Windy City Media Group Frontpage News
Celebrating 30 Years of Gay Lesbian Bisexual and Trans News
home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2019-08-07
DOWNLOAD ISSUE
About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage

Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor

  WINDY CITY TIMES

League of Women Voters hosts 46th Ward forum
by Joseph Erbentraut
2011-02-09

facebook twitter google +1 reddit email


With little more than two weeks to go before the upcoming election, all 11 candidates who want to succeed 46th Ward Alderman Helen Shiller gathered at the Peoples' Church in Uptown Feb. 6 in a forum organized by the League of Women Voters of Chicago and moderated by its co-president Esta Kallen.

Questions posed by audience members over the course of the two-hour forum covered issues ranging from parking in the ward and economic development to low-income housing and public safety. Each candidate was able to spend up to one minute responding to each question following a two-minute introduction.

While the candidates' comments remained mostly civil, perhaps no question elicited more disparate or impassioned remarks than an opening question about tax increment funding (TIFs), which have also emerged as a major issue in the city's mayoral race. TIFs were recently responsible for the Wilson Yard development and have been criticized by some as city slush funds.

All the candidates agreed that TIF reform was needed but two candidates in particular—investment firm owner Andy Lam and 46th Ward Republicans committeewoman Diane Shapiro—were particularly critical of TIF usage in the ward. Lam said more attention should be paid to lowering the bureaucratic hurdles facing small-business owners and Shapiro called for TIFs to be "abolished."

"I believe that money should be returned from whence it came," Shapiro said. "Let's start something different that will be effective for all because all it is right now is our money, our private money being put to public use and that's got to stop."

James Cappleman, a social worker who previously ran for this post in 2007 and is currently one of three openly gay candidates in the race, described his plan for TIF reform including a scorecard that would evaluate whether a project utilizing TIF funding would truly benefit a "blighted" area, as was the original intention. The scorecard is part of Cappleman's "ward master plan," he said.

"I think it's the wrong use of our taxpayer dollars," Cappleman added. "Taxpayer dollars in a TIF should go to fix a blighted area, to make it a better place to open a business, purchase a property and see the tax dollars going into will raise new revenue and create new business ... and that absolutely needs to stay transparent."

The candidates' responses on the TIF issue foreshadowed many associated issues that were the subject of later questions pertaining to upping transparency in city government, spurring economic development and uniting the traditionally divided demographic factions within the ward.

Emily Stewart, a corporate finance attorney, stressed the importance of taking a more participatory approach in mending the city's budget crisis. Her plans for the ward also include reform of city employee pensions and undergoing a forensic audit of the city's finances.

"I want to ensure that the people in the 46th Ward and the people in the city of Chicago are able to maintain current levels of essential city services and realize an increase in their public safety services," Stewart said.

Later, in her closing remarks, Stewart—who is a lesbian—criticized some of her other candidates' stances on low-income housing in the ward, which has also emerged as a contentious issue in the race.

"Many people say they support affordable housing throughout the city of Chicago, just no more in the 46th Ward," Stewart said. "What we know is those people will be displaced. If you are not committed to any more affordable housing in this community, you are not committed to diversity."

Addressing economic development, several of the candidates said getting a handle on crime and remodeling the ward's Red Line stations was important, as well as creating new incentives for small businesses to come to the ward and fill innumerable empty storefronts. Molly Phelan, an attorney, specifically hopes to transfer the neighborhood into "the Midwest capital for live entertainment."

"It's what makes us unique and different and we can sell that to the rest of the world," Phelan said.

Don Nowotny, the third openly gay candidate in the race and the ward's superintendent for Streets and Sanitation, joined other candidates in calling for the immediate addition of more police officers in the ward to address public safety and gang activity.

Nowotny emphasized his 16 years of service in the ward as uniquely qualifying him for the post before speaking to the ward's diversity in the forum's final question.

"I've been on call 24 hours a day, seven days a week. I'd be out there for snow, for flooding, for trees being blown down," Nowotny. "I think diversity is our strength but the ward is still divided by economic income. We need to work together to pull this ward forward and I am committed to that."

Other candidates in the race include Scott Baskin, Michael Carroll, Marc Kaplan, Caitlin McIntyre and Befekadu Retta.


facebook twitter google +1 reddit email





Windy City Media Group does not approve or necessarily agree with the views posted below.
Please do not post letters to the editor here. Please also be civil in your dialogue.
If you need to be mean, just know that the longer you stay on this page, the more you help us.


  ARTICLES YOU MIGHT LIKE

Gay News

Log Cabins endorse Trump for 2020 election 2019-08-16 - The Washington Blade has reported that—in a stunning reversal from 2016—the LGBT group the National Log Cabin Republicans has endorsed President Trump for ...


Gay News

Dorothy Brown not running for re-election 2019-08-14 - Longtime Cook County Circuit Court Clerk Dorothy Brown has announced that she will not be running for re-election next year, The Chicago Tribune ...


Gay News

Puerto Rico guv won't resign but won't run for re-election either 2019-07-22 - On July 21, embattled Puerto Rico Gov. Ricardo Rossello stated he will not seek re-election and will step down as head of his ...


Gay News

Deb Mell concedes aldermanic election 2019-04-29 - In a Facebook post, Deb Mell conceded the 33rd Ward aldermanic race to opponent Rossana Rodriguez. Her open letter to the ward reads ...


Gay News

ELECTIONS 2019 LGBT aldermanic races mostly tight 2019-04-10 - The LGBT members of the Chicago City Council who were in the April 2 runoffs were involved in some very tight races, as ...


Gay News

ELECTIONS 2019 RUNOFFS. LGBT candidates in tight aldermanic races (UPDATE) 2019-04-02 - The LGBT members of the Chicago City Council who were in the April 2 runoffs were involved in some very tight races, as ...


Gay News

ELECTIONS 2019 Guide to the LGBTs 2019-03-27 - This year's mayoral/aldermanic elections featured a record number of openly LGBT candidates thorughout Illinois. From those races, several of those individuals are vying ...


Gay News

ELECTIONS 2019 Lori Lightfoot on her runoff campaign 2019-03-27 - Attorney Lori Lightfoot, who is openly lesbian, finished ahead of multiple contenders vying for the Chicago's mayor's post on Feb. 26. Since ...


Gay News

ELECTIONS 2019 Toni Preckwinkle talks misconceptions, Lightfoot and experience 2019-03-27 - Things have seemingly gotten more intense for Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle since the Feb. 26 Chicago mayoral election that whittled 14 ...


Gay News

ELECTIONS 2019, LGBT Chicagoans discuss mayoral candidates 2019-03-27 - Windy City Times recently asked a cross-section of LGBT voters who they plan on voting for, and why. Here is what some of ...


 



Copyright © 2019 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.

 

 

 

TRENDINGBREAKINGPHOTOS

Sponsor
Sponsor


 



About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage


About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Subscriptions      Distribution      Windy City Queercast     
Queercast Archives      Advertising  Rates      Deadlines      Advanced Search     
Press  Releases      Event Photos      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Post an Event      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Blogs      Spotlight  Video     
Classifieds      Real Estate      Place a  Classified     

Windy City Media Group publishes Windy City Times,
The Bi-Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.