Candidate Full Name: Brian Hopkins
Office: 2nd Ward Alderman
Survey Questions (Character limit of 2,000 per response)
1. What is the most important issue that you will address in your ward?
Crime and public safety - I've been talking to residents of the 2nd Ward since July 2014, and the biggest thing that I've heard is that their neighborhoods just don't feel safe. Police officers have been shifted from lower crime neighborhoods into places seeing higher activity rates. As a result, residents have reported an uptick in crime.
2. What are your plans for helping fight crime in your ward?
If elected, I'll uphold the promise to hire 1,000 police patrol officers. Residents in the Ward worry about their cars parked on the street when they're home, their homes' security while they're at work, and for their personal safety as they walking down the block. When Streeterville saw an uptick in flash mob crime, I created a phone tree to connect the doormen in each building, so they could openly communicate with neighboring buildings when suspicious activity was noted. It seems like a no-brainer idea, but it hadn't been done; I organized it, and it's helped put additional eyes and ears on the streets.
3. What, if any, city assets would you consider privatizing to raise money?
City assets are the property of Chicago's taxpayers and I will oppose efforts to privatize Chicago's public departments and public assets. Privatization puts employees at risk of unfair wage and benefit cuts, and the city at risk of losing out on long-term revenue.
4. Do you support or oppose the vote to increase the minimum wage in several steps to $13 an hour by 2019?
I voted yes on the 2014 minimum wage referendum to support raising the IL minimum wage, and believe that the state legislature should pass a bill that establishes a uniform minimum wage for Illinois. Varying minimum wage rates across multiple jurisdictions is confusing and unfair to employees across the state.
5. Are you in favor of Chicago's Red Light Camera program?
The cities' Red Light Camera program needs to be seriously overhauled, and redesigned with safety - not revenue generation - in mind. An appropriate traffic study should be performed with collision data to help assess where speed cameras should be placed, and there should be a specific criteria created to determine which intersections are given red light cameras. With the hefty fines, questions about the integrity of the program, and the concerns with the placement in areas where traffic incidents have been historically lower than other areas of the city, the program has lost its credibility.