Don Gordon, Candidate for 49th Ward Alderman

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Sunday, February 1, 2015

Candidate Full Name: Don Gordon

Office: 49th Ward Alderman

Email Address:

Web Site:

Campaign Name: Expect Better. Demand The Best.

Campaign Office Mailing Address: 1228 W. Lunt Avenue, Chicago

Survey Questions (Character limit of 2,000 per response)

1. What is the most important issue that you will address in your ward?

There simply isn't just one issue, though I would say that the state of our schools - Education - here in the 49th Ward have been an issue for decades. We still have far too many parents who leave our community because of the inadequacy of our local public schools. Add to that that those who don't have the resources to leave - many impoverished - are faced with schools that are underfunded and often below educational targets. My approach to this problem is well documented on our web site...

However, improved public safety, development of our retail districts and the jobs that this would produce and a more efficient and responsive ward office cannot be ignored while we focus on education. All must be the full-time focus of the alderman. Though crime over the past couple years had been peaking again and gangs are a major contributor to that increase, all of these issues affect each other.

2. What are your plans for helping fight crime in your ward?

Please see our web site and my solutions detailed there...

3. What, if any, city assets would you consider privatizing to raise money?

None. I believe the focus needs to be on the Tax Increment Financing Program, a moratorium on TIF's, return of hundreds of millions of dollars in unallocated TIF funds and shutting down the most egregious TIF's which are draining much needed tax revenue from the agencies that depend on it - such as our public schools and our park district.

4. Do you support or oppose the vote to increase the minimum wage in several steps to $13 an hour by 2019? Why?

I support it only because it's better than no increase at all. On the other hand, once elected I would move to revise the legislation to raise the minimum wage to $15/hr. and sooner than the 2019 timeframe - with consideration to small businesses and giving them the opportunity to roll in the increase somewhat slower.

5. Are you in favor of Chicago's Red Light Camera program?

Absolutely not. It's apparent now that the red light and speed camera programs are more about revenue generation than safety. Until we have much more transparency and public input I believe both should be shut down. In the interim we need to look into what tools are available to us to actually improve safety. One of those options, mentioned in other questionnaires, is to increase the time between cross lights such that there is a greater delay before the lights in the opposing direction change - possibly increasing to 3-4 seconds.

Don Gordon

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