The Sun-Times Editorial Board sent the 24th Ward aldermanic candidates a list of questions to find out their views on a range of important issues facing the city and their ward.Creative Scott submitted the following responses (the Sun-Times does not edit candidate responses):
Who is Creative Scott?
He’s running for:24th Ward alderman His political/civic background: Former Chairman of The Greater Lawndale Black Chamber of Commerce His occupation: Business Owner His education: Diploma Campaign website: creative24ward.com Facebook: facebook.com/CreativeFor24thWard/
What are the top three priorities for your ward?
Creative Scott:Education, Economic Development & Public Safety
Recent civic work
Please tell us what you have done in the last two years to serve the city, your neighborhood or a civic organization. Please be specific.
Creative Scott:Over the past years I have had a number of things that I’ve done to serve my community such as The Young Barbers Program which was featured on Windy City Live and The Martial Arts Program. Both the programs teaches discipline, listening skills as well as introducing the youth to entrepreneurship. The list could go on and on and I’ve collaborated with other organizations within the community and on the outside to make events happen.
Chicago is on the hook for $42 billion in unfunded pension liabilities, which works out to $35,000 for every household. Those pensions, in the language of the Illinois Constitution, “shall not be diminished or impaired.” Should the state Constitution be amended to allow a reduction in pension benefits for current city employees or retirees? How about reducing pension benefits for new employees? Please explain.
Creative Scott:Yes the constitution should be amended to allow a reduction in pension benefits for current and retirees employees as well as reducing pension benefits for new employees. A certain percentage would be acceptable to be given as pension but the remaining funds could be added into budgets that would help struggling communities.
Of the following often proposed sources of new revenue for Chicago, which of the following do you favor, and why? A Chicago casino, legalized and taxed recreational marijuana, a LaSalle Street tax, a commuter tax, a property tax increase, a municipal sales tax increase, a real estate transfer tax increase, video gambling.
Creative Scott:I favor the legalized and taxed recreational marijuana. I favor this due to health conditions that it assist with neutralizing.
What other sources of new revenue do you favor or oppose?
Creative Scott:I would favor a Chicago casino because it would increase jobs as well as create a new stream of revenue for the city.
Tax-increment financing districts are a primary economic development tool for Chicago. In a TIF district, taxes from the growth of property values are set aside for 23 years to be used to support public projects and private development. What changes do you favor, if any, in Chicago’s TIF program?
Creative Scott:I would push for more Tif districts within my ward and that property values would be solely for the support public project developments.
What will you do to rein in aldermanic prerogative?
Creative Scott:I will focus on the economic development of the ward, establishing more small businesses. I will focus on keeping the current businesses updated with building inspections to avoid closure. My goal is to make the 24th Ward vibrant.
The City of Chicago has entered into a federally monitored consent decree to overhaul the training and practices of the Chicago Police Department. Civil libertarians say it is long overdue, but others say it is unnecessary and could make it tougher for the police to do their job. What’s your view?
Creative Scott:I am in agreement with the consent decree. I believe it would help bring forth a great deal of honesty and effective policing making it harder to encounter police misconduct.
What should Chicago do to reduce the number of illegal guns?
Creative Scott:There should be random checks done at the borders of the state as there are random seatbelt checks until we create a more stern program to reduce the numbers of illegal guns.
What is the appropriate role of charter schools within the Chicago Public Schools system?
Creative Scott:Charter Schools appropriate role is to focus heavily on academics. I believe that charter schools goal is to cater to more advanced students and gives parents the option to challenge their children on a higher educational level.
Should the Chicago Board of Education be solely appointed by the mayor, as is now the case? Or should Chicago switch to an elected school board or some hybrid?
Creative Scott:The Chicago Board of Education should be an elected school board which would be set with requirements that are reasonable.
Is there enough affordable housing in your ward? Please explain.
Creative Scott:There are 19 affordable housing projects in the 24th Ward. There could be more due to the high rent and the combining of families living in one unit. The goal is to make the community vibrant and a place where growth is promoted.
Chicago, by ordinance, is an official “welcoming city.” This means the Chicago police are generally prohibited from detaining undocumented immigrants on behalf of federal immigration authorities. What’s your position on this policy? What more — or less — should be done with respect to undocumented immigrants who live in Chicago?
Creative Scott:I believe that we should create a program that would help the undocumented become documented.
Should the inspector general have the power to audit and review City Council programs, operations and committees? Why or why not?
Creative Scott:Yes. I believe we should given the current situation that the city council has endured with current Alderman Ed Burke. The goal is to create a honest and effective City’s Council.
Would you employ, or have you employed, staff in your office who have outside jobs or contracts with entities that do business with the city? If so, please explain.
Creative Scott:I am open to employing staff who has expertise in fields that are similar to the roles that are needed within the office of an Alderman.
Is there a past or current alderman whom you model yourself after, or would model yourself after, or take inspiration from? Please explain.
Creative Scott:I take inspiration from Ben Lewis, he believe that there were five areas in which an Alderman should work on and I am in alignment with him on health, education and public safety. Health is a big issue dealing with what we eat, how much rest we get and our mental state (how it is being tended to). Education needs much attention given the fact that enrollment numbers are low and the communities that the schools reside are not safe. Public safety requires developing a relationship between the officers and the community to the point in which we can build trust.
Also running for 24th Ward alderman: