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Greater Chatham Alliance Hosts 6th Ward Aldermanic Forum

Lee Edwards | 2/4/2015, 11:56 a.m.
The Greater Chatham Alliance (GCA) recently held its 6th Ward aldermanic forum at Crerar Memorial Presbyterian Church, 8100 S. Calumet ...
L -R Brian Garner, Ald. Roderick Sawyer and Richard Wooten at the Greater Chatham Alliance's (GCA) aldermanic forum. Photo by Lee Edwards

The Greater Chatham Alliance (GCA) recently held its 6th Ward aldermanic forum at Crerar Memorial Presbyterian Church, 8100 S. Calumet Ave. The forum included incumbent 6th Ward Alderman, Roderick Sawyer, candidate Brian Garner and candidate Richard Wooten where they fielded questions from community organization leaders and audience members. WVON radio talk show host, Cliff Kelley, moderated the event.

Forum panelists included Asiaha Butler, Resident Association of Greater Englewood (R.A.G.E); Clarence Collins III, Greater Chatham Alliance; Tameka Lawson, I Grow Chicago; Evelyn Thompson, Reunite Chatham; Darlene Tribue, Park Manor Neighbors; and Earl Williams, CAPCC.

Candidates clarified their positions on the local economy, employment, public safety, community development and education.

“I think it was important to give everyone a good chance to see all three candidates, listen to what they say and make an informed opinion when they vote,” said GCA President, Craig Thomas.

During the discussion, candidates were asked to comment on their plans for allocating Tax Increment Financing (TIF), a special funding tool used by the City of Chicago to promote public and private investment across the city.

Speaking first was Wooten who called for transparency when dealing with TIF funding, suggested that TIF dollars would be placed in the city’s general fund so that it may be used for funding education and public safety.

Garner proposed that he would use the TIF funds to purchase new facades for businesses along 79th St. from Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Drive to Cottage Grove Ave. He would also create a coalition of businessmen to discuss “what the neighborhood really needs” in order to decide on how the TIF funds would be best used.

Sawyer cited that during his administration, TIF funds were used to assist in the construction of South Shore International College Preparatory, 1955 E. 75th St.

“My impression of the forum is that it’s great,” said Kelley. “I knew it would be because I’ve done it a number of times. When you fill this church up on a Saturday afternoon when a lot of people have to do certain things like getting ready for the Super Bowl. I’m very pleased with it.”

To learn more about each aldermanic race in the City of Chicago visit http://www.chicagoelections.com/en/home.html. To learn more about Greater Chatham Alliance visit https://www.facebook.com/GreaterChathamAlliance.