22nd Ward candidate for alderman: Neftalie Gonzalez
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The Sun-Times Editorial Board sent the 22nd Ward aldermanic candidates a list of questions to find out their views on a range of important issues facing the city and their ward. Neftalie Gonzalez submitted the following responses (the Sun-Times does not edit candidate responses):
Who is Neftalie Gonzalez?
He’s running for: 22nd Ward alderman
His political/civic background: Independent
His occupation: Small Business Owner
His education: 3 Years College-Loyola University
Facebook: Neftalie Gonzalez for 22nd Ward Alderman
What are the top three priorities for your ward?
- Gang Violence
- Community Services-Street Repairs-Rats
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.
Neftalie Gonzalez: I started Opportunity-Oportunidad a Non Profit to help residents with career opportunities.
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.
Neftalie Gonzalez: The State Constitution should not be amended and all liabilities paid.
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.
Neftalie Gonzalez: Marijuana should be legalized to create new revenues and it should also diminish crime related to illegaly purchased marijuana.
What other sources of new revenue do you favor or oppose?
Neftalie Gonzalez: I favor legalizing marijuana and a casino. I don’t favor an increase in Real Estate Property Tax.
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?
Neftalie Gonzalez: I favor only public projects.
What will you do to rein in aldermanic prerogative?
Neftalie Gonzalez: It should be the Alderman’s prerogative to do what’s best for his community.
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?
Neftalie Gonzalez: The Police Department protects their own especially family members and other connected officers. The brass has no integrity.
What should Chicago do to reduce the number of illegal guns?
Neftalie Gonzalez: We need more police officers to enforce the law. We need longer jail time for offenders.
What is the appropriate role of charter schools within the Chicago Public Schools system?
Neftalie Gonzalez: We have a public school system. We must maintain our public school system. We must avoid unnecessary additional shools when they are not needed. We have closed public schools just wasting away.
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?
Neftalie Gonzalez: An elected school board would serve better to the community.
Is there enough affordable housing in your ward? Please explain.
Neftalie Gonzalez: We have enough vacant properties. We need to bring jobs to this community so that homeowners can keep the houses that they occupy.
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?
Neftalie Gonzalez: Chicago Police should serve and protect the property and residents of the city. Immigration authorities should do their own work.
Should the inspector general have the power to audit and review City Council programs, operations and committees? Why or why not?
Neftalie Gonzalez: Yes, help keep this city honest.
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.
Neftalie Gonzalez: No
Is there a past or current alderman whom you model yourself after, or would model yourself after, or take inspiration from? Please explain.
Neftalie Gonzalez: No