Garry on Open and Honest Government

 

OPEN AND HONEST GOVERNMENT

Chicagoans have lost trust in Mayor Emanuel because of his inability to tell the truth, endless scandals, and political bullying. His Administration has been riddled with one scandal after another. City Hall has become merely a place for the Mayor to play politics, reward allies, and bully perceived opponents. For these reasons, he has lost the trust of the people of this city.  When he was elected Mayor, Rahm promised to make Chicago government open, honest and transparent.  He’s broken that promise again and again.  We will never solve the problems facing Chicago if we can’t trust the Mayor to do what’s right.  As Mayor, I will restore honesty, transparency and trust to our government.

A report released in May, 2018 named Chicago the most corrupt city in America (http://chicago.cbslocal.com/2018/05/18/chicago-illinois-corruption/).  This has got to stop!

Unfortunately the scandals that have enveloped Chicago city government encompass the breadth of city operations:  criminal scandals involving multiple CPS leaders, Laquan McDonald video, the Red Light Cameras bribery scheme, racism in the Water Department, sexual abuse in CPS, unsanitary conditions in our schools, the repeated sanctioning of the corporation counsel’s office for withholding documents from the public and the Mayor’s emails that reveal the depths of his pay-to-play philosophy.  As a result, Chicago taxpayers have had to foot the bill for millions of dollars in settlements, court costs and open records violations.

It is time for real change in how Chicago is managed.  The people deserve real transparency.  They deserve access to their Mayor and the ability to ask questions directly and through a more open relationship between the Mayor and the press.  They deserve a data-driven, performance-based city government that doesn’t sweep bad news under the rug but rather confronts it and works to solve problems.

As Mayor, I will restore honesty and integrity to City Hall by:

  1. Hiring the best, most qualified, most diverse group of city department heads and City Hall staff based entirely on merit. It is time to end the practice of hiring political sycophants and yes-people.
  2. Providing real leadership – rather than micromanagement – that allows experts to do their jobs with the support and professional supervision of the Mayor.
  3. Putting an end to pay-to-play in city government with a zero tolerance policy.
  4. Terminating the employment of any city employee who accepts bribes or kickbacks and prosecuting them to the fullest extent of the law…period.
  5. Never asking or pressuring the City Council to pass retroactive laws that short circuit the honest work of government and punishing our citizens.
  6. Stopping employees who resign or are terminated due to scandal or malfeasance from keeping their city benefits.
  7. Conducting a top-to-bottom review of all city spending and procurement protocols to ensure that all decision are based on merit and empower local businesses – especially minority-owned businesses – to compete and succeed in earning our city’s business.
  8. Releasing any and all emails requested from my office and using my official accounts 100% of the time when conducting city business.
  9. Conducting monthly town hall meetings all over the city to talk directly to the people and answer their questions.
  10. Supporting a two-term limit for the office of Mayor.
  11. Hiring a Chief Integrity Officer to work directly with the Mayor, the office of Inspector General and the Board of Ethics to proactively work with all city departments to bring a new focus on ethics training, transparency and honesty to city government.
  12. Requiring the Chief Data Officer to provide data and analysis for every department in city government particularly hiring, procurement procedures, student achievement, crime and tax fairness. Data should be released without regard to political considerations.  If certain data sets reveal unfavorable results, it will provide the Mayor and city leaders the opportunity to fix problems while being transparent with the public.