Good afternoon ladies and gentlemen,
For the last seven years, I have been honored to serve the great residents of Chicago’s 15th Ward as Alderman.
I am humbled to have represented the historic neighborhoods of Back of the Yards, Gage Park, Brighton Park, and my beloved West Englewood.
I want to talk about our future, the future of our great City!
Today, I am announcing my candidacy for Mayor of the greatest City in the World... OUR City of Chicago.
As a candidate, I am fully transparent.
As Mayor, my core principles will be simple: safety, rebuilding our economy and supporting our first responders and city employees that serve the taxpayers of Chicago.
It really is just that simple!
As Mayor, I will be 100% committed to taking ownership of the lives and safety of the people that call Chicago home; for the people that come here for work every day; and for those that choose to visit us for business or vacation.
My #1 Goal is safety. We must prioritize safety! Or else nothing will happen.
Many know this about me: Safety is already the keystone of my work in the city, but I will amplify this message to every business, every organization, every church, and block club in every community, every neighborhood, and every street.
We will be safe again in the City of Chicago!
I will work to restore the greatest law enforcement department in the World. The men and women of the Chicago Police Department need our support, and I WILL GIVE IT TO THEM like they have NEVER seen before!
To the men and women of our police and fire departments.. I salute you and thank you for your service!
Residents and business owners in Chicago will ONCE AGAIN believe they are safe.
And as that message reverberates within our City and throughout our country, our economy will rise again. People will be inspired to invest in our communities. I will get the cycle of economic growth, investment, and opportunity moving once again.
My commitment to you, as your next Mayor, will be to serve as a leader that understands all the workings of city government, not just a few.
As Alderman, I have witnessed firsthand how governmental roadblocks have slowed investment and growth in our communities.
It is obscene how long it takes to complete projects in our great City because people want to overthink the simple and complicate the easy.
Those days will come to an end.
As Mayor, I will work with all departments to ensure employees share my vision for providing timely customer service that helps residents, encourages investment, and supports the organic growth and development we need in all communities.
City Hall will transform into a place for progress for ALL...easing the process for residents, property owners, and business owners. EVERYONE. No more cumbersome processes! No more moving the goal posts!
I will continue to push for balanced reforms to help both police and fire.
Every day police officers, firefighters, and dispatchers excel at their job with professionalism and passion for our great City.
To all first responders and indeed all city employees, let me say this... THIS Mayor will support YOU.
We must recognize the crisis facing our city’s government. Many employees, especially young police officers, are choosing to leave, and new applicants are few. We must stop the exodus within the department and give officers, fire, and indeed all city employees a reward for good, dedicated service to our great City.
Everything must be on the table to encourage our employees to stay and entice new recruits to consider a career working for the people of Chicago, including residency, longevity bonuses, and more.
I was born and raised on the southwest side.
I've been a blue-collar worker my entire adult life, proudly working for 12-years as a Southwest Airlines skycap at Midway.
I got involved in politics at the age of 18 because a neighborhood friend suggested I do something constructive with my time and get involved in my community. To this day, I am still close friends with that man, and he is just one of the many reasons why I am standing here today with a desire to lead our great City.
In closing: My campaign is based on the things that matter most to every Chicagoan, no matter the neighborhood: safety, economy, and city service.
At this moment, we must get back to what truly matters. As someone born and bred on the southwest side of Chicago, I know firsthand how all three can positively impact communities.
We have faced challenges before, with Chicago never missing the mark.
I know we will not fail in our moment now.