Over the past 30 years I have come to think of the citizens of the 5th Ward as extended family. I know many of them by name. I have worked with them as an educator and a community volunteer. Through these efforts, I have developed an awareness of the issues that have impeded or curtailed resources, interventions, programs, and projects that would have benefited our neighborhoods. I am committed to making sure that Ward 5 receives its fair share of those resources.
The 5th Ward is home to five primary schools and one middle school. They should provide quality education for students and resources and supportive services for parents. They should encourage and promote civic engagement. I am committed to working for more equitable education, improved outcomes, and the engagement of the younger residents of the 5th Ward in civic affairs and issues affecting us now and in the future.
The 5th Ward is one of the most beautiful areas in Northern Illinois. It is home to the founding site of Rockford. As a boy, I remember walking across the foot bridge. Corey’s Bluff, Levings Lake, Klehm Arboretum and Botanic Garden, and the Rock River looking south from Blackhawk Park are a few of its most appealing locations. As residents, we deserve to enjoy its beauty and have its attractions adequately supported. We should enjoy clean air and water and safe infrastructures. I am committed to maintaining a beautiful, safe and accessible environment for citizens of the 5th Ward and beyond.
The 5th Ward is the most “diverse community” in Rockford. Community centers, including Booker Washington Center and St. Elizabeth’s; clubs like St. Ambrosia and the Lithuanian Club; and cultural attractions, including the Heritage Museum and Tinker Swiss Cottage, are evidence of this amazing racial, ethnic, religious and cultural variety. Often overlooked communities - the disabled, abused, poor, and homeless - require and deserve attention. Our diversity can and should be focused on bringing about positive, transformational change. I am committed to building mutually beneficial relationships between the many presences in the 5th Ward that will lead to a stronger community.
The 5th Ward has many opportunities for economic growth. The South Main Corridor holds much promise for businesses and tourism. Because of my life and development work in other areas of the United States and abroad, I have developed a practical sense of the interconnectedness between local, national, and global communities. This accomplishment, and others, distinguishes me from my opponents. I am committed to using this knowledge to grow and expand the economic viability of Ward 5.