Candidate Full Name:
5th Congressional District
Campaign Office Mailing Address:
5919 West Wilson
Chicago, Illinois 60630
Please tell us about yourself, your background and why you believe you are qualified to hold this office.
Directly after graduating from Steinmetz High School in Chicago (1979), Frank headed to San Diego for Basic Training and served in the United States Navy. Upon his Honorable Discharge (1982), he found employment with the Chicago Public Schools where he worked as a Janitor, a Fireman (Local 7) and ended his 18-year career as a Stationary Engineer (Local 134-134B). Frank saw an opportunity to help the Chicago Housing Authority (CHA) with its "Plan for Transformation" and started working for the CHA in 2000 as the General Superintendent of Plant Operations. Today he is still with the CHA as the General Field Superintendent of Construction.
During his 30 years of Public Service, Frank has been extremely active in his community coaching children from various Public and Catholic Schools and Chicago Park District programs, raising money for organizations such as Cystic Fibrosis, St. Williams School, St. Robert Bellarmine and Windows of Opportunity, a non-profit organization that does many things for Public Housing residents including College Scholarships.
I feel that I am uniquely qualified for Congress due to my extensive project management skills and first hand knowledge of Federal Acquisition Regulations. Everything we do is a project, from making dinner to planning for tough economic times to creating jobs. We start with a concept, incorporate all of the stakeholders and work with the subject matter experts. Once a consensus is agreed upon, you must set achievable milestones to measure your accomplishments and finally the end goal of a successful completed project. Once elected, I will conduct stakeholder meetings every 2 months. We will have an open dialogue on the issues that face us and how we could best solve them. THIS IS WHAT REPRESENTATION IS ALL ABOUT! I will be "Your Voice in Congress"
Please tell us your general views about the role of government and some of the most important things you would like to accomplish in office?
The role of national government should be much simpler than it is currently. Government should only have a role where it is not possible or not desirable for another entity to intervene. These areas are primarily:
- National Defense
- International Relations (Foreign Policy)
- Law Enforcement (Including White Collar Crime)
- Providing and Maintaining Infrastructure including Public Transportation
- Taking care of those in our country that are truly unable to take care of themselves (including health care).
- Industry Standards and Regulation.
It is my feeling that campaign financing and the influence of the numerous lobbies has resulted in a government that spends our taxes to benefit those that have contributed to the incumbent mainstream on both sides of the aisle. The most important thing that I would seek to accomplish is campaign finance reform that resulted in truly clean elections that level the playing field and invite new talent with fresh ideas to have a fair opportunity to represent us at all levels.
While some would argue that this is the least important issue, I would assert that focusing on anything else is the equivalent of bandaging a wound that has not been stitched. We will continue to hemorrhage and just keep replacing the bandage.
The current economic crisis is squeezing the middle class. What should Congress do about it? What specifically would you do if elected to Congress?
The Banking Industry must be mandated to renegotiate mortgage terms to keep families in their homes. Stimulus money must be spent in such a manner so as to maximize preservation and creation of jobs and health care must be available that includes preventative treatments and isn't an unrealistic financial burden on a family.
What are some of the main things you would do to help create jobs in Illinois?
I would work to ensure that there was adequate oversight of stimulus spending to ensure that it was actually penetrating the economy and not just being gifted to the financial elite by virtue of their lobbyists' ability to steer programs.
I would work for funding for education and grants to make it easier for all people to seek higher education thereby slowing their entry into the job market and increasing their value when they do enter. I would also infuse money into community banks so they may help our small businesses thrive and focus on the manufacturing sector so we can work on our productivity.
What do you think can be done to bring short-term stability to gas and energy prices? Also, what do you think is the best strategy - to both affordably and responsibly - provide for the nation's future energy needs?
Stabilizing the prices is only half of the equation; they must be stabilized at a reasonable level and therein lays the real challenge. Gas prices are controlled by forces over which the U.S. Congress has no direct influence. The only control that we have over the cost of any commodity is our ability to lower our demand for that commodity. If we actively reduce and ultimately cease our dependence on foreign oil as our primary source, we effectively neutralize the OPEC monopoly and bring the issue back into the domain of the U.S. Government. We must then focus on weaning away from fossil fuels altogether.
The technology for future energy needs is rapidly advancing and funding for research coupled with mandated reductions in fossil fuel emissions will result in the next industrial revolution that this country needs in order to break through the paradigms of energy generation and distribution.
Is there anything that can be done to make health care more accessible and affordable in Illinois? If so, what would you do?
The Federal Government must pay their end in its entirety. The State must pay its fair share and also County and local must spend this money wiser. Community based health has always been under funded and always seems to be the first to get cut in tough financial times.
Please state your general views about the war in Iraq.
We passed the point of diminishing returns years ago and have unnecessarily lost American lives and continue to risk losing more. We must develop an expeditious exit strategy and work through diplomatic channels to ensure that the government of Iraq stabilizes.
What are your thoughts on how to deal with illegal immigration? Also, what do you think should be done about illegal immigrants who are already here in the U.S.?
We must work to fix whatever part of our system is so broken that people feel the need to immigrate illegally. Legal immigration should be a simple process and is certainly worth a short wait.
The illegal immigrants that are already here need to be documented and afforded the opportunity for legal citizenship. Once this is done, this one time, we must enforce our immigration laws and control the flow of immigration regardless of where it is from. Doing so affords the opportunity for labor markets to stabilize at an equilibrium point. Rapid influx of available labor destabilizes and devalues the market.
What ideas do you have for improving our education system and for making our colleges and universities more affordable?
Increased Pell Grant Funding and student loans must be made more available without the need for parents to sign onto the loans.
Assuming that the object of education is to make people more employable, we must also make our children aware of high wage positions that do not require a conventional college education but are typically in high demand. The best example of which is the building trades. These are rewarding jobs that require intelligent people, but they are overlooked in favor of the illusion of a higher paying office job.
There must be a balance and the labor unions need to make their apprenticeship programs more accessible to those that choose not to go to college.
What are your highest priorities for protecting the environment in Illinois?
Utilization of local renewable resources and local purchasing in order to minimize transportation thereby reducing fossil fuel emissions and supporting local growers and producers of goods. A good start would be to improve mass transit. The approach to protecting the environment must by definition be global and at the congressional level at least national. There is little that Illinois could do to overcome that which Indiana and Wisconsin would not. We share the environment and have known for years the effects of our past irresponsibility.
Beyond this, the industry lobbies must be neutralized so that the right decisions can be made and mandates enforced. Sustainability can't be viewed as "optional"; if it is to be effective, it must be mandatory.
None provided by candidate