We have an economic system that favors the the extremely wealthy and politically connected, which is making it increasingly difficult for working people to earn a living. As Alderwoman, I will support progressive, city-level initiatives to protect workers and generate new revenue. In the 49th Ward, I’ll work to keep dollars in our community and support our local businesses and entrepreneurs by bringing in additional resources and shining a spotlight on them publicly. In an economic system where many people are excluded, local businesses are often the main path to financial stability for immigrants and other new residents. Most importantly, when decisions are being made that will affect businesses in the 49th Ward, I will make sure that they will have a seat at the table so that their voices are heard.
In order to help small businesses succeed, I plan to work with local and city-wide groups to develop and implement an economic development plan for the whole ward. By bringing our business districts together and collaborating to pursue broader economic solutions, we can create a strong local economy driven by small businesses. I’ll also work in City Hall to develop more resources and increase access to programs that could help fund capital investments in our neighborhood businesses.
Fixing and filling the storefronts
In my conversations with residents in the 49th Ward, they often ask about how we can work to fill the vacant storefronts found on nearly every commercial corridor. In meeting with local business owners to investigate challenges they face, I’ve learned about problems with commercial landlords who don’t maintain their property and offload many costs to struggling small businesses. I will build relationships with the commercial building owners to make sure we as a community can hold them accountable for maintaining their property and filling their vacancies.
Helping Workers Thrive
Too many residents of the 49th Ward are struggling to make ends meet. I was born and raised in a union family and know how critical they are in protecting workers’ rights. I will stand with our unions in advocating for workers to be treated fairly and equitably. The fact that people can work 40 hours a week and not make a living is unacceptable. I will support efforts to raise the minimum wage on the local level to be a living wage that will stay consistent with inflation. I will also fight alongside the Progressive Caucus and the Fair Workweek Chicago Coalition to promote the passage of the Fair Week Ordinance. This will ensure hourly and part-time workers will have more control and stability in how their work hours are being scheduled.