As Mayor, what is the most important thing you can do to improve the lives of Latinos living in Chicago and how will that be reflected in your budget priorities?

Budget

The most important thing we can do to improve the lives of all residents in Chicago is to ensure that every child has access to a high-quality public school, every family feels safe in their community, and we continue creating jobs across the city. In the last four years we have added more than 200 hours to the school day and year, ending decades of Chicago having the least educational time of any large school district in the country. We implemented full-day kindergarten for every Chicago child, and are expanding pre-k to all four year olds who qualify for free or reduced lunch. My comprehensive public safety strategy is focused on expanded prevention programs for at-risk youth, smarter community policing strategies, and empowering parents to reduce violence in their neighborhoods. I have attracted numerous companies to Chicago and reduced taxes and red tape for neighborhood small businesses, while investing in the infrastructure, public transportation, open space and cultural attractions that make Chicago a great place to live, work, and play. I will continue to make substantial investments in children and neighborhoods, so that we can continue to move forward together - leaving no neighborhood, no family, and no child behind.

Latinos, and a large majority of Chicagoans, suffer from economic disparities, unsafe neighborhoods, and poor school policies. I believe the most important thing I can do to improve the lives of Latinos is to focus on bringing good-paying jobs, world-class schools and safe neighborhoods to all of Chicago.

My main focus will be reducing gang and gun violence by staffing the police force adequately, training them to implement true community policing, ensuring that they do not compromise their ability to serve by
assuming immigration enforcement duties and that they assist victims of domestic violence by referring them to the appropriate community organizations. I will strengthen our local public schools and make them the center of neighborhood life and activity. I will work equally hard to create new jobs and opportunities for our fellow Chicagoans who want to work, and ensure that Latinos have meaningful access to training and job opportunities. Finally, my administration will back fair and equitable pension reform and reduce the city’s massive deficit. This is the kind of leadership the people of Chicago deserve.

As mayor, I will make certain all service provided by the city of Chicago are readily available to all residents. We will especially focus on proactively ensuring access beyond language barriers. Our 311 and 911 call centers will be staffed by multi-lingual persons who are able to immediately route calls to an agent who can translate or otherwise handle the call. We will decentralize city government and open service offices in local communities. These offices will be staffed by people who are aware of and sensitive to the needs of residents of that particular community. We will ensure that all persons have an equal opportunity to work or contract with the city. My budget will adequately reflect those priorities.

Unemployment for minorities is a major concern for me and the citizens of Chicago. Latinos living in Chicago have an employment rate of about 12%. Bringing new jobs to the city and promoting the hiring of minorities is one the best ways I can improve the lives of Latinos living in Chicago.