4th Ward Alderman Questionnaire

Gregory Livingston

  1. What three skill sets do you most want people to know that you have that set you apart from the other candidates for alderman of the 4th ward?

    Negotiation. Communication. Coalition building.

  2. When considering the demographic profile of the average resident in the 4th ward, what do you have most in common with them?

    As a native and lifelong Chicagoan as well as being a 4th Ward resident – I feel that what I have most in common with other 4th Ward residents is SAFETY – the need to feel safe in our own neighborhoods. Safe streets, playgrounds, schools, stores, parking lots etc. Violence anywhere in the city impacts everywhere in our city.

  3. Presuming you are committed to using the office of alderman to improve the lives of 4 th ward residents, what are your 4 priorities to effect the changes you believe the residents of the 4th ward want most?

    Transparency. Independence. A new level of Community Engagement. A Backbone.

  4. What do you see as the four most important responsibilities of the office of alderman?

    Access. Presence. Timely Response to Ward residents. Planning that leads to action.

  5. If elected, what committee assignments will you seek and why?

    Finance – because it is important for residents to know about fund allocation and that Chicago isn’t Broke. Education – even though certain have more advantaged students the disadvantaged students must have a great facilities and curriculum that gives access beyond disadvantage. Police & Fire – we must find creative ways to heal our city.

  6. To win any election, it takes support, from where does your greatest voter and financial support come?

    Our support is diverse and primarily grassroots.

  7. What do you believe is your greatest achievement or something you have done that has brought you the greatest pleasure in your life?

    I am grateful for a (documentable) life of servant-leadership and serving as an advocate for the public good.

  8. The City Council has been known to follow the lead of the mayor. Name two things that you agreed with and two things you disagreed with the mayor and the City Council’s vote.

    I publicly disagreed and petitioned Mayor Emanuel not to execute the most massive school closing (50~) in American history & I publicly confronted & petitioned the Mayor regarding the debauched handling of the Laquan McDonald police shooting. I agreed with the Mayor on the firing of former police superintendent Garry McCarthy. I also agreed with the Mayor removing Barbara Byrd Bennett from CPS.

  9. What is your position on changing the redistricting process, term limits, creating a civilian review board with enforcement powers and the proposal to give free housing to first responders that commit to living in areas of high crime for five years?

    In California redistricting is in the hands of the voters in order to avoid gerrymandering and entrenchment. Illinois/Chicago would benefit as has California. No more than two successive terms with a one term break. We must go beyond IPRA & COPA – CPAC would be ideal. Free housing to first responders is an interesting idea but my concern is that such a program would be developed equitably citywide.

  10. Should you be elected to serve in the City Council, would you support term limits? If so, how many terms would you support as the limit?

    No more than two successive terms with a one term break.

Ebony Lucas

  1. What three skill sets do you most want people to know that you have that set you apart from the other candidates for alderman of the 4th ward?

    The three skill sets that set me apart are that I understand real estate, am resourceful, and I am a strong advocate.

    I am a small business owner and have 15 years of experience working on housing and real estate related matters. This makes me uniquely qualified to address issues related to development of affordable housing and bring commercial and economic development to the 4th Ward particularly in the Bronzeville, Oakland, and Douglas areas.

    One of the greatest skills that I have learned as a business owner and an attorney is to be resourceful. The 4th Ward and city of Chicago is rich with many of the resources that residents need. There are many churches, community and nonprofit organizations, and municipal programs that meet the needs The ward needs a strong leader who can build collaborations and increase access to the resources for job training, youth programming, and to meet the social and emotional needs of seniors, working families, and children.

    Over the past 9 years I have helped over 500 people save their homes by helping people to understand their options, becoming familiar with city departments, and fighting for my client’s rights. I have a proven track record of being an advocate for people and getting results.

  2. When considering the demographic profile of the average resident in the 4th ward, what do you have most in common with them?

    I am a working, Black woman, raising 4 children who have or are currently attending Chicago Public Schools. For several years, I was a single parent raising a male child. I understand the challenges of being a working parent, under-resourced schools, and the frustrations of increasing taxes and fees that affect affordability, and not having resources and amenities like shopping, restaurants, and entertainment in the community where I live.

  3. Presuming you are committed to using the office of alderman to improve the lives of 4 th ward residents, what are your 4 priorities to effect the changes you believe the residents of the 4th ward want most?

    My 4 priorities will be safety, education, development, and community engagement.

    Safety is an issue throughout the city of Chicago. We have to address the safety on multiple levels, including ensuring that lights are working and trees are cut; bridge the gap between police and community to ensure quality policing; improving schools and increasing opportunities for youth and community engagement.

    The violent crimes that we are seeing are being committed by young people ages 18-22 and, in some cases, younger. This is a symptom of our failing schools. One of my top priorities is to advocate for schools to receive proper resources and funding. At a local (ward) level, I want to work with principals and teachers to create community partnerships to increase programming. We also need to increase programming for youth during after school and summer hours so that we can keep them engaged in productive activities. Development in the 4th ward has been primarily focused on CHA and market rate housing, and commercial development in the South Loop and Hyde Park neighborhoods. I plan to prioritize the development of an affordable housing plan that includes development of housing for working families who do not qualify for subsidies but cannot afford market rate properties. I also want to develop a comprehensive plan for commercial development and job creation in the Bronzeville, Oakland, Douglas, Kenwood, and GAP communities. 4th Ward residents needs opportunities for engagement in decisions involving their communities. At present, we find out about development, street repairs, and new city ordinances after decisions have been made. I will develop a community advisory board to regularly receive input and provide updates and information regarding things that are going on the ward and in the City of Chicago

  4. What do you see as the four most important responsibilities of the office of alderman?

    The 4 most important responsibilities of the Alderman are (1) being a fiscal steward to ensure that city funds are spent properly, with transparency, and that financial resources are spread equitably throughout all communities; (2) strengthening the community by providing access to resources and governmental services to increase safety and improve quality of life; (3) marketing neighborhoods and providing support for businesses to bring commercial development, jobs, and amenities; and (4) fostering community by encouraging resident engagement before decisions are made and providing opportunities for participation in collective events.

  5. If elected, what committee assignments will you seek and why?

    I am interested in working on the Housing and Real Estate, Education and Child Development, and Budget and Government Operations committees because the issues addressed by these committees heavily affect 4th Ward residents.

  6. To win any election, it takes support, from where does your greatest voter and financial support come?

    My greatest support has come from 4th ward stakeholders including residents and business owners. I have also had significant financial support from the real estate community.

  7. What do you believe is your greatest achievement or something you have done that has brought you the greatest pleasure in your life?

    During the housing market down turn, many people lost their homes and home ownership was most strongly lost in Black and brown communities. During that time, I had to quickly change the focus of my law practice. I provided free community seminars and often performed pro bono work. I am proud that during such a difficult time, I was able to be there to assist so many people with making life changing decisions and that during such a time of loss, I was able to create wins.

  8. The City Council has been known to follow the lead of the mayor. Name two things that you agreed with and two things you disagreed with the mayor and the City Council’s vote.

    I agree with the mayor’s initiative to provide identification to undocumented immigrants and the decision to be a sanctuary city.

    I disagree with the manner in which TIFs are funded and spent and the lack of transparency. I also disagree with the school closings and the lack of priority that is being placed on school funding.

  9. What is your position on changing the redistricting process, term limits, creating a civilian review board with enforcement powers and the proposal to give free housing to first responders that commit to living in areas of high crime for five years?

    Wards in the city of Chicago should be contiguous to allow a greater ability to service all residents. There should be term limits and a recall process for Chicago municipal offices. We need a civilian review board to provide transparency and accountability. First responders and teachers should be provided with free housing and/or other financial and tax incentives to live in the communities where they serve.

  10. Should you be elected to serve in the City Council, would you support term limits? If so, how many terms would you support as the limit?

    Yes, I support term limits. I have seen proposals for two or three terms as a limit. I would want to engage more with the community in order to determine the limit that I would support.

Marcellus H. Moore, Jr.

  1. What three skill sets do you most want people to know that you have that set you apart from the other candidates for alderman of the 4th ward?

    Commitment. I have been actively committed to several organizations in the 4th ward for the last several years serving community needs ranging from education (two Local School Councils) youth sports & programming, to senior housing and ex-offender training and workforce development.

    Business (MBA) & Legal (JD) acumen. Not only do I have both an MBA and JD from Northwestern University, but my career has enabled me to utilize both…as a strategy consultant, vice president with international commercial real estate organizations and currently as an attorney who’s operated my own business for most of the last decade. This background will enable me to navigate the strategy and business assessments needed to conduct thoughtful analysis of issues, but my legal training allows me to understand the legal components of those issues as well…not just from an academic point of view, but also from the practical “I’ve done that” perspective as well.

  2. When considering the demographic profile of the average resident in the 4th ward, what do you have most in common with them?

    I am a 44 yr old, middle class, professional, African-American father of three (3).

  3. Presuming you are committed to using the office of alderman to improve the lives of 4 th ward residents, what are your 4 priorities to effect the changes you believe the residents of the 4th ward want most?

    a. Crime & Violence: Whether real or perceived, many people (including businesses and developers) have a belief that the “Southside” is dangerous. To assist the Chicago Police Department, I have suggested a 2-pronged “top down, bottom up” approach to addressing these concerns.

    “Top down”: along with working with CPD to determine a more strategic approach to policing (i.e., community policing, walking beats,etc.), CPD should look to replicate partnerships like it has with U of C with other area educational institutions (i.e., NEIU at 39th & Cottage Grove; IIT just west of the Ward; the DePaul, Columbia, Roosevelt, Robert Morris collaborative in the northern part of the ward).

    “Bottom up”: We, the community, must take our communities back. Proactively support existing block and neighborhood clubs and the creating of new ones.

    Partnering those clubs with local business and/or churches for their meeting places.

    Once the Police has a more vested interest in the community through community policing efforts, and the community has a more vested interest in itself, I think this is a strong start to reducing the actual violence and dealing with the perceived safety concerns in the area.

    b. Local Schools Improvement: A major part of attracting people and businesses to the area is the ability to educate our youth. With CPS facing regular cuts, we need to make sure our communities’ are committed to and support our local schools.

    c. New Development: The 4th Ward is home to the most prime development opportunity in the City of Chicago. It is incumbent upon the alderman to bring new opportunities to the ward. Having experience in commercial real estate for retailers and office users ranging from Bank of America to T-Mobile, I understand what they are looking for and can help develop plans to attract new businesses.

    d. Making sure there is available healthcare and healthier food and grocery options.

  4. What do you see as the four most important responsibilities of the office of alderman?

    a. Transparent liaison between the community and City Hall: This is CRITICAL. As the representative of the community, it is critical that the alderman act as, not just a liaison between the community and City Hall, but be open and transparent about the decisions that are being made. The community MUST have a voice through the alderman. Too many elected officials seem to forget that their responsibility is to serve as their communities’ voice.

    b. Constituent Services: A primary task off the alderman must be to address constituent concerns and issues.

    c. Constituent Support: The Alderman must be prepared to provide community support to the constituents of the ward. This includes providing information on health, job, educational, youth programming services in the area.

    d. Regular dialogue with the Mayor and surrounding alderman: The 4th Ward does not city in a bubble. It’s success is dependent on being part of an integrated plan that effects the entire city. While the 4th Ward alderman’s responsibility is obviously specific to the 4th ward, having a working relationship with surrounding aldermen and the Mayor is critical to a collaborative approach to governance (#buildingCOMMUNITYthroughCOLLABORATION).

  5. If elected, what committee assignments will you seek and why?

    The three (3) that immediately come to mind are:

    a. Committee on Rules & Ethics…to ensure rules are being followed and ethics maintained;

    b. Committee on Education & Child Development…I have a passion for youth programming and education;

    c. Committee on Housing and Real Estate…This is consistent with much of my background and experience and I believe I can add useful insight;

    I would evaluate other opportunities to see where my skill set could/would be most useful in regards to the other committees.

  6. To win any election, it takes support, from where does your greatest voter and financial support come?

    My greatest voter and financial support comes from individual voters…the people in the community who I’ve coached their children in baseball…the people in the courts whom I have worked with…the families whom my children have gone to school with…in sum, FROM THE COMMUNITY!My greatest voter and financial support comes from individual voters…the people in the community who I’ve coached their children in baseball…the people in the courts whom I have worked with…the families whom my children have gone to school with…in sum, FROM THE COMMUNITY!

  7. What do you believe is your greatest achievement or something you have done that has brought you the greatest pleasure in your life?

    Unquestionably my children are my greatest achievement and give me the greatest joy. All three (3) of my children are in or the product of the Chicago Public School system. With a child in each college, high school and elementary school, it has been a wonder to watch them grow and develop into the young people/adults that they are. Just answering this question makes me smile thinking of them.

    In my professional life, it is having opened my own law office focusing on the needs of the people over eight (8) years ago. When I say “focusing on the needs of the people”, what I mean is that all of my peers practiced law for large corporations or organizations. I found that there was a hole in my network of people being able to provide legal services for regular people, so when I opened my office, my tagline was “Your Personal Connection to the Law”. I was able to assist people in a variety of areas of law. I have since refined my practice to primarily family law, real estate and some business litigation, but I love my job and serving people.

  8. The City Council has been known to follow the lead of the mayor. Name two things that you agreed with and two things you disagreed with the mayor and the City Council’s vote.

    In making decisions on behalf of constituents, it is critical that I have a.) the input of the constituents, and b.) full information as provided to City Council in order to make a THOUGHTFUL decision. The unfortunate reality is that difficult decisions have to be made by City Council on a regular basis. Without knowing the sacrifices that alternative decisions would cause, I cannot THOUGHTFULLY outline two (2) things that I agree/disagree with.

    As an example…I don’t favor a $0.07 “bag tax”…however, because I am not privy to the consequence to alternative decisions, I couldn’t reasonably answer.

    I believe that voters need to vote for someone they are confident will be transparent with them about decisions that need to be made by City Hall, but also for someone who will make sure THEIR (the constituent’s) voice is heard and represented.

  9. What is your position on changing the redistricting process, term limits, creating a civilian review board with enforcement powers and the proposal to give free housing to first responders that commit to living in areas of high crime for five years?

    a. Redistricting Process: Must have more objective criteria and/or community input.

    b. Term limits: See question 10 below.

    c. Civilian Review Board w/enforcement powers: I believe in any system that insures that the community has input into issues affecting their interests. I would need to understand more about “enforcement powers”. While I certainly support any such board being able to make enforcement suggestions, I would need to have a better understanding of any proposals.

    d. Free housing to first responders: I struggle with anything “free”. People tend to take “free” for granted. So, while I appreciate the concept and would potentially support a proposal giving “incentives” to first responders that commit to living in areas of high crime, I’m not sure “free” is appropriate. That said, if the proposal required some sort of community commitment, that would certainly make it more appealing. I’d also extend any such offer to teachers, medical and other professionals who had a community commitment.

  10. Should you be elected to serve in the City Council, would you support term limits? If so, how many terms would you support as the limit?

    I absolutely support term limits. I believe between two (2) – three (3) four year terms is sufficient, but in no event more than three. I believe that the lack of term limits has led to imbalances in power and control within city government and at times leads to complacency and stagnation among some elected officials which results in the constituent’s best interest not being served.

    Thank you for the opportunity to respond!

Scott McCarthy

  1. What three skill sets do you most want people to know that you have that set you apart from the other candidates for alderman of the 4th ward?

    First, what distinguishes me from the other candidates is that I am a practicing attorney, Certified Public Accountant and a former college instructor of business law and accounting. Secondly, I have not only worked in a variety of workplace settings but am also a small business owner. Together, these qualifications position me as the most qualified candidate who can understand and demystify legal and fiscal issues at a time when our city is battling junk bond credit rating status and a debilitating pension crisis. Third, as the owner of my own law practice and father of an adult son, I am uniquely situated to transition my business to new ownership and devote 100% of my professional time and much of my personal time to executing the duties of Alderman and addressing the needs of the people.

  2. When considering the demographic profile of the average resident in the 4th ward, what do you have most in common with them?

    First, I am a native Chicagoan and have lived in the city all of my life in various communities. I am an African American educated in Chicago in both public and Catholic schools. I am an alumnus of St. Ignatius College Prep; earned my BA from Roosevelt University; and my JD from the University of Illinois. Secondly, I not only live currently in Kenwood, my sister and nephew live in Kenwood, I have also lived the South Loop and before her passing, my mother resided in the South Loop for over 20 years. Also, as the son of a single mother, I also understand and can identify with those issues facing parents raising children alone. As a black male, I am intimately familiar with the challenges that our youth, especially black males, confront daily because of the color of their skin, a genetic quality they have no control over yet are discriminated against because of it. I am a property owner in the South Loop and in Kenwood, I am sensitive to the unwieldy burden increasing taxes can have on property owners. Finally, I am a solo practitioner of law. As a small business owner, I can empathize with the fiscal woes that befall the upstart or the entrepreneur when operating a business in the community. Because of these things and so many more, I share a great deal in common with the residents of the 4th Ward.

  3. Presuming you are committed to using the office of alderman to improve the lives of 4 th ward residents, what are your 4 priorities to effect the changes you believe the residents of the 4th ward want most?

    After walking and talking to residents daily since the campaign began, we developed a 6-Point Plan based on two cornerstones: investing in the people of the 4th Ward and insisting on fiscal responsibility in government. Here’s what I’ve learned.

    (1) People want an Alderman who is accessible, available and accountable.

    (2) People are fed up with financial gloom and doom reports about the pension crisis, junk bond ratings, and TIF funds. Being an attorney and a financial professional, I plan to debunk the myths about surpluses and shortfalls and promote transparency.

    (3) A quality public education should be within in reach of every child regardless of ZIP code.

    (4) In order to prioritize public safety, we must, among many things, promote peace by encouraging law enforcement and residents to treat each other like neighbors; add better trained police to the force; and return abandoned lots and property on the tax rolls.

    (5) Everyone wants and deserves access to quality living, from families to singles to seniors, at reasonable prices.

    (6) Energy efficient living should be attainable by every resident and every community should have its own recycling centers.

  4. What do you see as the four most important responsibilities of the office of alderman?

    The current Alderman, while a nice person has not been as strong and proactive in her interim status as she could have. An effective Alderman must be fiscally well-versed, a bridge builder among various stakeholders, and a relentless advocate for his constituents and accessible to the people.

  5. If elected, what committee assignments will you seek and why?

    As the only candidate with a financial professional background and a CPA, I would seek out assignments that directly address budgeting and fiscal oversight; for instance, the Committees for Budget and Government Operations, Economic, Capital and Technology Development. As well as those that invest in people and promote quality of life issues like the Committees for Health and Environmental Protection, Workforce Development and Audit and Special Events. More importantly, the residents of the 4th Ward need to understand how the city’s finances work and do not work in easy to understand terms. I will promote transparency while in office and while I cannot promise that every constituent will agree with every decision I will make, I can promise they will be informed ahead of time of my position, and why I made the decisions I did.

  6. To win any election, it takes support, from where does your greatest voter and financial support come?

    Over 200 neighbors I’ve met, and those I already know, family members, and long-time friends. donated and continue to donate to my campaign. I am not financially supported by any organized special interest groups or political parties or elected officials.

  7. What do you believe is your greatest achievement or something you have done that has brought you the greatest pleasure in your life?

    As father to one child, a son, instilling in him the values my mother taught me, is one of the greatest gifts in my life. Throwing a 69th birthday party for my mother on what we would knew would be her last. Helping others achieve the things that I have by lending my talents and business acumen to raise money for scholarships as I have done for St. Ignatius College Prep and Northwestern University is also one of the things in life that gives me great joy.

  8. The City Council has been known to follow the lead of the mayor. Name two things that you agreed with and two things you disagreed with the mayor and the City Council’s vote.

    When the Mayor acts in a fiscally responsible manner and makes decisions that have built-in opt-out options, room for community input and periodic assessments, then those are areas where I agree with the Mayor. Where I disagree with the Mayor is in the handling of the LaQuan McDonald tragedy, closing schools and leaving families without viable choices in their communities, and when small businesses close like Supreme Jewelers on 53rd or the shops in the Newport Condo building, we should be ready with new viable businesses that can take their place.

  9. What is your position on changing the redistricting process, term limits, creating a civilian review board with enforcement powers and the proposal to give free housing to first responders that commit to living in areas of high crime for five years?

    a. First, the redistricting process is designed to increase voter representation when it works properly. When it does not the result is gerrymandering, fractured communities and broken ties between the elected officials and the residents and the communities they reside in.

    b. Second, I am an advocate for term limits for local elected officials; they exist at the state and federal levels of government, why not locally?

    c. Depending on what the civilian review board is designed for would determine whether I would support it or not. I have recommended publicly on several occasions, the creation of TIF advisory boards to harness the input of the community. Community input should always be welcomed and invited, not feared.

    d. Finally, banks and other lending institutions already have special lending programs for veterans, first responders and educators in high-risk areas. As a municipality, we should do everything we can to stem the trend of fleeing residents due to the high cost of housing. Integral to my 6-Point Plan is promoting the development and maintaining quality housing options at reasonable prices.

  10. Should you be elected to serve in the City Council, would you support term limits? If so, how many terms would you support as the limit?

    I support term limits if it leads to better fiscal management and results in being able to better serve the residents of the 4th Ward. As a current outsider now, as a voter, I believe term limits could be a good thing.