Candidate Full Name: Caroline Vickrey
Office: 43rd 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?
The City's fiscal crisis is the most important issue facing our city and our ward. It will impact everything that we do in our city and every decision that we make in our ward. I have witnessed fiscally irresponsible decisions and will push for the highest level of transparency and fiscal responsibility going forward for our city.
2. What are your plans for helping fight crime in your ward?
I will advocate strongly for the safety of 43rd Ward residents. Too many assaults and harrowing gun related incidents have occurred in our ward and we need more police on the streets. This is a budget issue as well, which underscores the need for financial responsibility in our city. I will work with our local Police Commander to address problems in the Ward and I will be forthcoming with information about crime so that residents can use the information to their benefit. I will issue crime alerts for those who want to receive them and reinvigorate our Neighborhood Watch program.
3. What, if any, city assets would you consider privatizing to raise money?
It almost never makes sense to privatize city assets, as they eventually result in a loss of revenue stream for the city and destabilizes and depletes future revenue streams. Equity is always more expensive than debt, especially for governments. Only in cases in which assets are more expensive to maintain than the revenue they bring in would it make sense to sell them off.
4. Do you support or oppose the vote to increase the minimum wage in several steps to $13 an hour by 2019?
I am in favor of raising the national minimum wage to $10 because I want to see that wage better reflects inflation. I am concerned about differentials in the minimum wage across city and state borders and the impact that a higher minimum wage would have on the many small businesses that are struggling in our ward and on the teenagers throughout the city whom I would like to see employed at a higher rate than currently during summers, in an effort to reduce crime, and thus I would oppose a hike to $13 an hour.
5. Are you in favor of Chicago's Red Light Camera program?
I would much prefer a tax system that relies far less on levies and fines than on a fairer, stable and sustainable level of revenue to fund our city's budget. Red light cameras are a regressive tax and though they have reduced t-bone crashes at dangerous intersections, have actually increased rear end collisions at others due to mistimed yellow lights. The cameras need to have a moratorium put on them until the yellow lights can be timed in a fairer way throughout the city. Based on our city's dire financial fiscal situation, however, I am reluctant to discontinue their use completely until other sources of revenue are identified.