20181202_ANH_Wozniak_MG_6402_HighRes.jpg
There are some issues where the alderman and I agree, and many where we do not agree. The most important difference, however, is that I will be an independent alderman. I will not take money from people whose interests conflict with our communities’. I will create open and transparent processes so any resident can know what’s going on with the ward. I will not hold outside employment. And, most important of all, I will not allow the mayor or anyone in political leadership tell me how to vote.
— Erika Wozniak Francis

Education

 

Every child deserves access to a high quality public education in their own community. Too often, corruption and fiscal irresponsibility have wasted vital resources that should be dedicated to improving the quality of public education and have stymied innovation. As alderman, I will focus on providing increased public oversight and transparency into CPS and ensuring there are fair and equitable resources for our neighborhood schools, including wraparound social services, strong programming and funding for early childhood development.

As alderman, I will:

  • Continue to be an outspoken advocate for an elected, representative school board to provide much needed oversight and accountability for CPS.

  • Fight for full funding of our neighborhood public schools.

  • Coordinate between Local School Councils and school communities by building a 46th Ward LSC Coalition.

  • Advocate for the full funding of staff--such as social workers, psychologists, nurses, and librarians--in our schools, including increasing resources for special education, art, music, physical education and language studies.

  • Demand a moratorium on school closures and proliferation of charter schools.

  • Be in direct and consistent contact with all six neighborhood schools in the ward.

  • Work to enhance and increase enrollment from the ward into the neighborhood schools.


Public Safety

 

I believe in a proactive approach to keeping our community safe. I will work to advance public safety policies that support well-trained, fully-staffed public safety departments that work in strong cooperation with the diverse civic communities they serve. I will create and maintain a service-oriented, community-centric ward office so that all resident concerns brought to me are addressed swiftly and appropriately.

As alderman, I will:

  • Advocate for community police oversight and police reform to end the massive expenditure of public funds on police misconduct settlements, and to foster public trust in CPD.

  • Partner with nonprofit agencies and our six neighborhood public schools to create opportunities for young people to participate in enriching activities after school.

  • Be a fierce advocate for increasing the number of social workers and nurses in schools, and for providing accessible mental health services for all residents in our community.

  • Work closely with the CPD 19th District to implement a community policing model in which more officers are able to engage positively with community residents both on foot and in vehicles while on and off duty.

  • Collaborate with the office of Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx, who I was proud to actively work to elect in 2016, to help advance policies to fix our broken criminal justice system and keep our communities safe.


Housing & Equitable Development

 

As a homeowner, I am seriously concerned about the influence developers and those in related industries have in local decisions. And this issue affects renters equally, if not more. I’ve been especially troubled by the fact that these interests have contributed hundreds of thousands of dollars to James Cappleman’s campaign. The overdevelopment of more and more luxury housing in our ward has made our neighborhoods less affordable and less livable. I will make sure development is ethical, equitable, and puts the needs of our neighbors above the interests of big developers and corporations. As alderman, I will work to ensure that every resident in the ward has a safe place to live, and every neighborhood in the ward receives services equitably; from street sweeping and sidewalk maintenance to parks and public safety. I will engage representative voices from the 46th Ward, and create opportunities for all neighborhoods in the ward to be heard.

As alderman, I will:

  • Pledge to not take any campaign contributions from developers doing business in the ward.

  • Encourage the development and funding of units of affordable housing so that we can make sure residents who currently live in the ward can afford to continue living here.

  • Put a stop to the tax increment financing (TIF) handouts to corporate luxury developers. Our property tax dollars are urgently needed to fund public schools, social services, improvements to ward infrastructure and affordable housing in our communities.

  • Demand an overhaul of the Affordable Requirements Ordinance (ARO): dramatically strengthen requirements and mandate that every developer--especially those receiving city assistance through rezoning, TIF funds, or other means--provide affordable units onsite.

  • Advocate for ethical, smart development that makes room for new residents in the ward without displacing the ones who currently live here.

  • Advance participatory budgeting practices in the ward to ensure local residents have a say in how their tax dollars are spent.

  • Support the Homes for All and Development for All Ordinances.


Jobs & A Strong Local Economy

 

To boost our local economy, we must focus on creating and protecting living wage and prevailing wage jobs with good benefits and paid sick and family leave. We must foster a diverse economy and provide equitable opportunities to those who have been pushed to the margins.

As alderman, I will:

  • Fight for a strong local economy that works for all of us, including the passage of a $15 minimum wage.

  • Support the Chicago Fair Workweek Ordinance to give Chicago workers more control over unpredictable, last-minute workweek schedules that make it difficult for people to predict their income from week to week.

  • Stand with workers seeking to organize and bargain collectively, as I have done throughout my career as a union steward.

  • Stimulate the local economy through developing equitable contracting and hiring processes, racial and gender equity provisions, and local-hire policies for employers.

  • Listen to local business owners, and advocate to make sure their relationship with the city is symbiotic.

  • Work with commercial landlords and small business owners to create equitable solutions to rising rents.

  • Engage local businesses in work training programs.

  • Address the city pension crisis by advocating for a fair income tax that asks the very wealthy and big corporations to pay their fair share.



Public Health & The Environment

 

When it comes to public health in our ward, there is much I would do differently. I was disappointed in our alderman when he voted for the budget (supported by Rahm Emanuel) that closed half the city’s mental health clinics. I don’t believe we can address concerns such as homelessness or public safety without mental health services. Access to affordable healthcare is a human right. In the 46th Ward, uninsured and underinsured people suffer from inadequate access to physical and mental healthcare. With affordable, accessible healthcare under attack by the Trump administration, and many 46th Ward residents still reeling from the closure of Chicago’s public mental health clinics, we need an alderman who will stand up and fight for access for all our residents. In addition, our physical and mental health is intimately linked to environmental health: it is difficult to take care of our planet when our basic needs for survival aren’t being met.

As alderman, I will:

  • Work to fully fund our city’s remaining public mental health clinics to ensure neighborhood residents have equal access to psychologists and other healthcare professionals on site.

  • Take immediate action to address aging infrastructure--such as lead pipes that pose health risks to children and adults.

  • Support the broader goal of establishing investment policy that mandates investment in ESG (environmentally responsible, sustainable and good governance practices) compliant investments, and committing to move the City to 100% clean energy sources by 2030.

  • Advocate for the ban of coal tar sealants from being sold or used in Chicago. This ban will help prevent dust from coal tar, a known human carcinogen, from polluting our air and being tracked into our homes.

  • Join the fight to demand a full audit of the City’s recycling and waste management programs, and advocate for smart solutions. Today, the City’s recycling program falls far short of where it should be, and aldermen lack the data they need to evaluate it effectively.