Colin's Vision

Community First means putting the needs of our community over the needs of corporations and the richest 1%. It means standing up for marginalized groups like women, people of color, and working families. It means pushing for bold action on climate change so we can protect our resources, the environment, and the health of our people. We are running a campaign driven by the community, and are deeply rooted in values of accessibility, transparency, and accountability. To ensure that the 31st Ward stays vibrant, our Community First vision will focus on:

Constituent ServicesNeighborhood SafetyPublic EducationAffordable HousingEnvironment ProtectionInclusivityMoney and Finance

Constituent Services

The ward office is often the first place residents turn to for help, with issues ranging from a broken street light to help applying for a senior property tax freeze. On average, Chicago aldermen get 50 or more phone calls and dozens of emails every day. Constituent services are an integral part of being an alderman.

Our ward solutions include:

  • Institute innovative new software to track, compile, and sort constituent issues and allow residents to send their requests not only by phone, email, and in-person, but also via Facebook, Twitter, and text.
  • Regularly walk the blocks of the ward to get feedback on issues affecting constituents.
  • Host trainings for ward staff regarding resources available to constituents, such as domestic violence services, physical and mental health services, and housing support.
  • Include non-English-speaking communities in ward decision-making and events.
  • Create an immigrant defense committee that stands with our communities’ immigrants against deportations by ICE.
  • Engage our young people with the ward office through youth policy making and community clean ups.

Neighborhood Safety

Many people in our ward are afraid to walk down the street, and have become too used to the sounds of nightly gunfire. Families should not have to worry about letting their children walk home from school, and people should not feel pressured into committing crime just to survive. We need to get to the root of the problem by addressing the cause of violence: poverty. We feel safe in our neighborhoods when we all have access to the services that we need, and feel a deep sense of community and trust with both our neighbors and the police.

Our ward solutions include:

  • Empower the community’s efforts to combat crime by investing sufficient resources in community-based, youth gang intervention programs.
  • Build and reinforce community relationships through the creation of block clubs.

Our city solutions include:

  • Rebuild public trust in our police department by enacting all measures in the Chicago Police Consent Decree (CPCD) and institute community-driven police accountability through the passing of the Civilian Police Accountability Council (CPAC) ordinance.
  • Seek racial justice by funding programs that promote anti-violence, restorative justice, and rehabilitation.
  • Help repair past harm by offering mental health services to victims and witnesses of violence.
  • Better fund social services to address poverty and take the pressure off of police officers having to act as social workers. This includes: (1) access to economic opportunity by providing quality education at all stages of life, including after school programs and free community college for all; (2) access to affordable housing to keep people off the streets, and (3) access to public mental healthcare services.

Public Education

We need to invest in our children and our educators by prioritizing our public schools. Currently, most of the schools in our ward are underperforming, under-enrolled, and underfunded. Our children are not receiving the support necessary to succeed, many parents choose to drive their children across the city to other schools, and our teachers are struggling with the few resources that they have. Our children, parents, and educators deserve the resources, safety, and inclusivity needed to succeed.

Our ward solutions include:

  • Support our young people by fighting for a greater variety of college preparedness, career programming, vocational education, and afterschool programs in our neighborhood high schools.
  • Support our Latinx community’s children and parents by advocating for dual language programs in all of our neighborhood schools.
  • Host periodic meetings with principals and teachers to stay updated on needs.

Our city solutions include:

  • Invest in our families by fully funding all Chicago public schools.
  • Ensure community control over public education through an Elected School Board.
  • Support the aspirations of all Chicagoans by making City Colleges of Chicago free to attend for all city residents, regardless of age or immigration status.
  • Support mothers and reduce the burden of childcare costs on families through free, full-day preschool.
  • Prevent the divestment of our neighborhood schools through a moratorium on charter schools.
  • Support unionization of charter school workers and workers rights for all educators.
  • Provide equitable funding for school infrastructure maintenance and improvements by advocating for a clear and transparent Master Facilities Plan.

Affordable Housing

People in our ward are being displaced. Over the past decade, thousands of people have been displaced from the east side of the ward - Logan Square and Avondale - with many of those same people being pushed into Belmont-Cragin, Hermosa, and Portage Park. This has caused neighborhood disruption, with locally owned businesses closing, children being torn from their friends and teachers, and a reduction in social cohesion that has caused an increase in property crime, among so many more social ills.

Our ward solutions include:

  • Pledge to not take campaign donations from developers either now or while in office.
  • Demand that any new large rental development in the ward include at least 20% affordable housing.
  • Fight to build a new 100% affordable limited equity cooperative in the ward.
  • Establish community-driven zoning and development.
  • Provide accessible spaces for community meetings around development, including language access and ADA-compliance.
  • Promote the construction of more adult and youth transitional and permanent housing for those experiencing homelessness, those with disabilities, and those with other special needs.

Our city solutions include:

  • Address the city’s housing crisis by requiring 20% affordable housing in new large residential developments.
  • Limit aldermanic prerogative by reducing the ability to block affordable housing proposals.
  • Advocate for the increased development of affordable, family-sized apartment units.
  • Adjust the building code to legalize garden apartments, coach houses, and tiny homes.
  • Limit developers’ ability to reduce the number of apartment units in existing buildings.

Environmental Protection

The City of Chicago needs a Department of Environmental Justice & Climate Action, which will repair the damage of racist environmental policies and position Chicago as the region's leader in preparing us all for climate change. As a global city, we must act appropriately to this global crisis, and as the largest American city on the Great Lakes, we must also protect this freshwater resource and local environment.

Our ward solutions include:

  • Increase green spaces to make our communities healthier, including urban gardening that supports local agriculture and food security, sanctuary spaces that protect native species, and green infrastructure that stops stormwater runoff.
  • Bring solar power development and good green jobs with accessible jobs training programs that include a living wage, benefits, and incentives for unionization to the ward.

Our city solutions include:

  • Set up a 100% Just Energy Transition plan to move the City of Chicago to 100% renewable energy by 2030 while also ensuring that the economic and social benefits of this huge investment directly benefit communities of Chicago that have been affected most by environmental injustice and will be hit hardest by climate change: Latinx, black, and lower income communities.
  • Remove all lead pipes from Chicago and create a funding program for the City to pay for lead pipe replacement on private property.
  • Bring recycling back to the public sector to ensure that it is fair, accessible, and accountable, and begin the process of establishing public and democratic control over our utilities to ensure that we can transition to 100% just and renewable energy quickly, move towards a just energy economy, and remove the profit incentive that keeps companies tied to dirty energy.
  • Begin work on a long-term climate mitigation and climate refugee intake plan to prepare for future climate disasters that may affect the City of Chicago and our population, including our relationship to Lake Michigan and how we interact with our neighboring Great Lakes states.

Inclusivity

Chicago’s legacy of corruption, segregation and abuse is still alive and well. The civil rights of vulnerable populations – including women, people experiencing homeless, Latinx, Black, immigrants, and the LGBTQIA+ community – continue to be trampled on. Our City must be intentional in actively correcting these social issues.

Our city solutions include:

  • Protect our immigrant families by making Chicago a real sanctuary city, and ensure that the aldermanic office is a sanctuary zone for undocumented populations.
  • Bring the City into full compliance of the Language Access Ordinance to make sure there is adequate accessibility for those who speak languages other than English.
  • Adjust the mission and funding of Chicago’s Commission on Human Relations to create a real plan to desegregate the City of Chicago.
  • Promote more family acceptance programs that help support the mental well-being of LGBTQIA+ youth and their parents and families.
  • Require all-gender restrooms in all public buildings citywide.

Money and Finance

We need public officials that are accountable to people & a tax system that works for the many. We also need $15 min wage, small business support, and fair elections. Colin is the only candidate in the 31st Ward that has not taken money from developers and that is fully accountable to his community, not corporations or the 1%.

Our city solutions include:

  • Get big money out of politics and hold city officials accountable to our communities through publicly financed elections.
  • Fulfill all pension obligations. Pensions are a promise we have made and we must keep. We can solve our pension crisis through progressive revenue sources such as TIF reform, a LaSalle Street Tax, a city casino, and more.
  • Support small businesses and workers rights by removing the red tape that keeps small businesses from succeeding and fight for a $15 minimum wage.
  • Work with city and state elected officials to fight for a tax system that requires the wealthy to pay their fair share.
  • Drive economic growth and lower utility costs with affordable municipal broadband internet.