After years of borrowing against our city’s future, Mayor Emanuel can no longer kick the can down the road. Chicago needs real reform. Shady accounting tricks and constant tax hikes will not help fund our municipal and teacher pensions. Selling off our greatest assets will not keep schools open in our city’s struggling neighborhoods.
We can no longer afford to raid special funds to pay for poor budgeting and rampant spending on the Mayor’s favored special interests and pet projects. It is essential we adopt a responsible fiscal model to both budget responsibly and focus spending on the things that will change our city for the better: safer streets and better schools.
The economy of crime, coupled with the Mayor’s lack of fiscal responsibility, has put Chicago on a dangerous path towards financial ruin. Shootings and murders, not to mention other violent crimes, cost this city an estimated $9.6 billion. When the entire 2018 city budget is $8.6 billion, it becomes obvious Chicago is on the wrong path towards financial stability.
Our neighborhoods deserve to be our priority again. The Mayor has forgotten that. Tax dollars should flow directly into our communities, not to the Mayor’s cronies. The Mayor’s own emails have made it abundantly clear that he is running a true “pay to play” operation out of City Hall. That must stop.
- First and foremost, we need to make the city safe again. We need to stop residents’ flight from Chicago. The mass exodus from the city shrinks our tax base.
- Chicago needs a responsible fiscal plan to “live within our means.” We need budgets that are followed and adhered to.
- We can no longer borrow money to pay our debt. That’s like paying off our Visa with our MasterCard.
- Each department of our government should be held accountable on performance-based metrics. We need clarity into what is actually spent for all city services and what services are provided in return.
- We must end the careless sale of our valuable city assets, such as parking meters, the Chicago Skyway, parking garages, and the attempted sale of Midway Airport for pennies.
- We need to change the one-sided practice of lowering tax assessments for only the politically-connected. This custom imposes a heavier tax burden on middle-class and low-income residents.
- Our police, fire and teacher pensions have to not only be protected, but funded in full. Chicago made them a promise and I will keep that promise.