The Sun-Times Editorial Board sent the candidates running for 47th Ward alderman a list of questions to find out their views on a range of issues facing the city and their ward. Angela “Angie” Maloney submitted the following responses (the Sun-Times does not edit candidate responses):
Who is Angela “Angie” Maloney?
She’s running for: 47th Ward alderman
Her political/civic background: CTU member, community activist
Her occupation: Teacher
Her education: BA DePaul in French and Philosophy; Med UIC Curriculum and Instruction
Campaign website: iam47.org
What are the top three priorities for your ward?
Angela “Angie” Maloney: Education. Safe and Affordable Communities. Ward Services
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.
Angela “Angie” Maloney: Every day I wake up to serve the children and families of our city as a teacher in our Chicago Public Schools. I am proud and eager to serve on the CPS working group for Race and Equity. Locally, I have marched and gathered alongside the teachers at the Old Town School of Folk Music as they organize for a better workplace and have attended meetings at the Old Town School to work on improving community morale. I have also worked to engage and turn out voters in the 47th Ward Democratic Organization over the past year. On a micro level, I have hosted numerous singalongs, political salons, and postcard parties for friends and neighbors to foster social engagement, political discussion, and to spur people to contact our elected officials.
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.
Angela “Angie” Maloney: The Supreme Court has been very clear about this issue that a pension is part of a promised compensation package. I am opposed to any reductions in benefits for retirees, or current employees. We also have to be careful cutting compensation for new employees because “you get what you pay for”. We have made great gains in areas such as schools and don’t want that success to recede. We need to explore other ways to manage our financial situation.
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.
Angela “Angie” Maloney: I support a Chicago casino, sports betting, and video gambling in downtown locations as a pilot, and hold back on inserting these into neighborhoods to avoid encouraging these vices in communities that are already struggling. I support legalizing and taxing marijuana. I support a real estate transfer tax over a certain sales amount. I am opposed to regressive taxes, such as an across the board property tax that doesn’t fix the broken system we have. I would support a sales tax increase on high-end items. I support trying a small Lasalle Street tax, and I would consider a commuter tax before raising property taxes.
What other sources of new revenue do you favor or oppose?
Angela “Angie” Maloney: I support reviving the head tax on larger corporations. I would oppose raising property taxes until we have tried all of these new sources of income.
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?
Angela “Angie” Maloney: TIFs can be a great tool, but we need to reform the way we use them. First, I would push for more transparency on the balances of the TIF accounts, and make sure that it is easier to understand the decisions in spending. I would support transferring excess TIF money back into the schools and parks to lower the residential real estate taxes. I would support a sort of mandated sunset on TIFs in some areas – taking TIF proceeds from districts that are no longer “blighted” and transferring that money to areas that need resources, or putting those proceeds back into the general pool of the city.
What will you do to rein in aldermanic prerogative?
Angela “Angie” Maloney: We can create an ordinance that constrains aldermanic privilege on certain types of developments, namely those with affordable housing in order to prevent racist policies. I have always led by example and as Alderman I will continue to do so in this area. My Aldermanic office will be open and transparent and actively seek feedback from the community it represents but will serve residents of all backgrounds.
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?
Angela “Angie” Maloney: I believe the Consent Decree is long overdue in Chicago.
What should Chicago do to reduce the number of illegal guns?
Angela “Angie” Maloney:
- We need to work with the state to develop gun laws and programs to go after the dealers. It’s well reported that most guns come from just a handful of dealers.
- We need to work with the state to get Indiana to stop allowing illegal guns across the border.
- We can consider commuter taxes on those that come from a state that refuses to cooperate with restricting guns from coming across into our state.
What is the appropriate role of charter schools within the Chicago Public Schools system?
Angela “Angie” Maloney: I am opposed to charter schools in the school system. They have not served their original purpose and instead continue to siphon off resources from the general pool without being held to the same standards.
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?
Angela “Angie” Maloney: I support an elected, representative school board. But we also need a means for assuring fair elections in this process. A hybrid may be considered if the representative portion is considerably larger than the appointed portion.
Is there enough affordable housing in your ward? Please explain.
Angela “Angie” Maloney: No. It is one of the reasons I am running. I have experienced what it is like to have two incomes, and not be able to afford to own a home in the ward. Furthermore, the creation of new developments that include affordable units is creating a segregation between those with greater means and those with less, where the wealthier can afford to live on quiet side streets with yards and the rest who seek affordable options are relegated to main arteries with no outdoor space.
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?
Angela “Angie” Maloney: I support Chicago’s status as a sanctuary city. I believe until the federal government truly fixes our immigration system, we need to continue to support undocumented immigrants in whatever way we can as a city.
Should the inspector general have the power to audit and review City Council programs, operations and committees? Why or why not?
Angela “Angie” Maloney: Yes, the Inspector General (IG) should have the power to audit and review City Council programs and committees. It is important that we have a transparent government that has checks and balances and ensure the best use of taxpayer money.
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.
Angela “Angie” Maloney: I would not employ staff in my office that have outside jobs where there is a conflict of interest. If there is no conflict I would welcome part-time help from those with other part-time work. I certainly would not employ those that have contracts to do business with the city.
Is there a past or current alderman whom you model yourself after, or would model yourself after, or take inspiration from? Please explain.
Angela “Angie” Maloney: From the moment I moved into my first apartment in the city on the border between Uptown and Ravenswood, I have admired the tenacity and vision of Alderman Helen Shiller. She fought for all residents, including those who were voiceless because either their voices were ignored or they were unable to speak for themselves. Our city would do well to reset its moral compass and ask: Who is this city for? Who belongs here? Who deserves to live here? The answer should be all of us. We must examine if our actions show that value. Let’s prioritize human value- not just property value. Alderman Shiller was able to highlight universal human worth, fight for it, and win.
Also running for 47th Ward alderman: