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Walls For Mayor is the most advanced effort to elect a Progressive Chicago Mayor. This well coordinated campaign is powered by a broad based group of ethnically and geographically diverse concerned citizens. In addition to having the most plausible and viable campaign platform, we are bold and energetic. We are the only campaign team offering the average voter some degree of certainty in regards to the 2015 Chicago Mayor’s race.

As Mayor, I will unify this city by promoting cultural, and diversity sensitivity among people of all races, ages, sexual orientations and religious  persuasions. I will bring Chicago together as one complete community so that all Chicagoans have an equal opportunity to prosper, and proudly embrace their unique distinctions. Our administration will make sure everyone is treated fairly and none are neglected. We will provide unprecedented support to all people, throughout the entire city, and enable them to follow their dreams.

My highest priority will be to establish irreproachable Public Safety Services. Through public initiatives, private initiatives and comprehensive tax reform we will stimulate the City’s economy to foster Full Employment. We will develop and efficiently maintain our Public Infrastructure; Enrich the Department on Aging to ensure the health and well being of our Senior Citizens; Provide a superior Public School Education for each and every individual child; Program the Mayor’s office of Employment and Training to train and re-train adults, and end corruption in Chicago.

Additionally, we will change the focus of city government from beautification and infrastructure improvement to Economic Development. Our goal is to provide Chicago businesses the wherewithal to compete in the National and Global Economy and bring new revenue, jobs, and Industry back to Chicago, Illinois. Over the next 4 years, I will use $2 Billion of the city council approved $7.9 Billion Capital Improvement Program to Create 100,000, Self-perpetuating, Private Sector Jobs.

Misc 2

Ethics Reform

I believe that corruption in the city government begins and ends with the mayor, and as long as anyone is allowed to serve as mayor for life, there’s going to be corruption. There should be term limits; no chief executive officer for the city of Chicago should serve more than two consecutive terms. Eight years and you’re out.

In addition, I want the City Council Ethics Committee to have subpoena power. The committee should be able to subpoena the mayor, clerk, treasurer, aldermen, Shakman Decree exempt employees and city contractors to find out what they knew and when they knew it, in order to ferret out corruption.

Additionally, I think that we need a whistleblower program that rewards those person who alert us to wrongdoing. We also need a financial risk bond for certain employees in certain job categories. Each year, the city sets aside in excess of $15 million to pay for people who were harmed because of hiring schemes. If key Human Resources personnel, and other similarly situated, City of Chicago personnel, had financial risk bonds, the bonds would assume the responsibility for inappropriate activities; the taxpayers  wouldn’t .

Integrity is an absolute commitment to truth, veracity and fair play.

Cost Saving Initiatives

As Mayor, I will implement several cost saving initiatives and measures designed to increase cost effectiveness and energy efficiency without negatively impacting safety or service.

I will cut the profit margins of government contractors, vendors and suppliers who receive contracts totaling an average of two million dollars ($2,000,000 ) or more per year. This is likely to result in a yearly savings of four hundred million dollars ($400,000,000).

I will cut the Procurement Department red tape, unbundle government contracts, allow bidders to lease equipment subject to transparency requirements, provide wrap up bonding and insurance, to enable more contractors, vendors and suppliers to respond to Requests For Proposals and offer competitive bids. This is likely to reduce costs by as much as ten percent (10%).

I will cut City of Chicago’s government utility costs by using modern efficiencies and technology to heat, cool, light and regulate lobbies, offices, and conference rooms throughout all City of Chicago facilities. This may reduce costs by as much as four million dollars ($4,000,000).

I will cut the flow of administrative paperwork by fifty percent (50%). This will reduce purchasing, handling and storage costs by twenty percent (20%).

Finally, I will reduce the City of Chicago debt service by transitioning Chicago from the current “Debt to Fund Services” revenue and expenditure system into a “Pay As You Go” revenue and expenditure system.This debt to fund Services system, which is like using your credit card to pay rent, is too reliant upon Municipal Bonds that result in an obligation to pay interest. When this six-year (6 year) transition is complete, the city of Chicago will save more than nine hundred million dollars ($900,000,000) in interest, annually. Additionally, this will result in the city of Chicago having a constant reserve fund and ultimately encourage the bond rating agencies to increase the City’s weakening Bond Rating.

Additionally, as Mayor, I will offer city employees the option of a ten hour a day, four day a week, forty hour work week. This would reduce daily start-up costs as well as reduce personal and public energy consumption. This would allow the city to avoid city employee furlough days.

As Mayor, I will work to increase the presence and competitiveness of Chicago based businesses in the Global and National economies. Through Public-Private initiatives we will empower these local businesses and enable them to place their products, goods and services into the National and International stream of commerce and, consequently, create jobs and opportunity. This will result in new revenue for Chicago. Obviously, this expansion of our revenue base will result in businesses sharing more in the costs of city services. Thus, the burden on homeowners and general taxpayers will decrease, significantly.

Currently, the city of Chicago relies upon seven primary sources of revenue. Those revenue sources include Real Estate tax, Income tax, Sales tax, Federal aid, State aid, Motor Fuel tax, Public Utility tax and Fines, fees and assessments. Over the past eight years I have advocated the use of “Naming Rights” as a harmless form of revenue that would not further burden any taxpayer. As Mayor, I will provide maximum opportunity for companies and individuals to rename public buildings (excluding City Hall), facilities, and other city assets according to their wishes. Unlike Privatization, the city would retain complete control over these assets.

I do not foresee a need to seek further concessions from the unions which have already been asked to give more than their fair share.

Capital Improvement Program

 

The 2013-2017 Capital Improvement Program allocates approximately $7.9 billion toward the replacement, rehabilitation or expansion of the City of Chicago’s infrastructure and public facilities. Bond funds account for 63 percent ($4.2 billion) of the anticipated revenue. City funds account for 27 percent ($2.1 billion). Federal sources will finance 12 percent ($930 million). Other funds including private contributions account for 3 percent ($201 million), State funds are expected to finance 2 percent ($l15 million) and TIF funds are expected to finance 4 percent ($305 million).

Mental Health

 

 

Accessible Mental Health Clinics are key to stopping the violence in Chicago. Some people are psychotic, delusional, and / or depressed. Many people are walking the streets in a haze. They are in need of treatment or medication. We must make a commitment to treat Mental Illness just as we commit to the treatment of other illnesses and diseases.

 

Pensions

 

Chicago’s four primary pensions (Police, Fire, Municipal Employees and Laborers) were poorly structured. There were no safeguards to protect them from powerful pension raiders, unfulfilled promises of deferred payments and other bad practices. At present, the City of Chicago Employer contribution is underfunded by $26.8 billion.

We currently have a defined benefits plan which is wholly unsustainable. Our Accrual multiplier per year of service is currently 2.1. Ideally, we should have an Accrual multiplier per year of service equal to 1.0. This disparity makes our current pension situation tenuous. We must ultimately transition to a defined contribution plan which will allow the future benefits to fluctuate according to investment successes.

We must adopt a common sense approach that is fair to current and future pensioners as well as taxpayers.

I support the state initiative to raise the retirement age, which previously allowed public employees to retire as young as 50 in some government pension systems and 55 in others.

We should weigh and assess the benefits of offering certain government employees the option of a one time lump sum payment.

We can replace the automatic 3 percent annual increases for government retirees with a capped, inflation-based cost-of-living factor and tax the pensions of non-residents who retire from work in the private sector, with an exemption for the first $75,000 in retirement income and enact a minimum age for the exemption.

Finally, we must implement a Full accrual system which would mandate that we pay our obligations as we go within the year in which they accrue.

An unfunded pension liability is the difference between the value of the promises made to retirees and employees for services already rendered and the funds available to pay for those promises.

Currently, the City’s six pension funds only have 50 percent of the funding needed to support the current pension system.

City’s Unfunded Pension Liabilities (projected to end of FY2012):

  • Municipal Employees’ Annuity & Benefit Fund of Chicago (MEABF): $8.2 billion
  • Laborers’ & Retirement Board Employees’ Annuity & Benefit Fund (LABF): $0.9 billion
  • Policemen’s Annuity & Benefit Fund (PABF): $7.0 billion
  • Firemen’s Annuity & Benefit Fund (FABF): $3.1 billion
  • Chicago Teachers Pension Fund (CTPF): $7.1 billion
  • Park Employees Annuity and Benefit Fund (PEABF): $0.4 billion

Total Current Unfunded Liability: $26.8 billion

How Much Do City Employees and their Employers Contribute to their Pension Benefits?

  • Number of retired employees and beneficiaries: 71,850
  • Number of active employees: 84,400
  • Average retiree pension: $41,400
  • Taxpayer-supported contribution rate: 12.28%
  • Employees’ contribution rate: approximately 8.81% (*five funds’ percentages vary from 8.500% to 9.125%)
  • Chicago Teachers: 9% (*CPS pays 7% under collective bargaining agreement, and 2% is deducted from employees’ gross pay)

What are the two different types of pension funding?

This is all specified in the Illinois Pension Code. It is important to mention, public employees pay a significant amount towards their defined benefit pensions, an amount that is higher than Social Security contributions of private sector employees.

Funds can have their contributions set based on payroll. Five of the six City funds (not CTPF) currently use this approach.

  • Every pay period, a percentage of each employee’s gross pay is deducted by his or her employer and sent to the pension Fund of which he is a member.  Those percentages range from 8.50% at LABF and MEABF to 9.125% at FABF.

Education

In 2002, I characterized then Mayor Daley’s Educational policy initiative, entitled Renaissance 2010, as a diabolical initiative designed to weaken the foundation of Public Education and facilitate the privatization of schools. In 2007, I warned Ren 2010 would result in the closure of schools. In 2013, Mayor Rahm Emanuel closed 50 Chicago Public Schools. It now costs CPS $1.8 million annually to maintain boarded-up school buildings.

Education Situation:  CPS currently has 681 schools including 472 elementary schools, 106 high schools, 96 charter schools, and 7 contract schools. Unlike most school systems, CPS is headed by a chief executive officer rather than a superintendent.

Budget Deficit: CPS has an actual budget deficit of nearly $1 billion.

2015 CPS Budget:  The Chicago Board of Education approved a $5.76 billion fiscal 2015 operating budget that extends the district’s revenue recognition period by 60 days – an accounting maneuver to bulk up available reserves and eliminate a nearly $1 billion deficit. CPS said in a statement”This is a one-time fix that allows the district to prevent further cuts to school budgets in the absence of increased state funding or comprehensive pension reform from (the Illinois Legislature),”

CPS Enrollment: Chicago Public Schools currently enrolls 400,000 students. In 2003, CPS enrollment exceeded 438,000. Students attend a particular school based on their area of residence except for charter schools and selective enrollment schools.

Graduation Rate: The school system reported a graduation rate of 65.4 percent for the 2012-2013 school year. That graduation rate is misleading because many at risk youth, who are still eligible for enrollment in CPS, have previously dropped out or been expelled from CPS. Those potential students have been purged from the records and are no longer reflected in the CPS accounting process.

Education Funding: There are 102  Illinois counties. Of them, 101 fund education with a proper mix of Property taxes and State Income Taxes. Unlike the other counties, Cook County relies primarily upon Property taxes to fund education. In fact, over 50% of Cook County property taxes goes to fund education.

Funding Solution: As Mayor of Chicago, central to my downstate legislative agenda will be a change in the Funding formula for schools in Chicago and Cook County.

Walls For Mayor Educational Goal: To provide a superior public or charter school education for each and every individual child.

Walls For Mayor Objective: To reverse the ill effects of Rahm Emanuel’s failed educational policies, and eradicate the obsolete “one size fits all” educational concept.

Walls For Mayor Policy Initiative: Mandate “Educational Intensive Care.” We must implement policies, practices and procedures designed to ensure Chicago students have at least an 80% chance of completing their education, Pre-K through 12th grade.

Walls For Mayor Methodology: Bring everyone together, including the Board of Education, Public and Charter School Administrators, Principals, Teachers, Chicago Teacher’s Union, Local Elected School Council, Educational Community Activists, Parents, Students, Business and Community Partners.

Chicago Alternative Learning Opportunities: Chicago Alternative Learning Opportunities Programs (ALOP) are open to students between the ages of 17 and 21 who have left the school system and wish to re-enroll. We would use select CPS properties, from the inventory of school buildings previously closed by Rahm Emanuel, to provide a combination of alternative educational opportunities, Skill training and development, Mental Health Services and general city services.

Chicago Teachers Pension Fund: CPS teachers do not contribute to Social Security and therefore, rely on their pensions for financial security in retirement. Established by the Illinois state legislature in 1895, the Chicago Teachers’ Pension Fund manages members’ assets and administers benefits. The $9.7 billion pension fund serves approximately 63,000 active and retired educators, and provides pension and health insurance benefits to more than 27,000 beneficiaries.

Pension Contribution: The district’s pension contribution for the new fiscal year that began July 1 is $634 million, which is 11 percent of the CPS operating budget. This CPS pension commitment is equivalent to $1,600 per student. In fiscal year 2014, the state of Illinois allocated $11.9 million for Chicago Teachers Pension Fund.

Pension Funding: The stated goal is to be 90 percent funded by 2059. Absent pension relief from Springfield, a portion of the property tax levy may have to be redirected to the pension fund. Another option may be to return Tax Increment Financing surpluses to CPS.

Teachers’ Retirement System: In fiscal year 2014, the state of Illinois allocated $3.5 billion to fund the Teachers’ Retirement System

Issues and Concerns: Teacher Retention; Title I funds often go unused and are returned to the Federal government due to low enrollment in tutoring and other prescribed programs; The state pays the employer cost for pensions for all non-Chicago teachers and should consider doing the same for Chicago.

Miscellaneous

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Petition Circulation Instructions:

Any person at least 18 years of age may circulate our petition. Any person registered to vote in Chicago may sign (not print) their own name and address on our petition. The circulator must witness them signing, even if from a distance.  When the circulator has finished with the petition sheet, even if there is only one signature on it, the circulator (not the signers) must appear before a Notary Public to have that sheet notarized. Text your name and address to: 702.623.0743 for petition pick-up.

Walls For Mayor 2015 Campaign Flowchart

Walls For Mayor 2015 CAMPAIGN JOB DESCRIPTIONS

 

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Kampaign Karaoke

Come and have fun, Every Monday 6 PM @ M Vie 1372 West Grand. Walls For Mayor will be hosting “Kampaign Karaoke”. No Cover Charge..Easy on-street Parking. No parking meters.

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Ethics Reform

I believe that corruption in the city government begins and ends with the mayor, and as long as anyone is allowed to serve as mayor for life, there’s going to be corruption. There should be term limits; no chief executive officer for the city of Chicago should serve more than two consecutive terms. Eight years and you’re out.

In addition, I want the City Council Ethics Committee to have subpoena power. The committee should be able to subpoena the mayor, clerk, treasurer, aldermen, Shakman Decree exempt employees and city contractors to find out what they knew and when they knew it, in order to ferret out corruption.

Additionally, I think that we need a whistleblower program that rewards those person who alert us to wrongdoing. We also need a financial risk bond for certain employees in certain job categories. Each year, the city sets aside in excess of $15 million to pay for people who were harmed because of hiring schemes. If key Human Resources personnel, and other similarly situated, City of Chicago personnel, had financial risk bonds, the bonds would assume the responsibility for inappropriate activities; the taxpayers  wouldn’t .

Integrity is an absolute commitment to truth, veracity and fair play.

Cost Saving Initiatives

As Mayor, I will implement several cost saving initiatives and measures designed to increase cost effectiveness and energy efficiency without negatively impacting safety or service.

I will cut the profit margins of government contractors, vendors and suppliers who receive contracts totaling an average of two million dollars ($2,000,000 ) or more per year. This is likely to result in a yearly savings of four hundred million dollars ($400,000,000).

I will cut the Procurement Department red tape, unbundle government contracts, allow bidders to lease equipment subject to transparency requirements, provide wrap up bonding and insurance, to enable more contractors, vendors and suppliers to respond to Requests For Proposals and offer competitive bids. This is likely to reduce costs by as much as ten percent (10%).

I will cut City of Chicago’s government utility costs by using modern efficiencies and technology to heat, cool, light and regulate lobbies, offices, and conference rooms throughout all City of Chicago facilities. This may reduce costs by as much as four million dollars ($4,000,000).

I will cut the flow of administrative paperwork by fifty percent (50%). This will reduce purchasing, handling and storage costs by twenty percent (20%).

Finally, I will reduce the City of Chicago debt service by transitioning Chicago from the current “Debt to Fund Services” revenue and expenditure system into a “Pay As You Go” revenue and expenditure system.This debt to fund Services system, which is like using your credit card to pay rent, is too reliant upon Municipal Bonds that result in an obligation to pay interest. When this six-year (6 year) transition is complete, the city of Chicago will save more than nine hundred million dollars ($900,000,000) in interest, annually. Additionally, this will result in the city of Chicago having a constant reserve fund and ultimately encourage the bond rating agencies to increase the City’s weakening Bond Rating.

Additionally, as Mayor, I will offer city employees the option of a ten hour a day, four day a week, forty hour work week. This would reduce daily start-up costs as well as reduce personal and public energy consumption. This would allow the city to avoid city employee furlough days.

As Mayor, I will work to increase the presence and competitiveness of Chicago based businesses in the Global and National economies. Through Public-Private initiatives we will empower these local businesses and enable them to place their products, goods and services into the National and International stream of commerce and, consequently, create jobs and opportunity. This will result in new revenue for Chicago. Obviously, this expansion of our revenue base will result in businesses sharing more in the costs of city services. Thus, the burden on homeowners and general taxpayers will decrease, significantly.

Currently, the city of Chicago relies upon seven primary sources of revenue. Those revenue sources include Real Estate tax, Income tax, Sales tax, Federal aid, State aid, Motor Fuel tax, Public Utility tax and Fines, fees and assessments. Over the past eight years I have advocated the use of “Naming Rights” as a harmless form of revenue that would not further burden any taxpayer. As Mayor, I will provide maximum opportunity for companies and individuals to rename public buildings (excluding City Hall), facilities, and other city assets according to their wishes. Unlike Privatization, the city would retain complete control over these assets.

I do not foresee a need to seek further concessions from the unions which have already been asked to give more than their fair share.

Capital Improvement Program

The 2013-2017 Capital Improvement Program allocates approximately $7.9 billion toward the replacement, rehabilitation or expansion of the City of Chicago’s infrastructure and public facilities. Bond funds account for 63 percent ($4.2 billion) of the anticipated revenue. City funds account for 27 percent ($2.1 billion). Federal sources will finance 12 percent ($930 million). Other funds including private contributions account for 3 percent ($201 million), State funds are expected to finance 2 percent ($l15 million) and TIF funds are expected to finance 4 percent ($305 million).