23rd Ward candidate for alderman: Paulino R. Villarreal Jr.
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The Sun-Times Editorial Board sent the 23rd Ward aldermanic candidates a list of questions to find out their views on a range of important issues facing the city and their ward. Paulino R. Villarreal Jr. submitted the following responses (the Sun-Times does not edit candidate responses):
Who is Paulino R. Villarreal Jr.?
He’s running for: 23rd Ward alderman
His political/civic background: Member of Various organizations
His occupation: License Private Detective
His education: 2 years of college
Campaign website: villarrealfor23.com
What are the top three priorities for your ward?
Paulino R. Villarreal Jr.: The Increase of Crime, Property Taxes, the Need to revitalize Archer ave, as well as 63rd street
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.
Paulino R. Villarreal Jr.: Every year for the last 5 years, . My family and I host the following giveaways for our community / neighborhood:
The Back to School Back Pack Giveaway, where we give away back packs loaded with school supplies,
The Halloween Party for Children, where we give them a Party where they receive Hot Dogs, Candy, Chips & Juices and the best costume contest.
The Thanksgiving Dinner Giveaway, Where we give out full complete dinners to family to enjoy at the home, such as Turkeys, Stuffing, and everything for a complete dinner.
The Christmas with Santa giveaway, Where Santa Giveaway well over 1000 gifts to the children of family’s struggling during this time of year.
As well as host various events for the Chicago Police Department and all First responders at the ” Cup of Joe ” coffee shop
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.
Paulino R. Villarreal Jr.: We can alleviate the pension crisis by legalizing and taxing the use of recreational marijuana, we can use the state of California as a model, which has made nearly 5 Billion in tax revenue.
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.
Paulino R. Villarreal Jr.: I would support the following:
A Chicago Based Land Casino as well as Legalized and taxed recreational marijuana.
By having both of these New sources of Revenue, we would be able to hold the line on property tax increases as well as fix the broken pension system, as well as reinstate the medical benefits for the retired city of Chicago employees.
What other sources of new revenue do you favor or oppose?
Paulino R. Villarreal Jr.: We need to hold the line on all tax increases the working family is paying enough and should not be responsible for Big Business receiving tax incentives, We need to possible look into a Business tax for companies with over 2 million in sales who do business with or in the City of Chicago.
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?
Paulino R. Villarreal Jr.: I believe that the whole TIF program is in Dire need of restructuring. More of these funds need to find there way to the inner city & not Downtown
What will you do to rein in aldermanic prerogative?
Paulino R. Villarreal Jr.: The 23rd ward is a very diverse ward, I will do what is necessary to make sure there is inclusion for everyone to co-exist as one ward. I will do what is necessary to make sure that all parts of my ward receive the attention and services that are needed.
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?
Paulino R. Villarreal Jr.: We need to let the Chicago Police do their JOB, I Believe that we should have an oversight committee, however this committee should have members of the Chicago Police department on its board whether active or retired, as well as private citizens. Checks and balances is a must in order to maintain the integrity and trust in the community.
What should Chicago do to reduce the number of illegal guns?
Paulino R. Villarreal Jr.: While I believe in Comprehensive Gun Control, We do not need to create new gun legislation, We need to start by enforcing the laws that are currently on the books.
What is the appropriate role of charter schools within the Chicago Public Schools system?
Paulino R. Villarreal Jr.: I support the Chicago Teachers 100% and I believe that they should be considered private schools and funded thru private donors, not through tax payer funding.
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?
Paulino R. Villarreal Jr.: I believe that the Chicago Board of Education needs an Elected School Board, a board that should not answer to the mayor, but to the People of Chicago.
Is there enough affordable housing in your ward? Please explain.
Paulino R. Villarreal Jr.: We are a single family home community
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?
Paulino R. Villarreal Jr.: We need immigration reform through out our country, However we should begin by granting temporary residence to those that are here already, However they would need to pay a fine / stiff penalty, as well as apply for citizenship immediately. Once a criminal background check is completed and should the individual have a violent crime or drug charge on his record, his temporary status should be revoked immediately.
Should the inspector general have the power to audit and review City Council programs, operations and committees? Why or why not?
Paulino R. Villarreal Jr.: Yes, Transparency is a must, also the inspector general’s office should be independent of any administration
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.
Paulino R. Villarreal Jr.: No one of my staff will be allowed to have outside employment. We will serve our ward and constituents diligently and will not serve our own personal interest.
Is there a past or current alderman whom you model yourself after, or would model yourself after, or take inspiration from? Please explain.
Paulino R. Villarreal Jr.: I would model myself after Former Alderman Juan M. Soliz, the former Alderman of the 25th Ward. Juan made it a point to serve his community 24 hours day, He is the person whom I took example from by doing all of the events that I do for the Children & Family’s of our ward. I Believe that giving is better than receiving.