Gerald Farinas
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"We claimed it before. We can claim it again. We can make Chicago the city that works."

Gerry Farinas, Northwestern University, November 17, 2018

"These people promise you a lot. Holding them accountable means learning how, after you voted for them, they spoke for you, they decided for you, and if they don't hold up their end of that ballot-bargain, you kick 'em out."

Gerry Farinas, Northwestern University, October 31, 2017

Gerry supports our teachers, service laborers, and the unions that defend their dignity, pride, and respect.

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"Don't like who's making the decisions? Do something about it. Go. Vote."

Voting matters

If you think that in Illinois, your vote doesn't make a difference, you're wrong. People already in office make it a point to make sure you don't vote so that they can mobilize their die-hard fans—people they've made promises to—to grab those ballots and keep them in office. They even made sure that primary elections are held on the coldest part of the year so that you won't bother.

Defy them. You can defy them by registering to vote and actually going to the polls to make your choice. Make each election about you, not them.

Agenda to Make Chicago Work

Gerry Farinas addresses hundreds at Daley Plaza in downtown Chicago.

I believe that every caring citizen of Chicago should share their ideas to make their city and neighborhoods better. Innovation begins by listening to the very people whose lives are directly affected by public policy created in City Hall and the County Building.

I believe that zoning in on our crime and violence problems can help guide what we do in other sectors of improvement.

Our crime problem is rooted in rot, where uplift is lost to an unwillingness to address the fact that thousands of youth are without the resources to move, to act upward and outward from adverse conditions.

When we don’t provide proper schools in each neighborhood, equipped with the proper tools to teach and engage, staffed by educators inspired and treated with the utmost dignity, pride and respect for the challenge they face, our youth then choose failed means of survival, guided into petty hoodlumism, and even death.

When we don’t provide parents with the tools to help raise their children in good health — whether it’s access to quality healthcare in their own neighborhoods, or enrichment programs for latchkey kids before and after school, or affordable, proper nutrition in the cafeteria, or from the corner grocer, or pantries for the food insecure — we release our youth to a type of self-sufficiency that inspirits harm, of themselves and of others.

When we don’t produce jobs, don’t invite, encourage, and support commerce to take charge of the “Main Streets” in our neighborhoods — fostering responsible identity, enlivening dreams to go beyond adversities, providing financial means to care for themselves and for loved ones — we submit our youth to dereliction and the masters of it.

Crime and violence

I want to create a police department that upholds the dignity, pride, and respect of all residents and visitors of Chicago—but also respects the importance of its rank and file and the bravery needed to do their jobs. That means giving our police officers the necessary tools to do their jobs well.

We need to restructure the entire Chicago Police Department, reimagine and define its fundamental purpose in our neighborhoods, and reimagine the current CAPS program, modernizing it to best target issues defined by citizen advisory groups at each police district.

Modern policing means creating a restorative justice infrastructure that reduces imprisonment and increases access to public and private programs that get people the help they really need.

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Restructure the Chicago Police Department

Reimagine community policing

Create a citywide restorative justice infrastructure

Create satellite city halls and reimagined community centers

Reduce food and healthcare insecurity for residents

Create accessible jobs

Public Schools

Bring accountability down to the grassroots

I believe in an initiative called "School Community Based Management" for Chicago Public Schools. It involves increasing the influence of our Local School Council system and creating an elected school board—abolishing the patronage-based Chicago Board of Education.

The neighborhood-level stakeholders in our children's education should be the ones guiding each school.

Make college affordable

I support depositing $100 into a high-yield college savings account for every kindergartener enrolled in the Chicago Public Schools system. This creates a framework for families to begin saving money for use in the City Colleges of Chicago or other vocational schools, colleges and universities.

We can work out incentives for private industry to put money into the program and help us make these accounts grow. Any effort to help students achieve higher education increases our base of skilled workers that can lure more companies to settle in Chicago.

Beyond senior year

I want Chicago to create a pilot school that takes students into Grades 13 and 14 and graduating them with associate degrees—at no extra cost. According to NCHEMS for Higher Education Policymaking and Analysis, Illinois workers with an associate degree can make $9,423 more than a high school diploma alone.

Teachers have rights, too

I support the Chicago Teachers Union. I support the Cook County College Teachers Union. I support the City Colleges Contingent Labor Organizing Committee.

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Abolish mayor-appointed school board members

Create elected school board

Institute "School Community Based Management" that beefs up Local School Council influence

Establish 100K2C college savings accounts for each kindergartener

Create a pilot school that graduates students with associate degrees

Reimagine and create new after school programs

Crowdfunding school improvement projects

Respect teachers