Keiana Barrett, Candidate for 7th Ward Alderman

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Sunday, February 1, 2015

Candidate Full Name: Keiana Barrett

Office: 7th Ward Alderman

Email Address:

Web Site:

Campaign Name: KB for 7th Ward

Campaign Office Mailing Address: 2233 E. 79th Street

Phone: 773-524-6462

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

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

Community empowerment. Ours is a ward that has endless resources in the form of passionate and capable community stakeholders. However, for far too long, they have felt ignored. As Alderman, I will engage and empower the 7th Ward residents, understanding that the core areas requiring pressing action in the ward (public safety, education, housing, economic development) necessitate strong community ties and an active and engaged citizenry. By developing a sustainable plan for transformation, we will be on the path to restoring safe streets, stimulating economic development and job creation, while prioritizing high quality educational options for all students.

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

Safe streets are a fundamental right of every citizen. They will bolster economic development, improve educational outcomes, and strengthen community ties. But, public safety must not come at the expense of individual rights of minorities. Drawing from exemplars across the country, I will champion true community policing models and support block-by-block efforts to reduce crime and disorder, while always striving to preserve individual liberties of all residents. I will work with residents on effective (and sustainable) preventative measures. I will also take legislative action to stem the flow of illegal guns into our city streets. Additionally, as Alderman I will work with my colleagues to ensure all persons convicted of a crime with a firearm are listed on the city's gun registry. Along with working with our federal partners to classify gun violence as a public health issue.

As the lead steward of the community, I will develop a confidential 7th Ward Hot-line, in partnership with law enforcement, clergy and DFSS, allowing residents the opportunity report crime, provide tips/leads, while with receiving vital social services referrals and information. I will advocate for the restoration of mental health clinics with our state officials and partner with the Chicago Park District and Chicago Public Schools to ensure all 7th Ward field houses and fields/lots are suitable for youth and community programming.

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

None. We can no longer afford to employ short term thinking when approaching fiscal management. We must learn from the fiasco that is our parking meter privatization deal, particularly when the effects of such decisions can last for generations. Privatization leads to job loss and in many cases the lack of efficiency and effectiveness; therefore we need a thorough cost/benefit analysis.

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

Yes. While I would prefer (and will advocate for) a more ambitious minimum wage increase, I believe that this is a good first step. By increasing the minimum wage, we are making a national statement that Chicago values all of its workers, and prioritizes the provision of a living wage. Income inequality remains a glaring issue in Chicago and nationwide. Raising the minimum wage is a necessary first step towards closing that gap.

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

Absolutely not. I have called for an immediate suspension of the program. Chicago's red Light Camera program is an undemocratic tax on working class families, and has not achieved definitive traffic safety improvements. I was the first candidate from the 7th Ward to endorse the campaign to suspend red lights cameras, led by the Citizens to Ban the Red Lights. In addition to the suspension of the red lights, there must be plans to return the revenue garnered back to working class residents.

Keiana Barrett

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