SECURING YOUR HOME
Capping outrageous property tax hikes on homeowners and landlords.
The number one reason I decided to run for State Representative was to fix the State’s shattered property tax system. Over the past 2.5 years in my role at Cook County, I’ve helped hundreds of constituents secure property tax exemptions and appeal their assessments — saving hundreds of thousands of dollars each year.
But I was just putting a band-aid on a much larger issue.
I witnessed some home values jump over 60% in a single year, and some property tax bills nearly double. These numbers seem unbelievable, but regrettably they’re not.
I intend to introduce legislation to cap property tax increases by a manageable 5% for primary residences and 10% for all other properties.
STANDING UP FOR SENIOR CITIZENS
Taking on deceptive predatory lenders and attorneys and increasing savings for senior exemptions.
Every year around late January and early February, I receive phone calls from Senior Citizens who have been inundated with letters from different law firms telling them to pay up or else risk their property taxes increase. After meeting with these seniors and seeing the stacks of letters for myself, I decided something needed to be done.
There’s a time and place for property tax attorneys to help people file their appeals and exemptions, but deceptive wording to scare senior citizens into paying for a FREE service is not one of them.
Additionally, I hope to increase savings for senior exemptions throughout Illinois.
FIGHTING FOR OUR LOCAL SCHOOLS
Demanding an elected school board, smaller class sizes, a social worker in every school and ending unpaid internships for high school and college students.
As an elected member of my neighborhood school’s Local School Council, I have learned first-hand the resilience and strength of our local schools.
However, there are still many issues that can and must be solved on a state level.
It’s one thing to agree there should be an elected school board, but it’s another to be a tireless advocate for the cause.
I believe children are our future and they deserve smaller class sizes, libraries, and a full-time social worker in their school.
And as for high school and college students, I fundamentally believe in paid internships. It makes no sense to have well-off and well-connected young people who can afford to work for free get further ahead in their careers while other kids must work part time jobs to make ends meet. Experience does not pay the bills, so I will introduce legislation to ban any and all unpaid internships in the State of Illinois.
ENDING MONEY'S INFLUENCE IN POLITICS
Capping my own political contributions at $312.40.
It’s human nature and it’s obvious — if someone donates $10,000.00 to an elected official, that elected official is going to treat that donor better than someone who donated nothing. Even worse, if a corporation donates $10,000.00, it’s expected that the corporation will gain preferential treatment in state legislation.
So why do we keep allowing this happen?
I decided to cap my contributions at $312.40 — which alludes to the average (and absurd) 31.24% growth in property assessments in Lakeview township in Chicago.
Although $300 is no small number, I hope that by limiting thousand-dollar contributions from people and corporations, residents will trust that when I’m in the State Legislature I will be 100% focused on helping them and them alone.
I moved to Lakeview after college and intend to live in this great community for the rest of my life.
My most recent job as Director of Community Affairs for Cook County gave me a window into the world of property tax issues as I sat across a table from countless homeowners who were not able to afford their latest property tax bills. Appeals and exemptions, although oftentimes successful, seemed like band-aids to a much larger issue. I realized that structural changes are needed in our tax system and these changes must come from the state level. In order to push for the changes in our tax system – which are so desperately needed -- I decided to give up my day job at Cook County and run for State Representative. To be honest, it wasn’t an easy decision to leave a great job at Cook County where I was able to help so many people, but I truly believe that this small sacrifice can reap huge benefits for all my neighbors.
Outside of work, I was elected to my neighborhood school’s Local School Council as a community representative. I was also elected to the Board of Directors for East Lake View Neighbors and the Lake View Citizens Council.
Other fun things to note: I am a recent graduate of the Chicago Police Department’s Citizen’s Police Academy and was part of the first class of The Obama Foundation’s community organizing program taught by President Obama himself. I am on the Board of Directors for the Young Irish Fellowship Club of Chicago and am the co-founder of Queer Clout Happy Hour, an informal happy hour designed to bring together LGBT people who work in politics and government.