Thursday, January 20, 2011

Candidates On The Issues

  • Lakeview Action Coalition asked the 46th Ward candidates to address some ward-wide issues and posted their responses to the questions online.  You can read the answers of respondents Retta, Phelan, Carroll, Nowotny, Cappleman, Shapiro, Kaplan and Baskin here (not all candidates responded to the request).  Interesting stuff.
  • If you're hungry for even more talk on the issues, we're told WBEZ will have last night's Aldermanic Forum on its website today.
  • Tonight is Don Nowotny's turn in the spotlight at the ongoing series of aldermanic forums sponsored by the Tenant Leadership of Mercy Housing-Lakefront.


  1. I like Don personally, but MAN HE SOUNDS A BIT LIKE HELEN in these responses.

    PLEASE READERS, get to know the candidates and VOTE.

  2. Perhaps, Stash, it is because it is relatively well known that Don Nowatny is Helen's choice to replace her and she is offering behind the scene help to him as to try to not let the general electorate know and cause Don to answer some serious questions. Just look at the contributors of Don.. remarkably similar to Helen...hmmm...

  3. I like a lot of these folks personally, as well (save one); but, honestly, after reading these responses, I'm not gushing with hope for the future (Note to candidates: would it kill you to proof read your responses?).

    Regardless, we have to play the hand we're dealt.

    To tack on to what Stash said, don't just get to know the candidates, get educated on the issues and the political environment.

    The main reason that this city(county/state/nation) is in such a less than awesome condition is that people simply do not take the responsibilities of being a citizen seriously.

    Vote; but vote smart.

  4. This questionaire is messed. For example, Molly and James have the exact same responses for question 10. Word for word. Perhaps some proof-reading? See you at the polls!

  5. Yo, I wonder if we have different criteria for an alderman. All the candidates are going to have their ideas and I’m finding it’s difficult to get a sense of how they differ from one another. When it comes down to it, there’s other criteria for a good alderman besides their ideas for the ward.

    I’m really focused on a candidate’s ability to connect with other people and organizations to create a positive change in this community. This is a diverse community and all people have a right to be heard. I believe we need an alderman with the skills to get all these various groups of people to work well together. The real question then, is who has already demonstrated those skills?

    Does that narrow the playing field for you?

  6. Have to agree with Rob, how people can't see through Don is BEYOND me. Follow his funding and listen to him talk. He's one of Shiller's flying monkeys. Some of the nicest buildings on my block have Don signs in their window. I have to think "Shiller did nothing for you, you think Don will?"

    Speaking of another Shiller crony, Marc Kaplan was at the Lawrence stop this morning passing out fliers. That gave me a nice morning laugh.

  7. just,

    While we may differ on details (minute or otherwise) with regards to what specific policies to expect from an alderman, you nailed the most important criteria: ensuring that every voice in the ward is heard.

    Regardless of anyone's specific interests, I think everyone can (and should) agree that the historic lack of compromise demonstrated from the alderman's office has been damaging to the overall cohesion of the ward.

    To that point - this certainly is not a "diverse" ward. This has become a ward of "disparate" views and attitudes.

    As such, the next alderman needs to drop the politically convenient use of "diversity" and demonstrate the ability to address and work to correct the "disparity".

    Considering how polarized the ward has become, accomplishing consensus would be rather Herculean.

    I honestly can't point to one candidate who's demonstrated the ability to do that.

    Granted, few candidates have had the opportunity.

    However, I can point to candidates who have demonstrated, via actions which I have personally witnessed, a desire to exacerbate the political/social/economic divides to further their agenda. I consider those candidates to be unworthy of the public trust required to properly execute the office of alderman.

    So, yes - based on the criteria you've mentioned, I can certainly narrow down the field, somewhat; however, I have yet to decide on which of those within that field are worthy of my vote.

    In short: it all comes down to which of these candidates do I think I can trust to make compromises required to turn the ward around, as well as to properly represent the ward in Council chambers.

    Based on that, I've been able to eliminate 8 candidates.

  8. I find it both beneficial and detrimental that we have so many candidates to choose from. If you know the candidates, deciding shouldn't be that hard. It unfortunately seems that a good percentage of the ward hasn't taken the time to do that. Not attacking anyone here but in just listening to people talk at the forums and over the phone. I know who I'm voting for because I've had face-to-face conversations with the few candidates that could actually make a difference if elected. Half the field can be disregarded without any effort and I can only hope that voters have done at least that.

    As a neighbor that doesn't care about political affiliations or what side of the aisle you stand on but only about getting rid of the gangs, bringing in business, and keeping housing affordable I urge everyone to go beyond what anyone has on their website or on what responses you've read to questionnaires the candidates have filled out. It's all carefully scripted anyway. Call them, go to events and get to know them personally. It's the only way to vote with true accuracy.

  9. yo, I wonder if the days of extreme polarization in Uptown are coming to a close. Cop Watch avoids CAPS meetings because they realize they can no longer disrupt what we're doing. COURAJ can no longer gather its troops to protest condo owners and the Jesus People are also not stirring up the BS. ONE seems to be playing nice these days too.

    It seems the further Helen backs away from the ward, the healthier the ward seems to get. However, I still believe it's especially important to have an alderman with an established history of already working well with others in the ward. Starting a few months before announcing one's candidacy hardly counts as an established record.

  10. I wonder if the days of extreme polarization in Uptown are coming to a close

    Possibly. Depends.

    Despite anyone's opinion of Helen (for good, or otherwise), mistakes were made.

    If the next alderman learns from those mistakes and avoids the pitfalls of polarization and the inherent backlash which stems from forcing a fracturing agenda, I would hope that the polarization would continue this eventual fade and we can begin to harvest the fruits of true diversity.

    If the next alderman decides to carry forward with the tactics utilized over the last couple of decades, I'm afraid we'll be headed back to square one.

  11. @ Uptown Action

    There are many candidates, which isn't really confusing to me at all. I do wonder though, how much more accurate my judgment would really be based on your meeting someone. Do you really feel like you know someone well when you have only met them a few times.Sounds a little hinky to me. I like to investigate and make my decisions that way

  12. Greetings Neighbors,

    I am moderating the forum tonight with Mr. Nowotny and despite the cold I hope some will come out and be a part of it.

    There is free and easy parking in the back, enter alley between Beacon and Malden. The address is 4716 N. Malden in the Lakeview Church, a fine facitilty for this event.

    Starts promptly at 6pm, bring your questions if you like.

    We decided to do one candidate at a time to go a little more in depth on the issues, a bit difficult with 10 or 11 up there.

    Be there or be square!


    Jeffrey Littleton

  13. I look at their past efforts and accomplishments as that to me tells the story of the course they will surely follow. They will not get my vote based upon all the rhetoric they now speak. Do some research and you may be surprised of what you will find before you cast a vote.

  14. If you aren't sure which candidate to vote for in the upcoming election, these public forums are a great opportunity to ask the candidates questions about how the plan to deal with the issues facing our ward.

    It is also important to understand WHY a candidate is running for alderman. Is it because they deeply care about the 46th ward? Or, is it a lauching pad for a political career - just another notch on the resume since he or she already has their eyes set on bigger political office. From my conversations with candidates, there are at least two candidates who fall right into this category. They specifically moved to the 46th ward to lauch their political careers - not because they really care about our neighborhood.

    Ask yourself - why didn't you hear about most of these candidates four years ago when the ward's issues were just as pressing?

  15. Cub Reporter,

    I think all the candidates have lived in the ward for at least five years, with the exception of McIntyre. I'm unsure about Shapiro.

    Now I agree that a few of the candidates probably harbor ambitions for higher office. Unfortunately for them they need to get elected in a 11 candidate field.

    Personally, I want someone who will plant themselves in the Alderman's office and worry about the ward and not moving into Congress or some other higher office. Along with worrying about some larger city budget issues.

    That's a small part of the reason I intend to vote for James Cappleman. Given his age I doubt he pictures himself serving in Congress.

    I'm looking for an alderman who sees their role as partially "ministerial". "Ministerial" in the taking care of the small problems sense and not a religious sense.

    I don't want to see a Manny Flores type of alderman, former 1st Ward Aldercritter, who was and is constantly angling for higher profile office.

    As for candidates taking advantage of the opening in the ward....dat's what wannabee pols do. They see an opportunity and try to get elected.

    What will be interesting to see is what happens after the April election is over. How many of the ten losing candidates will still be active in the ward?

    My guess would be MAYBE one or two. The others will disappear like a fart in a hurricane. Hell, I wouldn't be surprised if a few of them moved out of the ward shortly after the election.

  16. Stash and Rob are obviously not Nowotny supporters and biased. It's sad that you have to use this forum to attack another candidate. The only way to lift your candidate up is by putting another one down. Shameful!

  17. UptownDude, I don't think Stash or Rob are 'attacking' a candidate or being 'shameful' as you put it. In fact, your response is laughable. Are we not supposed to voice our opinions? Or is this blog only here so we can all post the same comments over and over...."Know your candidates, show up to the forums, Vote! blah blah blah"? What good is all of that if nobody discusses what they saw or tells others how they feel about candidates. I appreciate what Stash and Rob said. I wish more people would share their opinions and impressions of the candidates, SPECIFICALLY!

  18. Uptowndude - how are Stash and Rob biased? They were stating the OBVIOUS about Don - just as I did. I've personally spoke with Don and got the same impression - and his list of contributors is a little too much like Helen's. The D-2's don't lie.

    And I didn't see how either of them, or myself, propped up another candidate. Actually, no other candidate was mentioned.

    Relax. Its obvious you like Don. That's cool. Just be careful what you vote for.

  19. @Uptowndude - I have not decided who I am voting for yet - Further, I have not ruled out Don. However, I still contend that to me he sounds a lot like Helen S.

    I don't think pointing out that Don sounds a lot like Helen S. is putting him down. Remember, there are a lot of people that love Helen and voted for her again and again and again. I am not one of those people, but I would not say that comparing any of the candidates to Helen is a "put down" per say.

    Do I fundamentally disagree with much of the actions of Helen S. over the past four years and am I disappointed at the lasting impact it will have on the safety and stability of my community. Heck yes!

  20. Thanks to everyone who came out to see and hear Mr. Don Nowotny speak last night. It was a great conversation, we covered a lot of territory so to speak.

    Everybody is welcome and encouraged to attend next weeks featured candidate Mr. James Cappleman. The candidate in our forums has the opportunity to speak in depth, no hard time limits or microphone cut-offs with only one.

    The benefits of hearing a candidate in their own words seem obvious to me, I've learned a lot more from the forums, ours and others, then everthing else combined. They are actually enjoyable as a bonus! So come one and come all, bring your question(s) of just oserve and have a good weekend.

    Uptown is Home!

    Jeffrey Littleton

  21. Uptowndude - Hey buddy, how are you today.. well guess what. I AM BIASED against anyone that believes in the same crap as Shiller.. and from what I can tell, that means Nowtany and Kaplan. I think they are both neophytes that have offered either horrible terrible detrimental aspects to Uptown (Kaplan) to someone who, until Helen decided not to run, I have NEVER seen at any community event where he was not getting paid a city salary (Nowtany)

    So, Uptowndude, how do you like them apples?

  22. Wonder if many are really looking at the candidates? I've been to several forums and there are few people there, with the exception of a couple. Are people just going to vote on name recognition or are they going to do a little homework and check into these candidates? It's sad to think how many people gripe and complain at times over what the person elected is doing, but they don't take the time to get out there and learn about a person who is going to be basically deciding how their neighborhood is going to function...I what percentage of uptown residents even know about this site and visit it? We just seem too detached from one another.