The Issues

CRIME

I am committed to making the 47th Ward safe for all of our residents, neighborhood by neighborhood and block by block.

To build a safer ward we must have more community involvement and a better relationship with the police.  I will work hand in hand with the commanders by having weekly meetings with them and engage the beat officers. I will establish a direct line between the commanders and my office.

We must strengthen the Neighborhood Watch and build better relationships with the beat officers and business owners. I will raise awareness of the CAPS program and make it one of my priorities.

SCHOOLS

A strong K-12 program is imperative for a strong and safe 47th ward. I am committed to working closely with neighboring aldermen to ensure that our schools are safe and of the highest quality.

I am committed to leaving TIF money where it belongs – in the schools! TIF money should be used to strengthen our schools, their staffs and their programs and TIF money should be used to pay down our pension obligation.  I will also meet on a regular basis with the principals of the schools that serve the students of the 47th Ward to hear their thoughts and concerns.

Education

My commitment to the 47th Ward Schools and Families

  • Funding of our schools by securing the proper allocation of TIF money into our schools and not to developers
  • Restore and reinvigorate neighborhood schools
  • Lobby for an elected school board
  • Hold CPS accountable
  • Revamp special education services program
  • Protect students from sexual abuse and assault
  • Expand mental health services in our schools and our community

Education should prepare our youth for real life, work and social responsibility. Our children are the future of the 47th ward and as alderman I plan to work with our community on multiple levels, to establish After School Educational Programs for our youth focused on developing not only the student’s intelligence but also their character.

Using schools as our hub, I plan to establish after school workshops and internship programs with our many small businesses and first responders.  I believe real world examples of business tenets and career choices will provide an essential tool from which our youth of our ward will only stand to benefit.

As 47th Ward Alderman I will implement a 4-point plan to develop After School Educational Programs that prepare our children to become lifelong learners and responsible citizens.

These programs are:

  • Small Businesses Apprenticeship: How to run a business.
  • “Play an Instrument” and Art Workshops: Music and art help to develop students’ creative side.
  • First Responders and Police Big Brother Mentorship: Character education that emphasizes honesty, responsibility, courage, and respect for others.
  • Learn a Trade or Skill: Working together with Unions and Schools to offer programs that will prepare students to seek immediate employment upon graduation.
  • Adult Continuing Education: I propose a Learn a New Skill Program that will partner with unions and local schools, and that will offer a variety of new skill set training programs for adults that were left behind by technology.

These initiatives will help to motivate kids to develop skill sets while providing an excellent alternative to crime.  I’ve already reached out to many of these entities and have detailed my vision for education within the 47th ward.  Thus far these efforts have been well received in our community and upon election I intend to see them through.  I have high hopes for what this added layers of learning will bring on top of well-funded and safe schools that are armed with strong curriculum.

TAXES

Let me be clear I will NOT vote for any tax increase. Period.

Our neighbors and many longtime residents of the 47th Ward are being taxed out of the city. Our residents and our businesses are being nickel and dimed to death.

I am committed to attracting more businesses to the 47th Ward to build our tax base and find ways to attract new revenue streams for the city that do not consist of relentless taxing.

ENVIRONMENT 

Taking on Global Warming from the ground up

47th Ward Climate and Energy Plan of Action

The urgency for action to address Climate Change is here and we must work together to avoid missing the window of opportunity to do the right thing while working for stronger environmental laws at all levels of government including our city council.

As alderman I am committed to develop a 47th Ward Climate and Energy Action Plan that focuses on;

  • Promoting Climate Change Education in our schools
  • Providing easy guidelines to our residents on how to be proactive, and how to commit to conservation.
  • The need to strengthen partnerships among researchers, policymakers, practitioners and other city stakeholders on Climate Change
  • The creation of an urban level plan of action to tackle Climate Change on issues like; water consumption, waste, recycling and renewable energy, storm water collection
  • Giving priority (via a Community Development Council) to efficient, sustainable, and carbon-free urban developments that also include affordable housing for the 47th Ward
  • Assisting residents and small businesses in a transition or migration plan to help reduce energy demand.
  • Recognizing or Rewarding those high efficient, low-emission and small vehicles registered in the 47th
  • Identifying the 47th Ward as a Municipal Climate leader

As your alderman I plan to implement common sense solutions that will make a difference in people’s lives, practical and cost efficient common sense solutions to help diminish our negative environmental impact on this planet.

Let’s do something about it, together!

AFFORDABLE HOUSING

This is how Gus Katsafaros will deal with rising housing costs and decline of affordability

Average apartment rents and house prices have grown faster than incomes 

so we must:

1- Hold the Line on taxes. I am committed to voting NO on any tax hike.

2 – We must provide adequate assistance to residents to fight and to appeal their real estate taxes. Many residents don’t know that property taxes can be appealed. As alderman I will make sure that our residents have all the resources they need to get a fair assessment.

3- We must promote responsible development in the 47th ward that guarantees affordable housing. As alderman I will establish a Community Development Council made up of local businesses and residents that will analyze new development permits and zoning to give priority to those  developers that consider smart and affordable buildings and to guarantee affordable housing in our Ward.

4 – We must provide residents of the 47th Ward with well-paid options of employment. If we can’t earn living wages we simply can’t afford to pay rent or our mortgages.  That is why I’m also focusing on an economic development plan for the 47th Ward that will bring well-paying jobs to our residents.

5- I believe that the Tax Increment Financing or (TIF) Money  should NOT go to developers that build luxury and unaffordable buildings in our ward. TIF money should be used for our schools, infrastructure, and other community-improvement projects.

Help me preserve our neighborhood’s future and make a real difference.

Please consider donating to our campaign.  Let’s win this together!

Paid for by Friends of Gus Katsafaros