The Sun-Times Editorial Board sent the 20th Ward aldermanic candidates a list of questions to find out their views on a range of important issues facing the city and their ward.Kevin M. Baileysubmitted the following responses (the Sun-Times does not edit candidate responses):
Who is Kevin M. Bailey?
She’s running for: 20th Ward alderman His political/civic background:20th award Democratic Committeeman His occupation:Civil Engineer by degree and trade/Global Industry Leader for a major technology firm in the US/20th Ward Democratic Committeeman His education:BS Civil Engineering Campaign website: electkevinbailey.com/ Facebook:facebook.com/electkevinbailey/
What are the top three priorities for your ward?
- Reduce the impact of gentrification in the 20th ward
- increase access to jobs that pay a livable wage
- increase access to mental health facilities and care
- increase funding for public education
- reduce crime
- beautify the war
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.
KevinM.Bailey:I’ve advocated for a $15.00 an hour minimum wage, and has advocated for an elected school board. Hes helped to incubate small businesses and small business growth in his community.’ve opened a service center that allows residents a safe resource for both the youth and adults. The service center is home to many programs such as The Award WinningKevinBaileyCheerdance Team, Transformers Actor Richard Gallion acting class, Small Business Coaching by Bravo television star Nakita Nicci, Eviction assistance, and more
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.
KevinM.Bailey:Without equivocation I WILL NOT! attempt to cut pension benefits for current or future City employees and retirees. Our employees and retirees have worked their entire lives and deserve to live their retired lives with the dignity they deserve.
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.
KevinM.Bailey:I would support allowing zoning changes to allow for a dispensary/cultivation center in my ward if those oppressed communities who have been harmed been by laws that in times past criminalized the use and sale of marijuana. Those communities must also be made whole and given the opportunity to avoid barriers of entry that could under normal circumstances prohibit these poor and disenfranchised communities from participating in the growth and coming prosperity of said industry, i.e criminal backgrounds, and lack of capital to pay entry and application fees.
What other sources of new revenue do you favor or oppose?
KevinM.Bailey:I would support PLAs. Supporting PLA’s is also a way to facilitate the ceasing of waste and abuse of funds used in the development of many city projects.
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?
KevinM.Bailey:Many of the problems related to Chicago’s current revenue stream issues stem not from the lack of funds but the mismanagement of funds available to chicago and its citizens. There must be a constant monitoring of appropriations i.e. Tiff funds and the like. The elimination of favoritism and cronyism must be a priority of elected officials city wide. I will advocate for a fair and open Tiff fund distribution process, and advocate for small business owners and community advocacy groups that currently do business in the community and will stay in the community to receive Tiff funds, as opposed to Big Box Stores that have received Tiff funds in the past, left the community, and subsequent to that, left the tax payers of the community on the hook for the funds they’ve received. Those companies should be forced to stay for the length of the fund distribution, or return the funds back to the taxpayers.
What will you do to rein in aldermanic prerogative?
KevinM.Bailey:Continue to bring resources that benefit all residents, continue to build strong relationships with influencers for the benefit of our Ward.
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?
KevinM.Bailey:I agree it’s long overdue
What should Chicago do to reduce the number of illegal guns?
KevinM.Bailey: No response.
What is the appropriate role of charter schools within the Chicago Public Schools system?
KevinM.Bailey:I think public schools best serve our city’s children. However the issue has been the lack of equitable funding for all of CPS. Chicago’s public schools should be properly and equitably funded city wide, giving all students an opportunity at a high class competitive education.
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?
KevinM.Bailey:Elected School Board
Is there enough affordable housing in your ward? Please explain.
KevinM.Bailey:There isn’t enough affordable “available” housing in the 20th Ward. The 20th Ward has far too many abandoned properties.
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?
KevinMBailey: No response.
Should the inspector general have the power to audit and review City Council programs, operations and committees? Why or why not?
KevinM.Bailey:Yes! Misappropriation of city staff is definitely a problem that many times results wasting of funds in that we end up having to pay highly qualified staff to do jobs and duties that may not require the level of training of said employees. This is definingly present in the hiring of of sworn personnel from the Chicago Police Department. Not only does it take police officers away from the critical job of policing the streets, but it also takes an opportunity from civilian workers to make a living and provide a life for themselves and their families.
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.
KevinM.Bailey:I am open to the idea.
Is there a past or current alderman whom you model yourself after, or would model yourself after, or take inspiration from? Please explain.
KevinM.Bailey:No I’mhere to challenge the status quo. The goal is not make history but make change. My primary focus is bringing change to the 20th award.