Candidate questionnaires

Placeholder for Stephanie Coleman

Stephanie Coleman

Candidate for City Council, 16th Ward

Stephanie Coleman

Candidate for City Council, 16th Ward

Placeholder for Stephanie Coleman

Education: Master of Science in Nonprofit Management Spertus Institute of Jewish Studies Bachelor's Business Administration Robert Morris College

Occupation: Not answered

Home: Chicago

Age: Not answered

Past Political/Civic Experience: Not answered


Candidates running for City Council, 16th Ward

Responses to the Chicago Tribune's questionnaire

Q: Last year, the Chicago Tribune's investigative series "Broken Bonds" reported that, since 2000, Chicago had issued long-term bonds to spend nearly $10 billion, much of it for short-term operating expenses. Hundreds of millions of dollars went to delay bond payments by refinancing old debts, a tactic known as "scoop and toss" that extends payments far into the future. Was this borrowing justified? Going forward, how should City Hall change its finances to pay down existing debts and provide services? Will you argue primarily for cuts in spending or for tax increases? Please be specific.

the 16th ward is part of an tif that presently holds approx $24 million but has not had a community meeting on accountability since 2008. i would use existing resources (i.e. neighborhood tif's) to better serve the wards and insist on changes in the overall financial landscape of the city budget.

Q: Chicago will face a substantial increase in contributions to its police and fire pension funds in 2016. Chicago's unfunded pension liability amounts to about $7,000 for each resident of the city. How should the city solve its pension crisis? Please be specific about pension changes, spending cuts or revenue increases you would support.

survey existing enrollees in their interest to return to work without punishment/penalties. with economics today many would be interested in returning with innovative formulas which would also relieve personnel issues.

Q: What changes should be made in the city's use of tax increment financing? Would you support expansion or extension of TIF districts in your ward? How should excess TIF funds be spent? Do you support the $55 million allotment of TIF funds to buy land for a Marriott Hotel and DePaul basketball arena? Please explain.

see #1. there should be no new expansions/extentions until overview/accountability o present TIFs are mandated.

Q: The Tribune Editorial Board recently offered "12 ways to heal a city" — the best ideas among more than 1,000 suggestions from readers on how to craft "A new Plan of Chicago." These proposals are available at Please tell us which ideas you would champion. We invite you to offer additional ideas for dealing with Chicago's challenges.

The link provided does not exist, however, I would be interested in further studying the report/ideas to receive suggestions on he betterment of the 16th Ward.

Q: Should the City Council keep or abolish the office of legislative inspector general? Should the city inspector general be given the authority to investigate aldermen and their staff members? Do you have other ideas to improve government ethics in Chicago? Please explain.

The City Council should lee the office of inspector general because accountability is essential in all areas of city government. There should be guidelines whereas the inspection process is conducted by the inspector and the alderman working together not as adversaries.

Q: The Chicago Public Schools system has seen significant improvements in freshmen on track and high school graduation rates. CPS has also closed dozens of schools, used fiscal 2016 revenue to balance its 2015 budget and faces a roughly $700 million pension payment in 2016. Please give us your assessment of the academic and financial performance of the city's public schools. What is the key to improving public education in the city? Should members of the Board of Education be elected by the public or continue to be appointed by the mayor? Do you support the longer school day and year? Should CPS expand or reduce the number of charter schools? How should CPS close its significant budget gap?

Because the 16th Ward has had one of the most schools to close, its very disturbing that the childen are not safe to even cross boundary lines. Charter schools are not the cure all, as stated before, there are more retirees that would be willing to go back to work with out penalty to their pension. Members of the Board of Education shoule be elected by the public, not by the mayor Selling/Leasing the real estate of the closed school would help the bridge the significant budget gap.

Q: How would you attract more employers to your ward? How would you encourage employers to hire local residents? What have you done to promote economic development in your ward?

By using resources such as Englewood TIF by enhancing the ability of the businesses to be attracted to the location. Better utilize the main streets in particular Ashland, that could also bring in state and federal fundings.

Q: Do you support or oppose the City Council vote to increase the minimum wage in several steps to $13 an hour by 2019? Please explain.

I support City Council vote to increase minimum wage to $13/an hour.I would also be interested in Gov. Elect Rauner's solutions/formulas proposal for Illinois-to perhaps use that formula for Chicago as well.

Q: Should the Lucas Museum of Narrative Art be built at the proposed location on Chicago's lakefront? Please explain.

If its a community/ward supported project, then it should be built.

Q: How can the city improve public safety? Please address the role and performance of the Chicago Police Department and the role of neighborhood residents in crime prevention. What have you done to improve public safety in your community?

Public safety is a block by block solution, I would be more involved in that process and solution for the residents of the 16th Ward. As a young person, I have worked with youth and young adults to help change attitudes of the residents of the 16th Ward. I have also worked with CAPS and I understand the importance of getting young people involved to help eliminate the need for gang involvement.

Q: Do you support Chicago's traffic light camera program? Please explain.

I do not support The Chicago traffic light camera program because the revenue that has already been generated has not been utilized back in the community.

Q: Should Chicago reduce the number of aldermen in the City Council?

With the present population of over 2.6 million people, 50 wards is a good number to maintain the service that Chicagoans expect.

Q: What is your highest priority for improving your ward? What is the greatest concern you hear from residents of your ward?

My highest priority is forming committees that would

Q: Please tell us something about yourself that would surprise us.

City Council, 16th Ward