Joe Moore has been the 49th Ward alderman since 1991. His ward is among the most economically, culturally and racially diverse in the city.
Prior to that, Moore worked at the City of Chicago's Department of Law as an attorney during Mayor Harold Washington's tenure. Moore has lived in the ward his entire adult life and served on many community boards over the years.
He is running against challenger Maria Hadden.
Windy City Times: Why should people vote for you again for an eighth term and not your challenger?
Joe Moore: I have shown the ability to move the progressive ball forward. I have a worthy opponent who has campaigned hard, but I believe I bring more to the table due to my record and experience. With a new mayor, it is important to have in the city council experienced incumbents with progressive values.
WCT: What are the most pressing issues for the 49th ward and how would you address them?
JM: Public safety, affordable housing and good schools.
I have secured a commitment from the mayor to give the 24th precinct police district, which includes the 49th ward, a strategic deployment center, which will bring to Rogers Park the kind of smart policing strategies that resulted in significant reductions in violent crime in other areas of the city.
I will also build on my successful efforts to preserve and increase affordable housing opportunities in Rogers Park. I plan to convene a community task force to examine the feasibility of establishing a TIF district on Clark and Howard streets, to fund the creation of more affordable housing, promote locally-owned businesses, help schools and improve our infrastructure.
WCT: In what ways have you advanced LGBT equality during your time as alderman?
JM: I have been a strong and consistent supporter of human rights and equality throughout my career. Early on, I convinced some of my recalcitrant colleagues, who were progressives on other issues, to support expanding the human rights ordinance to protect people regardless of sexual orientation. Since then, I have supported every LGBT-focused ordinance including increasing HIV funding, expanding protections for trans people and marriage equality among others.
WCT: What is your vision for the LGBT community?
JM: To be an equal and welcomed part of the community. Over 20 percent of the ward residents identify as LGBT and they are an integral part of our neighborhood. Like every other constituency I represent, I want them to have safe streets, good schools, vibrant commercial corridors and job opportunities.
WCT: HIV prevention and awareness are still important issues for the community. What have you done since becoming alderman regarding this issue? How will you use your role going forward to address the issue?
JM: I joined with my then-colleague Helen Shiller to get more funding allocated for HIV prevention awareness campaigns and I continue to be an advocate for making that happen.
WCT: Do you have any openly-LGBT people working on your staff? Campaign?
JM: Not on my city staff, but I do have a campaign staffer who identifies as bisexual, as well as a number of campaign volunteers who identify as LGBT.
WCT: Do you back an elected school board?
JM: No. The key to educational success is accountability and a single elected mayor is more accountable than a board with multiple members. We should keep in mind that elected school boards have banned books and required the teaching of creationism.
WCT: What are your recommendations for better relationships between the police and citizens they serve, including people of color and the transgender community?
JM: I was the first champion for community policing before anyone else was talking about it. I also was a lead sponsor of the ordinance that gave reparations to the victims of police torture.
Community policing provides opportunities for police officers and community members to get to know each other as human beings and work together. We need better training that includes cultural awareness and sensitivity to the LGBT community and people of color.
WCT: What is the ideal minimum wage for the city of Chicago?
JM: Fifteen dollars an hour.
WCT: How should Chicago increase its revenue stream?
JM: We need support from our partners at the state level to remove the barriers that prevent Chicago from raising revenue. Legalizing recreational marijuana and allowing Chicago to own a land-based casino offer two potential revenue streams. Also, the state should expand the sales tax base to include more services and give Chicago the right to enact a progressive income tax.
WCT: Please elaborate on the campaign donations you have received from Ald. Ed Burke over the years. How do you reconcile that with your current and past calls for ethics reform?
JM: Alderman Burke has contributed a grand total of $2,750 in the last 18 years, which averages to around $150 a year. He also donated to 35 of my colleagues, including most members of the Progressive Reform Caucus. The contributions I received were unsolicited and fully disclosed.
WCT: Are you currently backing anyone for mayor?
See electjoemoore.com/ .