Candidate Full Name: Juan B. Huizar
Office: 10th 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?
Education is the answer to almost every socioeconomic problem. Unemployment, Crime, economic development, poverty... Whatever the problem may be, education is the solution. By bringing a work force center to the 10th Ward, we will be able to educate and train our residents with the skills needed to obtain a good paying job offering living wages (not minimum wage), avoiding not only unemployment but poverty as well. Our residents should not have to take on a 2nd job and sacrifice time with their children. If we don't spend time with our children then we may lose them to the dangers that wait for them in the streets. Spending more time with our families has now proven to be a form of crime prevention. And bringing economic development to the 10th Ward will make sure that work force center training will be fruitful. And who doesn't want a better work to life ratio so we can spend even more time with family?! All of these issues overlap and can be resolved with education.
For the immediate future, however, I will need to address crime. On my campaign trail, constituents have more often reiterated that safety needs to be addressed. The concerns of my constituents will be mine. I am their voice, their representation in city council. This is why I will advocate for the hiring of more police officers and will work alongside the 4th district commander to ensure that strategic placement of officers within our beats is enforced. This will help remedy the crime today.
2. What are your plans for helping fight crime in your ward?
We will begin by pushing for the hiring of more police officers. Notice how I used the word 'hire'. I did not say moving officers from behind their desks onto the streets which has already been done. And I did not say disband units of officers which also has been done. We are currently down approximately 1,800 officers than we were a few years ago. We are not hiring officers as often as they are retiring. Reducing the number of officers is an irresponsible budget cut. And just as important as the hiring of police officers, is the enforcement of strategic placement for beat and sector cars which is imperative if we want improved response times. This is especially important in the 10th Ward where our neighborhoods are divided by bridges and train tracks which have been obstacles for our police officers causing slower response times due to passing boats and trains. And because criminals are now listening to police scanners, they now know when our police officers have been dispatched away from their beats, leaving them unprotected. This only leads to strategically timed crimes. I will work with the 4th Commander to help ensure our beats are always protected.
To best combat crime is to prevent crime. How do we do that? We do this by investing in our children. We need to provide as many resources possible for our children. And because every child does not enjoy playing sports, we need to look at other avenues such as visual and performing arts. By doing so, not only are we keeping them off the streets but we are educating them as well.
3. What, if any, city assets would you consider privatizing to raise money?
None. Businesses have only themselves and their bottom line profits to worry about. They are not concerned with the citizens of Chicago. We will raise money by eliminating fraud and cutting waste. By giving the city IG full unabated authority to audit city council, we can eliminate fraud. And by making responsible budget cuts like the legislative IG, we will cut waste.
4. Do you support or oppose the vote to increase the minimum wage in several steps to $13 an hour by 2019?
The impact of the overall economy will benefit significantly just as prior increases in minimum wage have done. Although small business owners will have to pay their employees more, their clientele base will grow and existing clientele will have more buying power, consequently leading to increases in revenue.
Chicago needed to be proactive rather than waiting for a statewide increase in minimum wage. Our families cannot afford to wait any longer. Our families should not be living in poverty when working 40 hours a week. And having to take on a 2nd job that will sacrifice time away from our families us unacceptable. Parents should be able to see their children grow up. They should be able to attend their school assemblies, recitals, sports activities and graduations.
5. Are you in favor of Chicago's Red Light Camera program?
I am not in favor of the Red Light Camera program. This program was allegedly created to increase safety by strategically implementing red light cameras around schools and parks. However some of these lights are not justified by schools and parks. Instead, they seem to be placed where revenue can best be generated. And contrary to its supposed safety intent, studies have shown they have been counterproductive causing many vehicular accidents by motorists attempting to avoid red light camera violations.
If the city wants more revenue, they can begin by eliminating fraud and cutting waste. Give the city inspector general full unabated authority to audit city council and stop nickel & diming the hard-working men and women already struggling to provide for their families.