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Joe's Priorities for the ward and city

Joe loves Chicago and cares deeply about Edgewater. He will listen and do what is best for residents with a focus on Public Safety, Economic Development, Affordable Housing, Community Engagement, Public Education, Transit and Environmental Issues facing our city. Joe's priority is the residents of the 48th Ward.


Public Safety:

We need to improve public safety in our community.  As Alderman, I will:

  • Work to rebuild trust between the community and the police department and to implement a sustained effort at reinvigorating community policing.

  • Coordinate with the local Commanders to have regular beat officers assigned to our ward, including foot patrols in our business districts and around transit hubs.Police who know our community are more effective at preventing crime and responding appropriately to emergency calls.

  • Advocate for increased funding for mental health services so that people in crisis can be met with the care they need when a law enforcement response is not appropriate.

  • Support the Treatment Not Trauma Ordinance


Community Engagement:

We need to work together as a community.  As Alderman, I will:

  • Pursue an inclusive, community-based decision-making process for important issues including zoning, new developments, and the City budget.

  • Explore participatory budgeting for the Ward.

  • Ensure that constituent services continue to be provided at a high level for all residents of the Ward.

Joe's Bike.jpg


We need to take active measures to protect our environment.  As Alderman, I will:

  • Support the reestablishment of the Department of Environment.

  • Promote adaptive reuse and preservation of existing buildings.

  • Have a multiyear focus on combating lakeshore erosion.


Economic Development:

We need to support our local businesses and business districts.  As Alderman, I will:

  • Explore ways to discourage storefront vacancies and hold building owners accountable.

  • Support our vibrant art, theater, and music venues which enrich the culture of our neighborhood.

  • Work alongside the Chambers of Commerce to help new businesses find storefronts and navigate the city bureaucracy.



We need to support our local schools.  I have been a leader in supporting the families and teachers at Peirce Elementary School.  As Alderman, I will:

  • Fight for equitable funding and other resources for our schools.

  • Work to make our schools safe so that learning is the students’ primary concern.

  • Coordinate public and private efforts to maintain vital programming and build community.


Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

The 48th Ward is a diverse community where all are welcome.  As Alderman, I will:

  • Act as an ally of the LGBTQ+ community and amplify voices within the community in the ward and on City Council.

  • Continue to advocate for gender affirming policies in CPS schools.

  • Support local providers of quality, affordable, and affirming healthcare such as Howard Brown Health, TPAN, and other community health centers.

  • Advocate for immigrants, refugees, and the nonprofits that support them.


Affordable Housing:

We need to protect the affordability of our neighborhood.  I understand how to do this as I have developed over 800 affordable rental apartments throughout Chicago.  As Alderman, I will:

  • Fight to preserve existing affordable apartments for families, seniors, and individuals.

  • Advocate for property tax reform to ensure that long-time homeowners and renters are not overly burdened.

  • Encourage Equitable Transit Oriented Development (ETOD) near the Red Line.


Transit and Transportation:

We need to improve traffic safety for all modes of transit.  As Alderman, I will:

  • Pursue a balanced strategy that focuses on calming traffic, promoting safety, and encouraging commerce.

  • Work with the CTA and CDOT to keep residents informed and engaged on Red Line and Lake Shore Drive modernization efforts.

  • Work to establish a network of interconnected bike lanes (including east-west) and protected bike lanes where it makes sense.

Ask Joe: Joe's video series discussing the critical issues

Ask Joe: Joe responds to questions on social media

Please tell more about how abortion rights personally impact you and what you will personally do as Alder to protect abortion rights.

Abortion rights are healthcare rights and I think they impact all of us. The government should not be making healthcare decisions for people or limiting the decisions that we can make. I will unfailingly support everyone’s right to make their own decisions about healthcare, their bodies, and their reproductive rights.
As Alderman, as in my personal life, I will strongly support rights for bodily autonomy, privacy and reproductive rights, including abortion.

Housing affordability affects everyone, including most of us who live in "market rate housing." What's your position on zoning reforms aimed at making it easier to build new multifamily housing? Do you support the 2018 downzoning of Andersonville?

I support the Connected Communities Ordinance and participated in the ETOD Working Group, which advised on the creation of this ordinance. The Connected Communities Ordinance promotes density and multifamily housing near public transit. At the same time, I believe we need to protect the character of our neighborhoods and the naturally occurring affordable housing that exists in two- and three-flat buildings throughout the ward. The downzoning in Andersonville was in response to the tear-downs of such housing and its replacement with larger luxury condominiums. I support the downzoning, as it protects naturally occurring affordable housing and also provides an opportunity for community input into future redevelopment in the area.

What are your ideas for improving Bryn Mawr and supporting the businesses there?

We need a community task force to focus on Bryn Mawr and improving the conditions along the street for businesses and residents alike. This starts with making sure that the surrounding buildings are well managed, functioning as good neighbors, and taking care of the residents that live there. We also need to work with the social service agencies in the area to ensure that they are meeting the needs of their clients. I think that this can be done through a coalition of the Alderman’s office, local businesses, and community residents along with the participation of city and state agencies. Finally, we need a police presence along Bryn Mawr to address concerns about crime and safety.

What was most impactful for you about the Chicago Humanities Festival? What important relationships did you develop there? How will this experience influence you as an Alder?

Working at the CHF was an opportunity to see a world beyond my daily experience. All of the major cultural institutions in the City participated, as well as academics, entertainers, and authors from around the world. It broadened my horizons and demonstrated how the arts and humanities can be a lens through which to analyze important issues in our society.

The most important relationship I developed there was with Jennifer, who is my wife and partner. We met while working on outreach to presenters and have been together ever since.

I also developed a close relationship with Eileen Mackevich, who was the founding President and Executive Director. Eileen taught me the value of life-long learning and to always be seeking new experiences. She was a tireless networker, a strong advocate for women’s rights, and the person who introduced me to Jennifer.
Working at the CHF showed me the important intersection of our arts, business, academic, and political communities and how they can all work together to showcase the best of our city and improve the lives of residents.


What will you do to support the union janitors, healthcare workers and public employees? What will you do to block privatization of these essential jobs and services?

In my time on the Peirce LSC, I saw the negative impact of the privatization of janitorial services and spent many hours fighting with Aramark to ensure that the school received basic services, such as clean bathrooms. Privatization hasn’t worked for employees and hasn’t provided benefits to the public.

All employees should have the right to organize without interference from their employer. I oppose any attempt to weaken the right of workers to organize unions without management interference, and to bargain collectively for wages, benefits, and working conditions. As Alderman, I would call on an employer to remain neutral in an organizing campaign.

All of the affordable housing developments that I have financed and built in the last 17 years have been built with union labor.

How will you work to improve safety, reliability and cleanliness of the CTA?

I think this all begins with getting conductors back on the trains. A CTA staff presence, or a transit ambassadors program, will improve the safety and cleanliness of the trains by reducing the amount of smoking, drinking, and other behaviors that are impacting commuters.


Campaign Office

Joe for 48 Campaign Office
5459 N. Broadway
Chicago, IL 60640




10am to 6pm

Saturday 10am to 3pm

Sunday 1pm to 5pm 


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