Efficient City Government

One of the most critical parts of an Alderman’s job is ensuring the City delivers high-quality services to their ward.  43rd Ward residents should be able to depend on their Alderman to provide fast, efficient services. We can use a combination of technology and work ethic to keep constituents updated in the most convenient way for each individual person instead of only blanket emails. It’s easy to talk about good government service.  The key is a concrete implementation plan to roll out real change in how your local government serves you.  So a plan that brings significant enhancements to how your local government serves you in the first 100 days of a new Aldermanic term is a must.  I am putting out this checklist so you can see exactly what I plan to do. Hold me accountable for real improvements in the community.


In The First 30 Days


  • Use Technology to Track all constituent needs and requests for immediate follow-up:  Set up a comprehensive Customer Relationship Management software (such as Salesforce) like those used by the best companies and governments all over the world to manage Ward services and ensure consistent follow-up, high-quality outcomes, and clear accountability.
  • Update and Revitalize Aldermanic Online Tools:  Create and maintain an online presence with all the relevant information for the Ward and opportunities to get involved.
    • Easy sign-up for your neighborhood organization and community meetings: Enter your address and find out what neighborhood organization you’re in, how you can get involved, and become a member.
    • Community Volunteer Opportunities Site:  So everyone in the community knows exactly what opportunities are available in the neighborhood with concierge services from the Aldermanic offices to connect them seamlessly to get involved.
    • Updated calendar of community and school meetings:  Every week include an updated calendar of all community meetings, school events, and other civic events.  
    • Active social media presence alerting constituents to what’s going on in the Ward:  Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram accounts providing up-to-date information on the latest in the Ward, including new business and restaurant openings in the community, the latest in City Council, and everything else from the City.
  • Launch Office Hours:  Reinstate Aldermanic office hours, starting on a weekly basis, and maintaining a multi-hour block every month where anyone who has a suggestion, issue, or concern can sign up and reserve a time and talk directly with the Alderman about their needs.


In The First 100 Days


  • Issue the First Ever Aldermanic Service-Level Agreements (“SLAs”):  Just like any business contract, our office will make a contract with you, the taxpayer, to ensure you receive a high level of service.  We will publish our SLAs on our website with clear consequences if they’re ever violated. Calls and emails will get returned, follow-ups will be made, and the taxpayer will be guaranteed best-in-class service.
  • Personalizing Critical Community Announcements with Geo-Location:  Our office will institute a geo-location announcement system where we can immediately email out important news and announcements to the affected community area.  From public safety to education to new restaurant or entertainment options, you’ll be able to choose exactly what you want to hear about and our office will be there to keep you informed about what’s going on in your local area.
  • Neighborhood Pulse Surveys:  Allow you and your neighbors to participate through technology in decisions affecting the community through neighborhood pulse surveys.  These short (3-5 question) surveys can help pinpoint neighborhood needs and allow community members to offer opinions on development, services, and policy quickly and easily from their homes or workplaces.
  • Community Data Visualization and Tracking:  The City produces a ton of great public data, but our Ward office currently doesn’t use it.  This is a huge missed opportunity. Our office will create and implement a section of the website dedicated to data visualization and tracking.  We’ll take the latest statistics on everything in the Ward, from services to education to public safety, and put them into intuitive graphs, heat maps, and other visualizations.  You’ll even be able to subscribe and get an email with the latest data visualization and updates for the neighborhood.


In The First Year


  • Community Budget Process Including Online Tools:  Every year the Alderman’s office selects where the 43rd Ward yearly infrastructure money is spent (often called “menu” money).  Other wards use a public, community inclusive process in-person but the 43rd hasn’t participated. I will introduce a participatory budgeting process that allows residents to discuss and debate priorities and vote in-person and online for the infrastructure projects that matter most to them.
  • Launch Outreach on Critical Issues:  Through door knocks, paper notices, and technology, we’ll reach out and notify neighbors on critical issues:
    • Water Main Lead Warnings:  We’ve seen surprisingly high concentrations of lead in some of the water in the Ward with little action from the Alderman’s office.  We’ll track lead testing, notify neighbors in potential high concentration areas and make applying for free City lead testing kits simple through our website.  We’ll follow this up by letting homeowners do something about it. We’ll offer the opportunity for the City to get your service lines fixed whenever your street is being opened for water, gas line, electric, road surfacing or other repairs – saving significant cost to the homeowner and getting the problem fixed at a fraction of the usual price.  We’ll also let homeowners band together to work with the City to open a street and fix several houses’ service lines and share the cost.
    • Property Tax Exemption Outreach:  Property tax exemptions for homeowners and seniors can result in major savings.  However, many homeowners and seniors don’t even know they can apply for them. We’ll start a door-to-door campaign so every eligible house that doesn’t have one of these has the chance to apply (and often save thousands).
  • An Empowered and Engaged Community:
    • Quarterly Clean-Ups/Service Projects:  Bring volunteers together once a quarter to clean up parks and schools in the Ward.  Volunteer together with the community to tidy up a park or cleaning up litter from a major roadway like Fullerton.
    • Ward Bike, Run, or Walk:  The 47th Ward has seen great success with Ward bike rides and we can bring that here.  We’ll try out ward bike, runs, or walks and see what’s the most popular way to bring the community together (and visits sites of interest and local business in the Ward).
    • Shoveling for Seniors Volunteer Program Launched:  Create a program where seniors who need help with snow removal can match with younger folks in their area who are happy to help out and shovel their sidewalk when they are already out doing their own.
  •  Yearly “State of the Ward” Report and Feedback:  Every year, we’ll report back to you on how we’ve done and what we’re seeing in the Ward.  What works? What hasn’t worked? We’ll be transparent with the data and our results. We’ll seek input from you on what we should do next year, including a vote on where we should focus our time and energy.