Alexandria Willis is running for Alderman to create a ward and city where every person feels safe in their neighborhood, has access to employment opportunities, and can comfortably afford to live in their community.

 
 

SAFETY

The safety of our citizens is a top priority to Alexandria. True safety requires protecting all of our citizens, listening to communities, and addressing the root causes of poverty and disinvestment. As team Alexandria has been knocking doors in the community, people in every part of the ward have been talking about not feeling safe.  This is not right - every person in the ward should feel safe here.

So what do we do?

We listen to our community members, and we respond to their needs. As alderman, Alexandria will...

  • Address the lack of attention to infrastructure such as adequate street lighting, abandoned lots and buildings not being maintained, crowd control during Bears games and other events, and solutions to problems such as package theft.

  • Create an online platform to monitor service requests, to ensure that no request by a resident goes ignored and is addressed in a timely fashion.

  • Support the creation of block clubs, community leadership, CAPS, and other initiatives identified by the community as improving communal safety.

We work towards a culture of policing that protects all people, and fosters a sense of community.  As alderman, Alexandria will…

  • Firmly support the creation of a civilian police accountability council.  All the people of Chicago deserve fair treatment by law enforcement. The harassment and targeting of black and brown communities by police leads to ineffective policing, an environment of fear of seeking out protection and support when a crime has been committed, and the disruption of family systems by wrongful arrest and imprisonment.

  • Advocate on city council for demilitarizing police, and moving resources towards training police on crisis management, domestic violence, and community engagement.

We address the root causes of crime, and not just the symptoms.  As alderman, Alexandria will…

  • Fight to address the poverty and disinvestment that causes crime and violence in Chicago.

  • Invest in after school programs and mentoring programs for youth.

  • Fight for equitable development and investment in communities displaced and disinvested in historically by the Chicago political machine.

  • Support programs for individuals, families, and communities impacted by the criminal justice system.

EQUITABLE FUNDING AND DEVELOPMENT

Every constituent of Chicago has a right to opportunity and investment.  Economic inequality is rampant in Chicago due to policies which prioritize profit and corporations over people and communities.  It fuels displacement, violence, and health disparities. We must invest in every community in Chicago in a way that empowers rather than displaces.  It is the job of the alderman and city council to ensure that all Chicagoans have access to jobs offering benefits, a livable wage, and opportunities for growth.

So what do we do?

We create a system of growth and development based in equity, community engagement and empowerment, and sustainability rather than corporate greed.  As alderman, Alexandria will...

  • Implement participatory budgeting - a democratic process where community members design, brainstorm, develop, vote, and fund projects they deem important for the community.

  • Implement community driven zoning and development, ensuring that local community members and community organizations are given complete and transparent information relating to new developments and zoning decisions, and are included in all decision making processes.

  • Ensure that all new major developments, which could have a great impact on the community, enter into a community benefits agreement with local constituents.

  • Offer regular workshops in community spaces such as libraries on pertinent issues like zoning, gentrification, housing, and financial literacy so that constituents are empowered to make decisions that are in their best interest.

  • Invest in protecting and increase public spaces such as libraries, parks, community gardens, and community centers.

  • Increase investment in areas of the city which have been historically neglected - while ensuring that any investment is community driven and improves the lives of residents rather than displacing them.

We invest in and support small businesses, because we know they are essential for healthy communities.  As alderman, Alexandria will…

  • Support small businesses rather than giving tax breaks, TIF funding, and subsidies to corporations coming in from outside of the community.

  • Support grants, organizations, and legislation that support and encourage local people to open their own businesses.

  • Require all businesses receiving city grants and funding to hire local people with opportunities and pathways to management.

  • Support worker owned businesses, known as cooperatives, in which decisions are made by workers and profits are shared.

  • Direct resources to helping local people open businesses to address community needs such as childcare and urban agriculture.

HOUSING AS A HUMAN RIGHT

Access to affordable, safe, high quality housing is essential for life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Wealthy developers have taken over the political establishment in Chicago - leading to luxury rezonings that push out small businesses and working families.  Many Chicagoans who work hard, and are essential to the functioning of the city and its economy, can no longer afford to live in their communities. This is unjust and unacceptable.

How do we ensure housing as a human right?

We fight for affordable housing, we increase access to homeownership, and we protect middle and low income owners and renters.  As alderman, Alexandria will…

  • Expand affordable housing by increasing the number of affordable units required in new developments, ensuring that those units are on-site, and eliminating the option for developers to opt out by paying a fine.

  • Support local community organizations in the effort to lift the ban on rent control, and advocate for legislation on a city and state wide level to repeal the Rent Control Preemption Act.  

  • Support middle and low income community members on the path to home ownership by increasing access at the community level to mechanisms such as land banks and trusts, limited equity cooperatives, and restricted deeds that can be used to assist families in buying houses and prevent an unchecked or unreasonable increase in housing costs. Part of this work will be collaborating with existing organizations to provide access to information and education to support and promote homeownership for ward residents.

  • Increase housing options, and protections to avoid homelessness for vulnerable populations such as youth, people with disabilities, those experiencing mental illness, LGBTQ individuals, veterans, seniors, those experiencing chronic illnesses, and those returning from incarceration.

  • Support stronger tenant protections and safety nets for renters to ensure that apartments and houses are maintained, people can afford utilities, and homelessness is avoided in periods of financial strain.

  • Identify funding sources, potentially TIF money, that middle and low income  homeowners can use for home improvement projects they cannot afford, such as foundation repairs, roof repairs, and other necessities that could potentially force a family to be displaced without support.

EDUCATION

Schools and families are the pillars of community.  When you invest in schools, you enrich the lives of children, teachers, and community.  Disinvestment, and the closing of schools harms not only the children and guardians of the school, but the entire community.  For too long the political machine in Chicago has deprived public schools of resources and funding, particularly in black and brown communities on the south and west sides.  Every child in Chicago deserves to be in a safe school that supports them in reaching their maximum potential.

How do we reinvest in schools and ensure that every child in Chicago has access to quality education?  

We listen to community voices, and make legislative decisions based on what parents, teachers, community members, and students identify as important. As alderman, Alexandria will...

  • Fight for an elected school board that reflects the diversity in race, socioeconomic status, religion, ethnicity, and neighborhoods of the city.  A board that makes decisions impacting the lives of Chicago’s children must be elected by and accountable to parents and guardians.

  • Increase support for local school committees, and meet monthly with ward principles to ensure the unique needs of every school are being heard.

  • Visit schools throughout the ward on a regular basis to meet with teachers, administrators, and students in their own spaces of learning to listen to their experiences, and also to explore the schools to ensure they are being maintained properly.

We replace chronic disinvestment with enrichment, funding, and innovation.  As alderman, Alexandria will…

  • Put a stop to school closures, and put a moratorium on the creation of new charter schools within the ward.

  • Advocate on the city council to stop school closings and the expansion of charter schools on a citywide level.

  • Turn buildings still owned by the city from former school closings into community spaces.

  • Increase support and funding for afterschool programs, art and music programs, and libraries in schools.

PUBLIC HEALTH AND ENVIRONMENTAL JUSTICE

The political establishment in Chicago has chronically neglected environmental justice issues and the health of the people of Chicago.  While there is universal damage from this chronic disinvestment, communities facing systematic violence and prejudice are most impacted - these include black and brown communities, immigrant communities, people with disabilities, women, and people impacted by poverty.  Lead pipes, toxic pollution, and industrial waste are making children on the south side of Chicago sick, and the current political establishment is ignoring the problem. The lack of community health clinics, preventative health services, and health care for the specific needs of women and children, and for those with chronic health conditions is a public health crisis.  The people of Chicago deserve adequate, affordable, accessible health services; clean water, air, and soil; and city planning which cultivates safety and community.


What do we do now?

We ensure that every community member in the ward, and city of Chicago, has access to high quality health services they can afford, that are accessible to them, and that are culturally appropriate. As alderman, Alexandria will…

  • Fight to reopen community mental health clinics shut down because of budget cuts.

  • Conduct an analysis of health outcomes in the ward, identify where services are lacking, and seek out funding sources to address needs.

  • Increase access to physical and mental health services in community spaces such as schools, libraries, and churches.

  • Increase the presence and accessibility of social workers to help community members access services, health insurance, and supportive programs.

  • Address the disproportionate rates of pre and postnatal health, and infant mortality among black women nationally and in the city of Chicago.  This is a public health crisis and human rights issue being neglected by government and public health agencies.

Fight to address environmental injustices. As alderman, Alexandria will…

  • Demand that city government take action to replace every lead service line and every fixture containing lead that comes in contact with water used for drinking, cooking, or bathing in homes, schools, parks, churches, and other community facilities.

  • Fight the privatization of water resources in Chicago.

  • Ensure that clean water is accessible to every Chicagoan by advocating for financial relief through adjusted water rates for low-income households, and emergency assistance programs for community members experiencing financial crises.

  • Work on city council to ban all construction materials known to be carcinogenic and endocrine-disrupting.

  • Demand that industrial factories stop irresponsibly dumping toxic waste near schools and community spaces resulting in unhealthy levels of metals and pollutants in soil that children play in and are exposed to.

Ensure that neighborhoods are built in a way that cultivates safety, community engagement, and accessibility.  As alderman, Alexandria will…

  • Conduct an assessment of whether or not routes children use to get to local schools are safe, well lit, and accessible to those with disabilities.

  • Ensure that there are adequate bike lanes throughout the ward.  

  • Mandate that all new buildings and businesses be wheelchair accessible.

  • Identify parts of the ward where street lights are lacking, and increase the number of lights and general visibility.

  • Address the presence of abandoned lots, homes, and storefronts.