Joe Moore, Candidate for 49th Ward Alderman

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Sunday, February 1, 2015

Candidate Full Name: Joe Moore

Office: 49th 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 have always been and continue to be the greatest concerns I hear from the residents in my ward. Building a strong and cohesive community is the ultimate answer to our crime problem. What does a strong and cohesive community consist of? Residents who get involved and are civically engaged in their neighborhood, strong and vibrant locally-owned businesses, safe and affordable housing, living wage jobs and good schools. These priorities are interwoven. Progress on any and all of them leads to a safer and more secure neighborhood.

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

One of my first legislative acts as alderman was to sponsor City Council hearings that moved City officials to adopt community policing, first as a pilot project and then citywide. I mobilized community groups in the far North Side to successfully designate the 24th Police District as a one of the pilot districts. Since then, I worked closely with the CAPS beat groups and the 24th District Police commanders to effectively combat crime and worked to install blue light police safety cameras in neighborhood "hot spots." Despite a rough year with some high-profile shootings that understandably have elevated community concerns, serious crime in the 49th Ward remains well below the levels we experienced as recently as 10 years ago.

The 24th Police District is fortunate to have a series of police commanders who understand the essential role community residents play in crime prevention. This is why community policing remains a strong element of policing in the 24th District despite inconsistent support citywide. I was pleased to hear Mayor Emanuel express support for community policing in his recent budget address and his decision to decentralize community policing into the districts. Superintendent McCarthy has expressed similar support for community policing.

Policing is just one element to fighting crime. Recognizing the link between criminal activities and irresponsible landlords, I have taken on slumlords in the 49th Ward, a neighborhood with older housing stock, 75 percent of which is rental housing. One of my staffers devotes the vast majority of her time to housing issues, handling tenant complaints and taking irresponsible landlords to court. We force slumlords to improve their tenant screening and property upkeep or sell to responsible property developers. As a result, problem buildings, such as the reside building at Morse and Glenwood, now known as "Reside on Morse" and the Broadmoor Hotel at Howard and Bosworth, are now neighborhood assets.

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

Based on the City's prior experience with asset privatization, I would view any future proposal to privatize a City asset with a large degree of skepticism. At a bare minimum, any proposal to privatize an asset must demonstrate significant long-term savings and a plan that would protect the union jobs of the workers and safeguard the proceeds of that privatization.

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

I joined the overwhelming majority of my colleagues in voting to increase the minimum wage in Chicago to $13 an hour by 2019. I was on the "Minimum Wage Working Group" that proposed the increase, and I was one of the lead sponsors of the bill.

In an ideal world, the minimum wage would be uniform across the nation, but it is increasingly clear that Congress will not act to increase the federal minimum wage in the foreseeable future. Nor does it appear that the Illinois General Assembly will vote for an increase in the statewide minimum wage anytime soon. At a time of growing income disparity in our city, it is imperative that the City Council step in when other levels of government fail to act. A minimum wage of $13 would increase the earnings for 31% of Chicago workers and begin to narrow the income gap. The increase will also be phased in over five years to give businesses time to adjust.

I understand the concerns expressed by some editorial boards and members of the business community that an increase in the minimum wage will put Chicago's businesses at a competitive disadvantage and result in a loss of jobs. However, recent studies have found virtually no negative employment effect due to minimum wage increases. And studies of counties and municipalities with minimum wages higher than nearby jurisdictions similarly saw no job loss. In fact, some of the studies show that jurisdictions with higher minimum wages experienced greater economic growth. This should come as no surprise, as low income workers tend to spend their higher wages in the local consumer economy, providing a financial stimulus to local businesses.

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

The Active Transportation Alliance, a long-established organization that advocates for bicycling, walking and public transit, strongly supports the cameras because they believe it encourages safe driving and save lives. I supported the installation of the cameras largely based on their vocal support.

However, recent studies commissioned by the Chicago Tribune report call into question whether the cameras actually result in fewer accidents. They also question the methodology of the City's research. These studies raise serious concerns. I will urge the Emanuel Administration to review those studies and, if necessary, obtain a reputable outside traffic study firm to conduct a thorough and statistically sound analysis that is beyond reproach to determine if the cameras are actually effective at reducing accidents.

Joe Moore

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