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ELECTIONS 4th Dist. Cook County Commissioner incumbent Stanley Moore on taxes, plans
Special to the online edition of Windy City Times
by Carrie Maxwell, Windy City Times

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Incumbent Stanley Moore ( D ) is running in the primary against challengers Gaylon Alcaraz, Maria M. Barlow and Marcel Bright. There is no Republican candidate for this office.

Windy City Times: Why did you decide to run again?

Stanley Moore: I want to build upon the success I have already show over the last five years. When I first took office, one of my major priorities was dealing with the forest preserve. I spent a lot of my childhood playing in the forest preserve and it probably kept me out of a lot of trouble. The part of the forest preserve that is in my district was old, antiquated and neglected and did not offer the same amenities as the other forest preserves across the county. I have changed that and now it has bike paths, state-of-the-art campgrounds with the first of six created in my district, a visitor center and a pavilion.

I also want to continue my work in providing affordable housing, eliminating zombie properties, developing job opportunities, enhancing community safety and putting money into anti-violence initiatives.

WCT: Tell me about your non-political background. How have those experiences informed how you do your job as an elected official?

SM: I worked in the non-profit arena for years as director of the United Way, the United Negro College Fund and the Henry Booth House. In all of those jobs, I fought for the poorest of the poor including kids that needed scholarships. I was a fundraiser for all of these non-profits and now my job is allocating money including $6 million annually to anti-violence initiatives to non-profits so they can keep kids safe and off the street.

WCT: You missed about 15 percent of the meetings in the last five years. Will you commit to attend most if not all of the meetings in the future?

SM: I am a full-time commissioner and it is, and will always be my goal and objective to attend all Cook County Board meetings. Since my appointment in 2013 and re-election in 2014, I have attended 97 percent of the board meetings and over 85 percent of committee meetings.

WCT: What are the most important issues facing the county and how would you address them if you are reelected?

SM: The tax code language needs to be refined. I want to work on passing ordinances that give tax breaks to businesses that operate in economically distressed communities like mine. This would include taking old or distressed buildings and starting a business there but having the property taxes deferred over the course of time.

WCT: How can the county raise revenue so the budget is balanced that do not involve regressive taxation on everyone in the county?

SM: The board president presents the commissioners with a budget that we can amend with nine votes but we cannot create our own budget. We need to think outside the box including spending our money locally with target market contracting. A successful budgeting process begins with analyzing recurring revenue streams versus actual operation expenses. We need to revamp how we spend our money and the monies we bring in. I have made those recommendations but I have to get nine other commissioners to agree with me.

One way to raise money is by holding meetings with the local business community to educate them on what the county has to offer including the land bank. This is a tool that we use to eliminate zombie properties. The county purchases the land and removes the back taxes owed on the property so it can be incentivized for a developer to buy it now with a clear title. This way these properties can get back on the tax rolls so revenue can be generated from them.

WCT: Now that is has been repealed, how do you feel about the soda tax that you co-sponsored?

SM: I am glad it is gone but I did vote for it initially. We do need revenue and have not raised property taxes in years. You cannot cut yourself to solvency. I did vote to repeal it because my community was in an uproar. The way I look at my job is I am a lobbyist for my community. We put through what we thought was a way to raise revenue and this tax was a choice tax. If we raised the property taxes everyone with property would have to pay it.

WCT: What additional measures would you advocate for to provide more transparency in how the county government is run?

SM: The most effective way is commissioners having public meetings in their district to educate their constituents about the services the county has to offer. I am already doing that and it has helped my constituents immensely.

The county website needs to be easier to navigate so people can find what they are looking for because there is a lot of information available online.

WCT: What, if any, interactions have you had with the LGBTQ community?

SM: I have marched in Chicago's Pride Parade in the past and plan on doing so in the future. I have never understood discrimination and I have fought for equality for everyone for many years.

WCT: What are the most important issues or obstacles facing the LGBTQ community and how would you address them?

SM: Discrimination and bullying. Education is the key to combating this and can be achieved with town halls and taking young people outside of their community.

PACE bus gave me a dedicated line to take kids in my district directly to Brookfield Zoo and that has broadened their horizons. Last year we took 3,000 kids and they loved it.

WCT: Are there any changes you would make in how the county jail and health and hospital systems are run? If so, what are they?

SM: The electronic monitoring, which I support, equipment and technology needs to be updated. This way we can lessen the amount of people in jail and would save the county lots of money.

The county hospital system has only a two percent minority/women vendor participation. It makes no sense that these big corporations come in and take our taxpayer dollars while no local minority or women-owned small businesses are considered for these food, janitorial, security and other vital services contracts.

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