Monday, February 14, 2011

POLITICS AS USUAL: The Race for City Council

Correspondent: MG Media

Brian E. Sleet, born and raised in Chicago’s 6th ward, is committed to community and public service. In the tradition of President Obama’s often cited “Joshua Generation,” Sleet believ

es those who gained opportunity from the civil rights struggle should repay society through public service.

Graduate of McDade Classical School, Whitney M. Young Magnet High School, bachelor’s degree from Dartmouth College, and Juris Doctor from the University of Illinois, College of Law. Served as supervisor for U.S. Census Bureau, worked as Deputy District Administrator for U.S. Congressman Jesse Jackson Jr, worked as litigator in his own law firm, specializing in criminal defense, family and election law.

Sleet has substituted in the CPS, mentors young people and he is a frequent speaker to youth and local groups. Worked on several political campaigns, including Roland Burris’ 200

2 gubernatorial race and John Kerry’s 2004 presidential bid.

MG Media: What is your vision for the ward?
BS: I'm most

proud of my network and how I've been able to work with a diverse cross of people, whether representing the Federal Government, community meeting voicing the concerns of a neighborhood or working out a strategy with various concerned stakeholders, so my vision is to create strong viable neighborhoods. The 6th Ward was always defined by the middle class values, and we need a return to that. People should be able to live, shop and send their children to schools and entertain themselves in their neighborhood.

MG Media: What are four challenges facing your ward and what proposed solutions will you impl

ement to address these concerns? BS: Crime/safety – there has been a steady increase in crime, so first we need to address the number of police officers and how they are allotted so that coverage can be provided. Secondarily, we need to deal with providing opportunity to the lost young and not so young people committing most of these crimes.

Schools – We must stop the piecemeal approach to school reform. School choice does not work on its own, but it could be effective as a temporary aspect of cumulative school reform. We need

to create great neighborhood schools.

Jobs – We need retraining for jobs that coordinates with the hiring class. We must get aggressive about clearing the criminal records for people who committed urban poverty crimes; if they do not have a chance for a clear record they don’t have a chance for self improvement.

Foreclosures – First, we need to make certain people have full information about the availability for foreclosure prevention programs. Secondly, we need to engage neighborhoods so that we are aware of houses that become vacant so we can be vigilant against squatters or drug traffic.

MG Media: Where do you see the most significant area for growth in the ward?
BS: I believe we can make substantial growth in our business districts if we focus on aggressively promoting
the area. We need to remind the city of what the neighborhoods of the 6th Ward really are.

MG Media: Why are you running for this position and what can you offer your community and the city?
BS: Growing up in Chatham it was a safe neighborhood and many of my neighbors did great things. As I get older I noticed how few of my contemporaries consider raising a family in Chatham. While working for Congressman Jackson I learned about funding and how it's routed to cities and communities. This election presents an amazing opportunity to get our neighborhoods on track, but on
ly if we challenge the conventions of Chicago politics. And that's my biggest objective.

"As a candidate for 8th Ward Alderman, I'm prepared to listen to the concerns, and when elected I'll take them downtown to make sure they are taken care of", states Denise Denson.

Denise also expressed, "I want to help reconnect the 8th ward and build communities within the ward that's clean and safe, and with the voters help, it will be possible. We are a community that deserves better and this is our chance to become more than a voice, this is our chance to put change in action".

MG Media: Who is Denise Denson and what is your vision for the ward?
DD: I'm a woman that loves justice and believes every soul has a purpose and should be able to contribute to society.

MG Media: How will you address the educational and economic development concerns in your ward?
DD: I will work with the administration, parents, students and the community to see that our children do not become second class students, and that they are not overlooked in the educational process. I'll oversee procedures that will ensure our children have a world class education so that they are able to compete in the global market place.

MG Media: What are the top 5 challenges facing your ward and what proposed solutions will you implement to address these concerns?
DD: Crime: Begin to enforce laws that are already on the books and encourage foot patrols, working with CPD and Block Clubs. Jobs, initiate black on black buying. Use grants to develop businesses and encourage trade schools to open in the ward so that our people have an option, bring businesses into the community that enhances the landscape of the ward. Ensure that there is adequate public transportation. Continue to work toward taking back the parking meters so that businessed can experience growth and the get rid of red light cameras. Deal with the banks in such a way as to eradicate abandoned homes by either renting them, reselling them or partner with the city to use them for recreational
use for the youth. In the mean time make sure those homes are boarded properly and the property maintained to eliminate crimes that would happen in and around those property's.

MG Media: Where do you see the most significant area for growth in the ward?
DD: The most significant area for growth will be communication between the 8th ward constituents and the alderman's office. Communication sets the tone for the vision and the implementation of the strategies for the community and will ensure the administration and its efforts stay transparent.

MG Media: Why are you running for this position and what can you offer your community and the city?
DD: I'm running because I can govern to bring trust back to the alderman's seat. I'll organize in such a way that it will be all inclusive of the ward and not just include the people that vote for me. I have a vision of the African American community becoming an equitable entity and adding value to a global economy thereby enhancing the city of Chicago.

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