Chicago is known to most as a beautiful city filled with boundless opportunities for growth and development. It's a cultural melting pot with unique architecture and a vibrant, rich history. Yet, part of Chicago's recent legacy has been plagued with tales of violence and safety concerns. These issues have taken the form of a socioeconomic beast that has yet to be conquered. Our plan is a tangible one. We want people to know a better Chicago is within reach. We want this great City to grow healthy, happy and whole families. It is imperative for us to not look to police as a means to create a safer Chicago. The safest communities aren't heavily policed-- they are equipped with viable, meaningful resources. The root cause of violence starts with resources. Those committing crime oftentimes suffer economically, financially and socially which creates a space for their crimes to persist. We cannot look to age-old, unsuccessful tactics to solve current issues. We want to revive this city by first believing in what Chicago stands for and by giving those who are without hope a chance to believe.
Cities sometimes rely on legacy infrastructure and with that comes the challenges of distributing new and budding resources to residents. As the times change, the need to modernize government becomes apparent and leadership has to align with the shifts of the developing world.
Ja'Mal wants to propose civic technology that Chicago residents can utilize for help with day-to-day tasks. A part of this proposal is to implement a city-wide app where Chicago residents have access to city resources on demand. This app would have any finance, housing, and community resources at the users' disposal. This app would also allot space for citizens to voice concerns, so we are creating steps for the future.
Another addition to the Chicago transit experience would be resource Kiosks throughout the city's bus stops and train stations to help assist in residents' commutes. Ja'Mal wants to propose civic technology that Chicago residents can utilize for help with day-to-day tasks.
As the city advances and technology expands, climate vulnerability increases. Innovators are developing solutions to making everyday life easier, but this comes with a costly trade-off: environmental hazards. Studies on long-term effects to residents due to groundbreaking technology can be years from now, but a couple facts remain true. Cities can spearhead the change to alleviate the threat of climate change, address economic inequality, bridge the racial wealth gap, and disassemble structural racism. This can start by introducing Chicago to a city-level Green New Deal.
With over 2 million residents living in Chicago comes more cars, more waste and the potential for more harmful emissions. Chicago faces a major lead crisis that needs to be remedied before the impending issue worsens. Ja'Mal looks to a city-level green new deal as a means to resolve. Ja'Mal wants to promote progressive and proactive measures that will combat the lead crisis. In the past, he has visited other cities that are at-risk for lead exposure and gained a hands-on understanding on how to tackle this issue.
A city-level green deal protects Chicago residents from exposure to harmful chemicals and also stands to create Green jobs and workforce development. The accelerated green efforts call for a large team of green workers which will in turn bring more opportunity for quality jobs with wages that allow employees throughout the city to comfortably support their families. Chicago cannot sit and wait for this crisis to compound. We have to act now.Clickable item: Ja'Mal has a plan that will counteract Chicago's ongoing lead crisis and other environmental hazards.
Having a safe, reliable and affordable transit system is a luxury that most cities cannot attest to. The functionality of Chicago's transit system works, but with modern updates and more safety protocols, the system would be able to operate on a heightened level.
Residents should feel comfortable with travels on city transit, but instead many stray away. Ja'Mal wants to propose transportation policies based on economic, racial and climate justice which will include pedestrian safety, fare-free transit and safe cycling infrastructure.
It is no secret that homeowners value their communities and treat them with the utmost care. Access to stable, affordable homes stimulates growth and prosperity in neighborhoods. As it stands, homeownership is not a current reality for many Chicago residents, and many rely on renting options instead of aspirations to own property. Vacant and abandoned buildings throughout the city not only disrupt the aesthetics of a single block, but can alter the spirit of those who live next to those forgotten homes. How does the child who walks home from school feel every day while passing a huge doorless, windowless and dilapidated building?
It is time to create a city-owned bank that will give Chicagoans the power to invest back into the city’s neighborhoods - and reap the profits. In creating the Bank of Chicago, we have the opportunity to address neighborhood inequalities, poverty, and the racial wealth gap. This will be an alternative to predatory lenders. The priorities of our bank would be affordable housing, home ownership, new development, and small business lending. The city will provide the initial financing to create the bank, and residents can deposit their own money as well, if they wish to directly promote the development of Chicago.
Ja'Mal wants to breathe life back into communities by creating 10,000 new homeowners with a single-family mortgage bond. We would use 1 billion dollars in bonding capacity each year to back loans and make first-time home buying accessible to those who would otherwise not be able to afford a home in underserved zip codes. We would also provide the down payment and closing cost assistance needed. The people from the community will get priority, so if you have moved to the suburbs or out of the state, this will be your chance to come back home. After creating homeownership, our administration will incentivize the creation of block clubs offering resources for block club members.
Ja'Mal plans to utilize tax freezes in city property that have been developed within a year. With homeownership comes stakeholders who are willing to assist in the redirection of forgotten communities. More homeowners equals less violence and more attention to blocks.Clickable item: Ja'Mal plans to increase homeownership numbers for residents and has a redevelopment strategy that aims to create economic growth for all.
Small businesses are essential to the economic engine that helps a well-oiled machine or "community" thrive. Small businesses pour into the wealth, culture and stability of a neighborhood and are the heart of that district.
Streamlining permitting & licensing
Ja'Mal understands the value of small businesses and seeks to strengthen neighborhoods through streamlining processes for business permitting and licensing to help bridge the racial wealth gap through collaborative efforts.
Citywide youth apprenticeship program
We know how hard it has been for small businesses in certain industries to find workers after the pandemic. We are going to help by creating a fully funded apprenticeship program where thousands of young people will be able to learn and earn at the same time. Young people ages 13-25 will now be able to work all year instead of just a summer job program. Businesses that participate will get support with payroll costs from the city. Ja'Mal understands the value of small businesses and seeks to strengthen neighborhoods through streamlining processes for business permitting and licensing to help bridge the racial wealth gap through collaborative efforts.
Chicago has had one of the highest foreclosure rates in the nation, in the first half of 2022 alone our foreclosure rate was over two and a half times the national average. Short term bumps in the path to stability should not result in the long term loss of generational wealth that comes with losing a home.
Under a Green administration, the city will create a program providing 2-year interest-free loans for low-income Chicago homeowners that are at risk of losing their home, due to one of the following:
Recipients of this loan will agree to a lien placed on their property by the City of Chicago.
The average homeownership duration in the United States is 8 years, and the median is 13 years. Chicago brings in approximately $1.5 billion in property tax revenue yearly. It is time to stop balancing the city checkbook on the backs of its most loyal residents and provide relief for Chicago homeowners.
Under the Forever Chi plan, homeowners who maintain a property as their primary residence will be given a tiered tax reduction after three years of residency. Homeowners will see a 6% reduction of their property tax and for each year thereafter, another 2% will be added to the reduction, up to a maximum of 40% for 20 years of residency.
Illinois has the second-highest property tax rates in the country, making homeownership cost-prohibitive for Chicagoans. These rates drive residents looking to finally attain homeownership to look beyond our borders and leave the city.
Ja’Mal Green wants to spur new development fast by incentivizing community developers to take action. He knows that with new incentives, Chicago could build thousands of new homes in record time.
As mayor he will:
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