So here we are, a few days from the election and I am still struggling with whom I should vote for. I happen to care about character, which never translates well into programs, promises or outcomes. But it can translate into a public servant who is not obsessing over vote counts while in office. Unfortunately, that is very hard to come by in any part of the country, including the 49th Ward.
Moore’s campaign has featured glossy mailers and phone calls from volunteers. He also had supporters attempting a ‘stealth’ campaign about the RIF, which I talked about here and here. Saturday I received yet another glossy mailer from Joe (yes this one is undeniably Joe’s doing) which accuses Brian of having an “anti-neighborhood plan.” We know this is true because;
1 - Brian is in favor of realigning police resources to neighborhoods that have more crime, resulting in fewer beat officers. This is Question 80 in the IVI-IPO questionnaire. Brian says “Yes” and then follows up with a detailed recommendation for improving CAPS.
Moore says “No” and suggests that hiring extra police is the answer and criticizes the changes in CAPS. He also says crime is down 50% since he became alderman, and I would like to know what statistic he is using for that.
I attended a CAPS meeting in 2424, shortly after a shooting had occurred. I learned that index crimes are down in Rogers Park, and that is the statistic used to determine the relative safety of a neighborhood. Ergo, Rogers Park is safer than it was. I questioned that, but index crimes are the baseline. If that is the same statistic Joe Moore is using to claim that crime is down 50%, and if it is the basis for moving police officers around, then Brian’s response makes sense.
Take away for me – so long as index crimes are the standard for measuring neighborhood safety, Brian’s approach may not be so outlandish even though it may fly in the face of what his constituents are concerned about. He needs to pay more attention to those concerns.
2 – Brian is opposed to participatory budgeting based on his response to the IVI-IPO questionnaire, Question 27. Brian checked the “No” box but also gave his reason for doing so:
27. Will you institute participatory budgeting to allow ward residents to vote on discretionary spending in your ward?
Participatory budgeting already exists in the 49th ward.
The question is about INSTITUTING the process, not maintaining it. Brian also put out a flyer that expressly states, among other things, that he supports participatory budgeting.
Folks may recall that in 2007 Don Gordon’s campaign had a proposal along the same lines as what Joe put in place. Joe failed to see the light until he learned about the Brazilian experience.
Take away for me – this is the typical FUD approach. In this case, ignore it.
3 – Brian supports the TIF/RIF, is a landlord, will bailout landlords and developers with TIF/RIF money, gets free office space from suburban developers, and will cut money from libraries, schools, and parks through the TIF. I don’t know about the office space issue, but Joe seems to have no problem accepting donations from folks who live outside the ward but want to do, or are doing, business here. Brian is a landlord, he has one tenant that I know of, based on his response to a post at The North Coast. He is also the Executive Director of Lakeside Community Development Corporation, and has spent several years working housing issues. I don’t think the fact that he is a landlord disqualifies him from making useful proposals. The real issue here is the TIF. I will address that in a separate post because I have a lot to say about it.
Take away for me – Joe Moore will grab anything he can to spread the FUD, and in this case he is going a masterful job. Time for the grain of salt, and a separate post.
4 – Brian wants to eliminate the free parking at Loyola Park, which will harm seniors and women (a blatant appeal to Fear), but had the temerity to request and receive a permit to construct a personal parking space on his own property.
Where do I start? I live a few blocks from Loyola Park, and if Joe Moore thinks for one minute I am going to use that lot when there is street parking in my neighborhood that is closer, then I want whatever he’s smoking. The Loyola Park lot benefits the people in the immediate area, not those of us who are blocks away. Brian made the Loyola Park parking the issue in a flyer that made the rounds. I don’t know what other flyers Brian may have put out, but this is the only one I ever saw to date. His point is that Joe supported this initiative without consulting his constituents via participatory budgeting. Good point.
Brian is a property owner, so as long as he follows the city’s own process, he can do whatever he is legally permitted to do with his property, including putting a parking space on it. Get over it!
Take away for me – Joe Moore and his supporters apparently think Brian is being hypocritical because he is supporting more public transportation and alternatives to cars, while modifying his property to park his car. It’s Brian’s property, and he got the appropriate permits. Joe Moore also expects seniors and women to nod approvingly about the Loyola Park free parking. I am sure they do if they live in the neighborhood.
At the end of the day, I don’t see anything truly anti-neighborhood here, but it’s clear that Joe and his supporters are more than happy to spread more FUD. Just in case because you never know if the tide might turn against him.