A) Unnecessarily high crime. Rockford has suffered for far too long under the specter of high crime. Fighting high crime rates starts with the passion of individual neighborhoods and the ability of our law enforcement to properly advance their goals. We need neighborhoods that are willing to work with the police and police who are willing to work with the neighborhoods. As Alderman, I hope to facilitate a coherent and effective relationship between these two vital elements of our collective safety. I will work with members of each of the second ward’s precincts to bring their concerns to the police and I will work with the police to encourage proper training and emphasis on the areas that need it the most. I want to encourage a symbiotic relationship between the communities and the police and reinforce the idea that the police are here to protect and serve the citizenry.
B) Economic Growth. Rockford has a history of a thriving middle class. That history has been stymied in recent decades by an unfriendly business environment. Some of this environment is the doing of Springfield, but some of it can be addressed locally. I will work with my fellow City Councilmembers, Winnebago County Board, and the state government toward providing the Second Ward with adequate infrastructure to encourage the addition of shovel ready jobs, to manage our budget in a fiscally conservative fashion, and to provide any tax incentives possible to potential job creators that may be interested in bringing money into Rockford. Economic growth has been a substantial challenge to Rockford, but through good governance, this too can be overcome.
C) Infrastructure. Proper infrastructure is key to the growth of any community. As an attorney, I have observed how our roads and sidewalks are not only inconvenient but can easily become a liability for taxpayers. Beyond the trouble individual citizens may have with our failing roads and sidewalks, new businesses are discouraged by those inadequacies. Each alderman is given a set budget to address infrastructure and so the impact each alderman has on a given year is limited. That said, each alderman owes a duty to their constituency to analyze the need of each street and sidewalk to determine what should be addressed first and how it should be addressed effectively. Rockford, like all midwest towns, suffers from harsh winters, but that is no excuse to allow our vital sidewalks and roadways to fall into disrepair. I will work to most efficiently address the needs of the citizenry and business interest alike in the Second Ward.