NEW REVENUES: Would reform how tax-increment financing money is spent, expand sales tax to services such as accounting and attorneys and impose luxury tax on big-ticket items. Supports city casino if approved through voter referendum. Supports “progressive” taxes, such as a graduated income tax. Calls property tax increase “last resort.”
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PENSION REFORM: Supports cutting benefits for future workers — but not current retirees. Opposes raising property taxes to pay for pensions. Opposes “scoop and toss” — long-term borrowing to pay operations bills. Says efficiencies with the county would save city money.
POLICE: Vows to put 1,000 more police officers on the street, paying for that in part by using half of existing overtime pay. Believes overtime is overused. Wants to reinstitute community policing and hire patrols that “look like the neighborhoods.” Would “interview” Supt. Garry McCarthy to see if strategies align.
ELECTED SCHOOL BOARD: Strongly supports an elected school board and points to advisory ballot questions that Chicagoans overwhelmingly favored in many wards in February election.
RED-LIGHT CAMERAS: Promises to take down all red-light cameras, arguing they are a tax on working people.
LUCAS MUSEUM AND OBAMA LIBRARY ON PARK LAND: Opposes filmmaker George Lucas’s proposed Lucas Museum of Narrative Art, calling it a “monument to Darth Vader” on park land. Did not initially support idea of park land for Obama library but now does, saying if it’s the only option, it’s more important to have the library in Chicago.
TIF REFORM: Calls tax-increment financing money “slush fund” for the wealthy; says too much of it used for downtown projects. Wants TIF funds used to revitalize neighborhoods, help with affordable housing and new manufacturing.
CITY COUNCIL REORGANIZATION: Opposes cutting City Council seats, saying that would favor aldermen with “big war chests” and wards not equally represented. Would hear out Ald. Ed Burke; doesn’t commit to dropping or keeping him as chairman of powerful Finance Committee.
WAYS TO ELIMINATE $1 BILLION CPS DEFICIT: Says “we cannot cut our way out of the structural deficit, but we can and must operate more efficiently as part of the solution.” Better coordination of services, cutting waste and looking for new revenue sources like luxury tax, expand sales tax on services.
BANKRUPTCY AN OPTION FOR CITY OR CPS: Strongly opposes. “I just think it’s premature, and I think, to a degree, a little bit of a panic. I’m not a panicky guy. I worry about things. I don’t panic.”
CHARTER SCHOOLS: Wants moratorium on adding more charter schools; supports expanding public education to include pre-kindergarten “and even earlier.” Reducing class size is among his priorities.
INSPECTOR GENERAL: Strongly supports giving Inspector General Joe Ferguson the power to investigate City Council members and staffs, as well as guaranteed funding for the office.