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Alderman, 49th Ward: Joe Moore


Birth date: 07-22-1958

Political affiliation: Democratic

Neighborhood: Rogers Park and small potions of Edgewater and West Ridge

Occupation/Firm name: Alderman

Marital status: Married

Campaign HQ address: 1774 W. Greenleaf

Campaign website: www.joemoore.org; www.ward49.com

What is your campaign budget?

I will raise whatever is necessary to secure my re-election

What are your top priorities for the City of Chicago?

My top priorities for the city are:

1. Eliminating the city's structural deficit.

We should begin this process by having an open and honest discussion with the taxpayers of this city about the hard choices that are before us, and give the residents of our city a real voice and power in making those tough choices. We should do away with the "smoke and mirrors" budgeting and quick fix solutions that have too often been the hallmark of the Daley Administration. We should also begin a serious and meaningful effort to root out waste, fraud and inefficiency. Although that alone will not balance our budget, it will give the residents of our city confidence in our ability to manage their money wisely and prudently and build a framework of political support that is necessary for the inevitable tough choices that lie ahead.

2. Advocate for open and inclusive decision making and end the culture of corruption that continues to permeate City Hall.

As I note above, this is an essential step if we are to build the political support necessary to make the tough budgetary choices with which we are confronted.

3. Restore community policing by creating true partnerships between the police and the communities they serve.

I was extremely disappointed in the Mayor's recent penny-wise and pound-foolish decision to eviscerate the CAPS initiative. Community policing has proven to be an effective approach to reducing crime, and the Mayor's decision to move police officers into beat cars and away from this type of proactive policing is extremely foolhardy.

What are your top priorities for your ward?

My top priorities for the ward are:

1. Building on the progress we've made to reduce crime in the 49th Ward.

Safeguarding public safety requires a holistic approach that recognizes neighborhood safety is tied inextricably to economic development, jobs, education and housing. However, policing strategies also play a key role. I am a firm believer in the community policing strategy and was the leading City Council advocate for its implementation in Chicago fifteen years ago.

The 24th District today boasts one of the most successful community policing initiatives in the city; crime rates in the neighborhood have fallen by over 50 percent since its implementation. Though the falling crime is attributable to many factors, there is no question that the community policing strategies played a key role.

All of that progress is threatened by the Daley Administration's inexplicable decision to eviscerate the CAPS initiative by putting CAPS officers back on traditional beat patrols. This penny-wise and pound foolish approach-the equivalent of one additional patrol car per district per shift-ignores the fact that those CAPS officers did police work every bit as important and vital to the safety of our citizens as the cops on the beat. It also disregards the fact that the community policing was originally intended as an across-the-board strategic approach to policing engaged in by all police officers at all levels, not just so-called CAPS officers.

I will advocate with our new mayor to restore the community policing strategy in the Police Department citywide and will work with the 24th District Commander to continue the community policing approach in the 49th Ward.

2. Strengthening business and economic development.

In spite of the worst economic recession in seventy years, the 49th Ward continues to experience an economic renaissance. New restaurants, clubs and retail stores are opening on Morse, Clark and Jarvis Square. This development is fueled in part by government infrastructure investments, such as the Morse Avenue streetscape project, and by aggressive marketing and outreach efforts led by the Rogers Park Business Alliance. I will continue to advocate for local business development through additional infrastructure investments, such as the Howard streetscape development scheduled to be implemented next summer, and business promotional activities, such as my highly successful "Follow Me on Friday" series that highlights a 49th Ward business each week.

3. Preserve our neighborhood's racial and economic diversity through an open and inclusive housing strategy.

Creating and preserving quality housing for individuals and families of all incomes is the key to preserving our neighborhood's diversity. Dwindling federal and state support for affordable housing requires new and innovative approaches. But such approaches must be devised with all key neighborhood stakeholders at the table. The best ideas in the world will not work unless they have neighborhood buy-in. That is why I will strongly support the work of the Housing Committee of Partners for Rogers Park, a broad-based coalition of community organizations exploring possible approaches to creating and preserving affordable housing in our neighborhood.

The city is in serious financial trouble and can't afford the level of service it currently provides. For 2011, Mayor Daley, with City Council backing, balanced the budget without raising taxes or fees, relying instead on some cost-saving measures and one-time fixes, including using proceeds from leasing the city's parking meters. Do you support this approach? What should be done differently going forward?

Please be specific about your plans to reshape government: what services and departments would you scale back or cut? Can you identify new revenue sources? How can the City reduce personnel costs? What kind of concessions should the City seek from the unions?

Here are the cold and unvarnished facts. Future years' city budgets cannot be balanced without significant cuts in services and tax increases. Because we've avoided having this discussion for so long, the cuts and tax increases will hurt.

The challenge for the next mayor and City Council is to make every effort to ensure that the service cuts and tax increases are as fair as possible, with those most able to endure them carrying the heaviest burden.

City's Inspector General Joe Ferguson's recent $250 million budget cutting plan is a good starting point for discussion. I don't agree with all of his proposals, but at least Mr. Ferguson provided an honest assessment of the scope of the problem and some creative solutions for how we begin to work ourselves out of our $1 billion budgetary hole.

Before we begin cutting services and raising taxes, however, we need to shine a bright light on the way we do business in Chicago. The next mayor and City Council will not be able to summon the necessary political support for the inevitable painful decisions that must be made as long as the public believes that waste, fraud and inefficiency run rampant in Chicago.

Truth be told, you could eliminate every ounce of fat from the city budget and we'd still be faced with a yawning deficit. But that's no excuse for ignoring the millions of dollars that are wasted.

Conducting a forensic audit, doubling the Inspector General's budget and establishing an independent City budget office modeled after New York's Independent Budget Office will send a powerful message to Chicago's taxpayers that we are finally serious about safeguarding their hard-earned tax dollars.

We need to involve the residents of Chicago in making these difficult budgetary decisions and we need to do so in a very meaningful way. "Dog and pony show" budget hearings will no longer suffice.

Last year in my ward I engaged in a bold experiment. I gave the residents of my ward the power to decide by popular vote how to spend $1.3 million in discretionary dollars I get to spend in my ward on infrastructure projects. Known as participatory budgeting, this nearly year-long effort engaged my constituents in a real conversation about the trade-offs necessary when making tough budgetary decisions.

I found when you give people the information they need and meaningful time to thoughtfully deliberate, they end up making very good budgetary decisions and, more importantly, become invested in those decisions.

The next mayor and City Council should adopt some of the elements of participatory budgeting in next year's budget deliberations. It's time to treat the residents of Chicago with the intelligence they deserve and give them real power to make real decisions.

The city's four employee pension funds have been called a "ticking time bomb," with Mayor Daley's pension commission predicting that the four funds will run out of money in 20 years. "There is no low- or no-cost solution to this problem," the commission wrote in a report earlier this year. "Deferring action is not a viable option." What is your plan for bringing the pension funds to solvency?

Most pension reform will require state legislative action, although the City must also play a role in digging the pension funds out of the huge funding shortfall they will be experiencing in the next few years. The State and City repeatedly failed in their responsibilities to the pension funds and the pensioners. For years, the City allowed without protest State legislation which increased pension benefits but did nothing to pay for those benefits. In addition, the City actively lobbied the General Assembly to allow it to grant "pension holidays," periods during which both the city and its employees did not contribute to the pension funds.

This history is important to remember as we fashion a remedy to get us out of this mess. The pension funds are in crisis, not because the benefits for pensioners are so extraordinarily high, but because the State and the City over the years have not adequately contributed their share to the pensions.

We have now reached a day of reckoning. No one solution will solve the problem and all possible solutions should be on the table, including higher contributions from employees, higher retirement ages for new and younger employees and possibly even reduced benefits for future employees. However, I would oppose reduced benefits for current employees. Not only is it constitutionally suspect, but it is fundamentally unfair to reduce pension benefits for employees who have depended on those anticipated benefits in planning for their retirement.

Additional revenue from the City must also be part of the discussion since it was the City's failure to adequately contribute to the Pension Funds over the years that contributed to the current funding crisis.

Does Chicago need 50 aldermen? If not, what's a better number? What City Council committees could be combined? What other ways can the City Council save money?

I strongly support maintaining the current system of 50 aldermen. At a time when people nationally feel distant and estranged from those who represent them, Chicago's model allows people to interact with their elected representative in a very direct and accountable manner. People approach me with problems and concerns all the time in the grocery stores, in restaurants and on the street. It gives me an intimate knowledge of my neighborhood and the concerns of my constituents. If the size of the Council was reduced that same intimacy and knowledge of my community would be lost.

Moreover, I fear we would lose whatever political independence the City Council now exhibits. Thirty years ago, the size of the Illinois House of Representatives was reduced under the guise of saving taxpayer dollars. Few if any tax dollars were saved and many of the most thoughtful and independent legislators lost their positions. Today, the Illinois House is controlled entirely by the Speaker of the House and the Minority Leader and little in the way of political independence exists. I fear the same experience would be replicated in the City Council if the number of wards and aldermen were reduced.

Having said that, there are ways the City Council could save money. Some City Council committees could be combined. For example, the Transportation and Traffic Control and Safety Committees could be merged. The Landmarks Committee could be merged with the Housing Committee.

Chicago was designed as a weak mayor, strong council form of government yet Mayor Daley wields considerable power over the City Council. What measures would you recommend to strengthen the council? On which issues should the mayor lead? On which should the council lead?

As your question notes, Chicago city government is designed to have a strong City Council. Unfortunately, for most of the last half of century, the City Council has voluntarily surrendered its power. At this critical juncture in the City's history, I would like to see the City Council exert its authority and work with the new Mayor at least on a co-equal basis. It should start by selecting its own legislative leaders. In a process very reminiscent of the Soviet Politburo, the City Council for years has allowed the Mayor to pick its leadership. Though the City Council rules provide that it's the Council's prerogative to select the President Pro Tem of the Council, the Vice Mayor and the committee chairmen, in practice my colleagues have allowed the Mayor dictate who their leaders are. Since committee chairman have nearly unilateral control over legislation in their committees, this has allowed the Mayor through his appointed chairmen to wield unmatched control over the legislative process. This can be undone by the Council simply exercising the power it already has.

The city's tax-increment financing program has been criticized on several fronts, including the proliferation of districts, how money is diverted from schools and other basic city services, how TIF funding decisions are made and for an overall lack of transparency. How would you improve the TIF program? Does the TIF law need to be changed in any way?

I support the proper use of TIFs. Tax increment financing is one of the few tools remaining to spur economic revitalization in urban areas. If used properly, TIFs can be a wonderful economic development catalyst. My own neighborhood is a prime example. Rogers Park is home to one of the first TIFs in Chicago. The Howard Paulina TIF has brought to Rogers Park a $66 million transit- oriented shopping center that already has spurred other economic development activity in my neighborhood.

Like any other economic development tool, TIFs can be abused. The law requires a "but for" analysis, which should be applied stringently in every case. A TIF should not be permitted unless it can be demonstrated that "but for" the TIF, the proposed economic development would not have occurred. Although objective criteria can be applied, ultimately it is a judgment call. That is why it is essential that an active, engaged and independent oversight committee consisting of representatives from the various taxing bodies extensively review every TIF proposal. Unfortunately, the existing oversight committee has received justifiable criticism for failing to engage in such an extensive review. Steps must be taken to ensure the committee performs its appointed task.

I was one of three aldermen to vote against the proposed LaSalle Central TIF because I was concerned about the huge shift in tax burdens that the TIF would create and the absence of a rigorous "but for" analysis. I am a co-sponsor together with Alderman Scott Waguespack of an ordinance requiring more transparency in the TIF process and a study that closely examines the true effectiveness of TIFs.

Both the Howard/Paulina TIF and the Sheridan/Devon TIF in the 49th Ward were subjected to a very extensive, inclusive and transparent community planning process. It is the type of process that should be replicated for every proposed future proposed TIF in the City.

Finally, the City should conduct a thorough and extensive audit and analysis of every existing TIF, eliminating those TIFs that no longer serve a purpose and returning the unused proceeds to the various taxing bodies, including schools.

Mayor Daley has focused on privatizing city assets. Are there any other assets the City Council should consider privatizing? If so, would you make any changes to the way privatization deals are negotiated and passed through the City Council?

I do not support the privatization of any more city assets, including Midway Airport and the Jardine Water Filtration Plant. The Daley Administration's handling of the proceeds of the parking meter lease has demonstrated that elected officials cannot be trusted to effectively manage long-term reserves. Politicians are loathe to raise taxes or cut spending, especially in difficult economic times, and the existence of a huge reserve makes a much too tempting target for those seeking to avoid politically difficult decisions. And even if the current office holders are responsible stewards, there is no guarantee that future office holders would be equally responsible.

With respect to the privatization of city services, the City should contract for outside professional services only under the most limited circumstances, when it is clearly demonstrated that no city employee is qualified to provide such services, and/or it is in the best interests of the taxpayer for such services to be rendered by an outside professional. When I was employed as an assistant corporation counsel under Mayor Harold Washington, the City's Law Department took pride in limiting the legal work performed by outside law firms. Unfortunately, the amount of work performed by outside law firms has skyrocketed under the Daley Administration. This places an enormous cost on the city budget and leaves open the possibility of so-called "pinstripe patronage," in which professional service contracts are given to politically connected firms and individuals.

The Chicago Police Department is understaffed, with no lasting budget solution in sight. Given the current staffing levels, what changes would you recommend to use resources more efficiently? Do you support realigning beats in a way that moves police from lower crime areas to higher crime neighborhoods? What should happen to the diminished CAPS program?

Though the city has made great strides in reducing violent crime, much more work remains to be done. First, we need to fill all the budgeted positions for sworn personnel in the Police Department. This will require an end to the "smoke and mirrors" style of budgeting in which police positions are itemized in the budget but never filled. In its place, an honest discussion should take place with taxpayers regarding the true costs of fully staffing the Police Department. Hiring and training new police officers will cost the City tens of millions of dollars and the public must be prepared to accept those additional costs through higher taxes and/or cuts in other city services.

Equally important to full staffing is utilizing existing resources effectively. Good policing requires not only a reactive approach to fighting crime, but also a proactive approach that requires enlisting community residents as partners in fighting crime. The recent decision to eviscerate CAPS should be rescinded immediately. It is unconscionable that the Mayor, once a champion of community policing, is now overseeing its demise. Violent crime has decreased dramatically in the 16 or so years CAP has been in place. A community policing approach to crime fighting and prevention is a proven success and should be made a permanent part of the Police Department culture.

I support deploying more police officers in high-crime neighborhoods, but not at the expense of so-called lower-crime neighborhoods. This can only be accomplished through the hiring of additional police officers and moving police officers out of administrative jobs and onto the streets.

The next mayor will choose a new CEO for the Chicago Public Schools. Do you think the CEO needs to have education experience? Should the new mayor continue the Renaissance 2010 program of shutting down failing schools and creating new ones? Should the new mayor continue Ron Huberman's "culture of calm" effort, which aims to improve the culture of the toughest schools and provides mentors and extra support for kids at greatest risk of being shot? What should CPS do to improve neighborhood schools that are struggling to educate the large numbers of students left behind, the students that don't make it into test-based, charters or other specialized schools?

An educational background is certainly an important factor to be considered when hiring a new CEO, but I would not make it a prerequisite. If the new CEO does not have a background in education, it is critical that he or she have as top deputies individuals with educational backgrounds. I believe the most critical characteristics for a CEO are strong leadership and organizational skills and an ability to work in collaboration with parents and teachers who are on the front lines in our schools. He or she also must commit to adopting a broad-based approach to evaluating teacher performance and student growth that does not rely solely on test scores.

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I believe we need to examine more closely the impact of Renaissance 2010, especially with respect to the reconstitution of schools. It certainly seems to be a mixed bag. Some excellent schools emerged from the process, but the process has also allowed for some cronyism and political maneuvering. More thought needs to be given to the effect of reconstitution on the most at-risk students. School closings threaten to concentrate those students in fewer, lower performing schools or displace them from the education system altogether.

I strongly support Ron Huberman's "culture of calm" effort and would urge the new Mayor to make it a continured part of his or her educational agenda.

There is no magic solution to improving school performance. Instead a combination of factors must be implemented. All schools should receive the resources necessary to provide a quality education for children. Studies have shown that the best performing schools are schools that encourage the active engagement of parents. The City should continue to encourage active participation by both parents and community members alike.

Local School Councils are one important tool for keeping parents and community members involved. LSCs should not only have a voice in the governing of their schools, they should have real power. When people have real power to make real decisions, they tend to become more engaged and involved. The diminished role of Local School Councils and the loss of local control is one of the major shortcomings of the changes under the Daley regime.

Finally, we should also do whatever is necessary to pass meaningful legislation in Springfield to address the growing education funding inequities in this State. Meaningful improvements to public education cannot take place without adequate financial support.

Do you support one or more casinos for Chicago? If so, where would you like to see casinos located?

The costs of the expansion of casino gaming are not worth the benefits. The social costs of gambling expansion in terms of crime and compulsive gambling are already well-documented. Gambling also diverts the spending of discretionary income from expenditures that have a much greater ripple effect on the economy, such as the purchase of products, food and entertainment. The more money that is gambled away the less money that is spent on other goods and services, which means less tax revenue from those sectors of the economy and fewer jobs. Finally, as the latest recession demonstrates, gaming is not immune from economic forces, and in fact declines in revenues from gaming exceed declines experienced in other sectors of the economy. In short, it's not entirely clear the estimated revenue from gambling expansion will meet projections.

Aldermen have considerable influence over TIF, zoning and other decisions, both large and small, related to development and services in their ward. Do aldermen have too much influence?

Aldermen should continue to have power over zoning and land use issues in their respective wards. This system gives the residents of the wards considerable influence, through the elected representative closest to them, over important quality of life issues and it provides a measure of accountability not present in most other cities and towns. Unfortunately, some of my colleagues have abused this power over the years, but that fact alone should not diminish the role of honest aldermen in exerting influence and control on behalf of their constituents over land use issues. I much prefer Chicago's method of giving the elected official closest to them the power to decide land use issues over giving that power to an unelected board or commission who have no real direct accountability to the public.

Transparency and community involvement are the antidote to any potential for abuse of this power. Forty-ninth ward residents have been involved every step of the way with respect to all long-range planning efforts. Immediately upon assuming office in 1991, I formed the 49th Ward Zoning and Land Use Advisory Committee, a committee of neighborhood residents, business owners and representatives from the major community organizations who advise me on all zoning and land use decisions I am asked to make. I also hold community meetings on zoning and land use issues, and, on major issues, I often hold several community meetings. I almost always follow the advice and recommendations of my committee and the community. Even if a development does not require any city approval, I still ask the developer to appear before the community and explain his plans and solicit comments and advice.

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Furthermore, I am the only alderman in the city to implement a community-based process for examining my ward's zoning map. As a result of that process, I introduced and passed over 30 separate zoning ordinances, which have helped to control overdevelopment and preserve the residential character of my ward.

Finally, I have used participatory budgeting to give residents of my community real power to plan and make decisions with respect to my ward's capital budget. Under this process, I give the residents of my ward the power to decide by popular vote how I will spend $1.3 million in discretionary funds on capital improvements in my ward.

I will continue that broad grass-roots citizen involvement in all planning decisions in my ward.

Forty-ninth ward residents have been involved every step of the way with respect to all long-range planning efforts. Immediately upon assuming office in 1991, I formed the 49th Ward Zoning and Land Use Advisory Committee, a committee of neighborhood residents, business owners and representatives from the major community organizations who advise me on all zoning and land use decisions I am asked to make. I also hold community meetings on zoning and land use issues, and, on major issues, I often hold several community meetings. I almost always follow the advice and recommendations of my committee and the community. Even if a development does not require any city approval, I still ask the developer to appear before the community and explain his plans and solicit comments and advice.

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Furthermore, I am the only alderman in the city to implement a community-based process for examining my ward's zoning map. As a result of that process, I introduced and passed over 30 separate zoning ordinances, which have helped to control overdevelopment and preserve the residential character of my ward.

Finally, I have used participatory budgeting to give residents of my community real power to plan and make decisions with respect to my ward's capital budget. Under this process, I give the residents of my ward the power to decide by popular vote how I will spend $1.3 million in discretionary funds on capital improvements in my ward.

I will continue that broad grass-roots citizen involvement in all planning decisions in my ward.

If elected alderman, do you plan to maintain an outside job? Would you pledge not to hold any job that represents a conflict of interest, including those that involve spending public dollars?

I have been a full-time alderman since I was first elected and intend to continue to be a full-time alderman.

Would you accept campaign contributions or gifts from your employees? Would you pledge not to hire relatives on your staff?

I do not accept nor solicit campaign contributions from my employees. My staff and I occasionally exchange small gifts at Christmas and on birthdays. I do not hire relatives on my aldermanic staff and have no plans to do so.

Does the City need to change the way it hands out contracts? Should aldermen reclaim oversight of City contracts? If so, contracts above what dollar amount?

Awarding of contracts needs to be conducted in a much more transparent fashion. Giving the City Council oversight of any contract in excess of $250,000 is a good place to start. I am a long-time proponent of expanding City Council oversight.

Do you support an inspector general just for the City Council? Would you support giving the city's existing inspector general power to investigate aldermen and their staffs, including subpoena power?

I strongly support giving the City's Inspector General the power and resources to investigate aldermen and their staff and have introduced legislation to that effect. I strongly opposed the creation of a separate inspector general just for the City Council, believing it to be merely a ruse to avoid true oversight of the aldermen and their staffs. My suspicions have proven justified, given that the City Council has yet to nominate, let alone appoint, a City Council inspector general.

Should there be new limits on who can lobby City Hall officials, including aldermen? Should former City Hall employees be prohibited from doing business with the city after their departure? If so, for how long?

I support a two-year ban on former City employees, including former aldermen, from lobbying or doing business with the City

What's the best book ever written about Chicago? Why?

"Boss," by Mike Royko, the best book, bar none, ever written about urban politics anywhere. This book is a must-read for anyone seeking to understand the roots of the current political culture in Chicago.

Please list your educational background

B.A., Knox College, Galesburg, Illinois (1980)

J.D., DePaul University College of Law (1984)

Please list civic, professional, fraternal or other organizations to which you belong

Member, Advisory Council, National League of Cities

Past Board member, National League of Cities

Past Chairman, Energy, Environment and Natural Resources Policy Committee,National League of Cities

Past Chairman, Central Cities Council, National League of Cities

Chairman, Cities for Progress/Cities for Peace

Board member, Citizen Action of Illinois

Past Board member, IVI-IPO

Member, Rogers Park Community Council

Member, Jargowood Block Club

Member, Rogers Park Business Alliance

Member, Friends of the Rogers Park Library

Member, Kiwanis Club of Rogers Park

Member, Friends of the Parks

Member, Chicago Council of Lawyers

Have you held elective or appointive political office or been employed by any branch of government?

I have been a full-time alderman since 1991. I served a two-year term as chairman of the National Democratic Municipal Officials Council and as a member of the Executive Board of the Democratic National Committee (2005-07). I also served as a delegate pledged to Bill Clinton at the 1996 Democratic National Convention.

Please list jobs or contracts you, members of your immediate family or business partners have had with government

I have been a full-time alderman since 1991. Neither I nor any immediate family members have any other jobs or contracts with any level of government.

Name your five biggest campaign contributors and the amount they contributed

My campaign disclosure reports are on file with the State Board of Elections. All contributions to me in excess of $150 are listed there.

Please paste a brief biography here

Known as a pioneer for political reform, governmental transparency and democratic governance, Joe Moore has represented Chicago's 49th Ward since 1991. Encompassing the vast majority of Chicago's Rogers Park community and portions of the Edgewater and West Ridge communities, the 49th Ward is one of the nation's most economically and racially diverse communities.

Moore has overseen the revitalization of the 49th Ward, while taking care to maintain the neighborhood's diversity. The 49th Ward's revitalization is apparent in the Morse and Glenwood streetscape beautification project and the new restaurants, cafes and businesses opening in that historic district. Moore has also paved the way for the construction of the Gateway Plaza Shopping Center, a 40-acre complex containing a Dominick's Grocery Store a Bally's Health Club and a host of other retail amenities. Moore also oversaw the construction of the $60 million Howard Transit Center, the opening of a new 14,000-square foot branch of the Chicago Public Library, a new firehouse, and a new 2.5 acre park and community center, which replaced an adult bookstore and dilapidated housing. Moore also supported the creation of hundreds of units of affordable and market rate rental housing and new condominiums geared toward families of all incomes.

Moore also advocated for reforms that have led to more effective policing and safer neighborhoods. He sponsored City Council hearings that moved City officials to adopt community policing and then mobilized community groups in the far North Side to successfully designate the 24th Police District as a pilot district. Since then, Moore has worked closely with the CAPS beat groups and the 24th District Police commanders to effectively combat crime and worked to install blue light police safety cameras in neighborhood "hot spots." As a result serious crime in the 49th Ward is now down over 50 percent.

Recognizing the link between criminal activities and irresponsible landlords, Moore took on slumlords in the 49th Ward, a neighborhood with older housing stock, 75 percent of which is rental housing. He forced slumlords to improve their tenant screening and property upkeep or sell to responsible property developers. He designated one staff person in his Ward Service Office to handle tenant complaints and take irresponsible landlords to housing court. As a result, problem buildings, such as "Reside on Morse" at Morse and Glenwood and the Broadmore Hotel at Howard and Bosworth, are now neighborhood assets.

With a burgeoning population in a diverse neighborhood, school overcrowding posed a daunting challenge. Moore successfully pushed for construction of the new $15 million Jordan School, a $13 million addition to Gale School, a $12 million addition to Kilmer School, $2 million for renovation of Field School and $15 million for construction of New Field School school at Clark and Morse, and most recently worked with The Chicago Math and Science Academy, a highly successful public charter school, to expand their capacity while moving into renovating what was an eyesore building on Clark Street.

Moore obtained $800,000 in improvements to the Morse Avenue el station and enhanced lighting at the Morse, Jarvis and Loyola el stations. In addition, Moore oversaw the creation of Special Service Area designations on Clark Street, Morse Avenue and Howard Streets, which has resulted in additional street cleaning, security and business promotion activities on those vital commercial streets.

Moore joined with other aldermen to demand more city dollars for neighborhood infrastructure. As a result the "Aldermanic Menu" program was born, which brings $1.3 million in new infrastructure each year to the 49th Ward, including new streets, alleys, sidewalks, streetlights, curbs and gutters and the like.

Today, Moore gives direct decision-making power to ward residents to decide how to spend those infrastructure dollars through a process known as "Participatory Budgeting." The 49th Ward is the first community in the United States to give its residents the power of the vote on capital budget spending, and has earned Moore and the 49th Ward national recognition for this pioneering democratic approach.

Community participation and involvement is not limited to just capital spending. Moore also has gained recognition and praise for his open and inclusive approach to zoning and land use decisions in the ward. Immediately upon assuming office in 1991, Moore formed the 49th Ward Zoning and Land Use Advisory Committee, a committee of neighborhood residents, business owners and representatives from the major community organizations who advise him on all zoning and land use decisions he is asked to make. He also holds community meetings on all significant zoning and land use issues and almost always follow the advice and recommendations of his committee and the community.

When rampant development threatened to overtake the ward, Moore launched a two-year community planning process, the first of its kind in the city, to comprehensively examine the 49th Ward's zoning map Moore enlisted scores of community volunteers to survey each block in the 49th Ward and look at the neighborhood's strengths and challenges. Moore then worked with the Metropolitan Planning Council and the 49th Ward Zoning and Land Use Committee to fashion a series of recommendations for changes to the area's zoning that would help to preserve the character of the 49th Ward's residential streets and encourage development on the commercial corridors. Those recommendations were reviewed, modified and ultimately approved by community residents at meetings held throughout the ward, and are now in effect.

Moore is also leading the way to transform the 49th Ward into the greenest most sustainable ward in the City. Working closely with his wife Barbara, Moore launched the 49th Ward Green Corps, an organization of environmental leaders and activists who organize and conduct community actions on environmental and sustainability issues. Among the scores of activities are the popular green workshop series and the annual "Neighborhood Swap" that encourages local re-use of goods.

The popular Glenwood Sunday Farmers' Market is one outgrowth of the 49th Ward Green Corps. The Glenwood Market was recently voted Illinois' most popular market and has gained renown for its organic produce and friendly neighborhood atmosphere. And its "Market for All" program ensures that the produce sold at the market is affordable to people of all incomes.

Moore worked hard to make sure community residents of all economic circumstances benefited from the development that occurred in the 49th Ward during the real estate boom. Working closely with the Chicago Urban League, Moore secured jobs for local residents on some of the neighborhood's publicly funded projects, such as the Howard El Station redevelopment. Working with the Howard Area Community Center and the Organization of the Northeast, Moore launched a pre-apprenticeship training program to help neighborhood residents develop the skills necessary to qualify for trade union apprenticeships and ultimately trade union jobs.

Moore also believes in the importance of building neighborhood spirit in the 49th Ward. Community ties are growing stronger with regular community events, such as the annual Back to School Picnic, the Community Bike Ride, the Rogers Park Dinner and Pub Crawls, and the weekly "Follow Me on Friday" series that highlights a 49th Ward business each week.

Moore also keeps ward residents up to date on community and City Council news with regular electronic newsletters, which are delivered to over 10,000 49th Ward residents several times a week.

Joe Moore is a voice for ethics and reform in the City Council and successfully sponsored a Whistleblower Ordinance that gives taxpayers the right to recover damages on behalf of the city against corrupt city contractors. The ordinance is the first of its kind in any large city. Moore also sponsored an ordinance giving the City's Inspector General the power to investigate wrongdoing among alderman and the Accountability in Privatization Ordinance, which calls for greater accountability and transparency in the privatization of city services.

Moore gained national renown as the lead sponsor of a "Big Box Living Wage Ordinance," that would require large retail establishments to pay their employees wages of at least $10 an hour and benefits equal to at least $3 an hour. The ordinance passed successfully over Mayor Daley's opposition, and while it did not survive a mayoral veto, the living wage ordinance is given credit for pushing the Illinois General Assembly to increase the state minimum wage.

Today Moore is leading the charge for a Chicago Clean Power ordinance that would clean up Chicago's two coal-fired power plants and open the door for a move toward renewable energy.

Moore understands that policies adopted in Washington, D.C. directly affect the ability of local elected officials to effectively govern at home. Under Moore's leadership, the Chicago City Council became one of the first city councils in the nation to go on record opposing the pre-emptive military invasion of Iraq. Moore also was one of the chief sponsors of successful City Council resolutions calling for an immediate withdraw of U.S. military forces from Iraq and opposing the unconstitutional provisions of the so-called USA Patriot Act.

Moore recently served on the board of the National League of Cities (NLC), a national organization that advocates on behalf of America's cities and towns, and now serves on its advisory council. In the past, he has chaired several NLC committees including the Energy, Environment and Natural Resources Policy and Advocacy Committee and the Central Cities Council.

Moore is past-chairman of the National Democratic Municipal Officials Conference, a national organization of Democratic mayors and city council members, and served on the Executive Committee of the Democratic National Committee (DNC). where DNC Chairman, Governor Howard Dean, appointed Moore to a newly formed DNC Committee on Budget and Finance.

Moore is one of the founding members of Cities for Peace, a national organization of mayors and city council members, who represent cities that passed resolutions opposing the war in Iraq. The organization is now known as Cities for Progress and includes progressive-minded local elected officials from across the nation.

Born in Chicago, Illinois in 1958, and raised in Oak Lawn and Evanston, Illinois, Moore has lived in Chicago's Rogers Park neighborhood since 1980. He has two sons, Nathan (20) and Zachary (13). Moore's wife, Barbara, contributes a great amount of volunteer time to the 49th Ward community, including coordinating the activities of the 49th Ward Green Corps and chairing the Glenwood Sunday Market Board of Directors

Moore graduated from Evanston Township High School in 1976, earned a B.A. from Knox College in Galesburg, Illinois in 1980, and received a J.D. from DePaul University Law School in 1984.

From 1984 to 1991, Moore worked as an attorney in the City of Chicago's Department of Law, first in the department's Appeals Division, where he argued cases before the Illinois Appellate Court, the Illinois Supreme Court and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, and later in the department's Affirmative Litigation Division, where he worked to recover millions of dollars on behalf of the City's taxpayers.

Moore won re-election in 1995, 1999, 2003, and 2007. He serves on the following City Council Committees: Budget and Government Operations; Rules and Ethics; Energy, Environmental Protection and Public Utilities; Finance; Health; and Historical Landmark Preservation.

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