil, think of Haiti -- malaria-ridden and dependent on international institutions. On the other hand, Germany and Japan have created solar power programs, which have strong protections on capital, rather than debt to international finance. Chicago could try to negotiate with Google which is instituting a solar program. That was the original purpose of corporations, to serve the public good. People in Japan today are wizards at creating electric cars. Chicago needs someone who can stand up to big coal, oil and nuclear to make this happen here.