Candidate for Chicago City Council

About the Candidate

Name: Dianne Daleiden
Family: I am a single parent (divorced) with an adult son, Griffin Daleiden who is a practicing attorney in Chicago.
Occupation: Chicago Public School Teacher / Math
Political Experience: I ran for Alderman in the 40th ward in 2015 and then Committeeman in the 40th Ward in 2016.

Candidate Statement

I have lived most of my life in the 40th Ward of Chicago.

I have a personal, first hand understanding of how our system of regressive taxes, fines, and fees go hand in hand with privatization to drain money from the public which should be invested in neighborhood residents and services.

Over the past decade I have seen our hard-working families, friends and neighbors become profit centers for the downtown corporate and tourism trade. For decades, our City Council has transferred our neighborhoods’ wealth to downtown. Then cynically, through privatization and tax breaks City Hall transfers more wealth to the very corporations who outsource our jobs and receive TIF money that is skimmed from our schools, parks, health clinics and libraries. This must stop.

As a CPS math teacher and the only union member in this race I also know how unemployment, cuts in benefits, health insurance and retirement benefits affect families and children. I will fight for equal pay and equity in all sectors of the job market and in all city and state funded contracts and social programs that affect our communities.

As a teacher, Local School Council member and former social worker I understand that equity and equality are not the same thing. Equity means that people and communities should receive the tools and services that they need to reach a common goal or to achieve as others do. Some communities need more funding and services to achieve equality. I fully support this and will fight for affordable housing, smaller class sizes, adequate and affordable public transportation, access to affordable health services in all communities, job creation and the elimination of food deserts.

I will continue to bring my passion, experience, problem solving skills and voice to City Council to represent neighborhoods, families and working people in Chicago.

Candidate Q&A

What is your vision for this office?

Our city needs a strong legislative body in City Council. We need to have our aldermen advocate for not only our own wards but also on behalf of using our resources to benefit all Chicagoans. The current climate of corruption and politics has created an environment in which privatization, contract awards, unchecked construction cost, unpaid pension liabilities and deal cutting leave neighborhoods without schools, adequate transportation, affordable housing options and health services.

As Alderman I will be transparent in all ways. This includes pushing city council to adopt resolutions that call for oversight on all aspects of city council business and committee work. Committees should have guidelines on how often they meet and on how long items can remain in Committee before being brought before the entire council for vote.

I also envision Chicago as being a more “green” city. We need more funding and zoning changes directed at installation and use of solar energy, water quality and usage, elimination of single use plastics and an effective recycling program. Under our current City Council Leadership we have seen privatization rob Chicagoans of sources of income and of accountability for our tax dollars. With that in mind we have also increased TIF districts which send our property taxes into downtown business districts that benefit tourism and big business. We have to use our resources wisely to pay down the large amount of debt that the last 2 administrations have incurred. This is not only pension debt (City has not properly managed their payments and now push the problem off onto Chicagoans) but additional debts. We need to pay off our debts and put the city we deserve back on track to fund schools, services, safe neighborhoods, health services and adequate and affordable housing and public transportation.

What is the most pressing issue facing constituents, and how can you help address it?

My number one priority to help traditional neighborhood schools. We are building a two-tiered education system in Chicago, with privatized charter schools and some elite schools getting the resources they need, while other schools suffer. If we really want to improve educational outcomes, we have to invest in traditional attendance based neighborhood schools.

My second priority is make sure that long time residents can stay in their homes. I am in the process of downsizing from a home I love because I simply cannot afford to keep up with the property taxes. I understand the city’s need for revenue, but I know we can raise the money needed to keep up services and educate our children from a source that is more fair than the property tax.

Last, I want to bring long-needed change to the governance of our ward and our city. For too long, decisions in the 40th Ward were not being made based on what residents need and want. Rather, our alderman has sought to garner power by cozying up to the mayor and doing his bidding, while giving developers and insiders breaks to fund his political operation. Chicagoans have a great chance to change this dynamic in 2019, and I will be part of that change.