Education and Parks
- Advocated for Wall to Wall IB Program at Lincoln Park High School, building its capacity as a top-notch neighborhood school.
- Spearheaded efforts to address overcrowding at Lincoln Elementary School and acquired funding for a new annex to be completed by the fall of 2015, ensuring Lincoln Elementary remains a top neighborhood school in the city for years to come.
- Secured temporary quarters for Lincoln Elementary at DePaul University pending construction
- Secured state and city grants totaling $1.3 million to build the Alcott “Field of Dreams,” featuring soccer/baseball field, running track, and playground, all on a “green” infrastructure footprint
- New field and playground at Newberry Academy
- Saved magnet program at LaSalle Language Academy
- Rebuilt Goudy Playlot with significant community fundraising; rehabbed Wiggly Field dog park
- Planted more than 100 trees ward wide
Fiscal Responsibility and Transparency
- With Mayor Rahm Emanuel, continued to reduce the City’s structural deficit, resulting in a $300 million (over 50%) reduction since taking office in 2011.
- Advocated vigorously for pension reform, leading city council hearings with pension trustees, supported municipal and laborers pension plan reform, reducing liabilities for two pension funds by $3 billion.
- Lead co-sponsor of ordinance calling for the City’s Inspector General to have oversight of City Council members and holding alderman to same standards and subject to same investigative powers as any other City employee.
- Co-wrote the ordinance to establish the City Council Office of Financial Analysis, dedicated to providing City Council with independent information on the budget and other fiscal matters.
- Negotiated key changes to the Infrastructure Trust Ordinance for greater transparency, including requiring third party, independent review of all transactions.
- Supported the TIF Surplus Ordinance, which would have required non-committee money in TIF districts to be returned to government agencies.
- Supported increased funding for additional maintenance crews – including rodent control, pothole repairs, tree trimming and sewer cleaning – in the 2015 City budget.
Community Development and Advocacy
- Approved transformational and appropriate Children’s Memorial site redevelopment plan that will serve as a new neighborhood crossroads, including an acre of open space and creating a revitalized commercial center that will be a catalyst for economic development in Lincoln Park.
- Working with all neighborhood groups, saved the 43rd Ward from being severely remapped during the recent decennial redistricting process that would have resulted in 5 wards encompassing Lincoln Park.
- Vigorously attacked issues of vacant storefronts in ward, reducing vacancies by 50% on Clark Street and 30% in Armitage/Halsted corridor: developed strategy to sue recalcitrant absentee landlords, compelling them to bring their properties into compliance and lease to new businesses; brought trade mission to Armitage Avenue; numerous new businesses have arrived to neighborhood corridors.
- Communicate weekly with ward in e-newsletter; enhanced communications by growing email ward newsletter list to 12,500; largest circulation in the city.
- Supported efforts to get police out from behind desks and back onto the streets.
- Launched court advocacy program to take a stand against crime, resulting in longer sentencing for individuals guilty of crime in 43rd Ward.
- Launched block-by-block police consulting to assist blocks and buildings with specific recommendations for safety.
- Working with 18th District, rolled out new security plans for North Avenue beach, resulting in the mitigation of major incidents on the beaches that plagued lakefront prior to tenure in office.
- Advocated for police resources to addresses homelessness, resulting in establishment of patrol unit dedicated to homeless outreach.
- Secured an evening foot patrol for Clark Street District.
- Together with the 18th and 19th Police Districts, hosted the 43rd Ward Lock Your Door Campaign which recommended simple ways to make homes more secure.
- Working with the 18th and 19th District, saw a decrease in overall crime in Lincoln Park from 2010-2014: burglaries are down 45%, robberies are down 44%, and car thefts are down 37%. Overall property crime is down 29% and overall violent crime is down 21%.
- Processed over 100,000 individual constituent service requests.
- Resurfaced nearly 100 blocks, mainly via Aldermanic Menu Funding; also strongly pursued further City and State sources to acquire necessary funds to repair long-neglected infrastructure.
- Introduced expanded rodent abatement ordinance; City Council passage is expected to occur on January 21st and will be in effect for 2015 construction season
- Organized the lakefront wards to defeat the attempt to impose an unnecessary and burdensome sprinkler mandate on multi-unit buildings