Candidate for Chicago City Council

About the Candidate

Name: Robert A. Bank
DOB: June 16, 1959
Family: Married to Monica Bank since 1981, we have three grown children, all college graduates. Caroline, 35; Robert, 33 and Thomas 25. My children are all products of Chicago schools; Our Lady of Victory, Lane Tech for our oldest two children, Notre Dame College Prep for our youngest. The colleges they attended were Wilbur Wright, DePaul and Loyola.
Occupation: AT&T Mobility Field Technician. Current member of CWA Union and was a member for many years in the IBEW. I have been in the telecommunications industry for over 30 years.
Political Experience: Past President of the Jefferson Park Neighborhood Association (JPNA), Ran against Tom Lyons for 45th Ward Democratic Committeeman, 2004. Ran against Pat Levar for 45th Ward Alderman 2007; lost both times but created change in the process.

Candidate Statement

Hi, I’m Bob Bank, past president of the Jefferson Park Neighborhood Association, and candidate for Alderman of the 45th Ward.

I’ve lived most of my life in the 45th Ward. I got my first job, met my wife, Monica and got married in the 45th Ward. We bought a home and raised our children here too. I am fortunate to have lived here and enjoy all of what the ward has to offer. The 45th Ward on the far northwest‐side of Chicago has been good to me and to my family, and I’d like it to stay that way for future generations. I think it is the best place in Chicago. Forty‐Fifth Ward residents enjoy an almost suburban lifestyle in our residential neighborhoods, yet the C.T.A. Blue line can take us Downtown in 20 minutes, or to the rest of the world in 20 minutes via O’Hare airport.

As great as our ward is, we do have problems to face. Empty store fronts in our shopping districts, an increase in crime, bad planning and over‐development, and rising property taxes threaten our quality of life. These are all solvable problems, it just takes the ability and willingness to work with others. I will work with everyone in City, State and Federal government, to make sure we are running our city efficiently. We can’t afford to be careless with tax‐payer money.

Lately we have had a sudden rise in violent crime. Crimes unheard of in our ward just a few years ago. I will work closely with our police and demand a greater police presence in our ward. We have nothing if we don't have safety and security.

Education is the key to success. We must make sure that our public schools and City Colleges offer the best education available. I’ll fight to make sure every student can gain the skills they need for a successful career.

And finally, TAXES!

I say, “ENOUGH!” I will work with fellow city council members to rein in tax giveaways to downtown developers. I will scrutinize our city budgets and work to decrease the number of Tax Increment Finance districts (TIF). TIF districts siphon off property tax money that would otherwise go to schools, roads etc.

Chicago homeowners cannot bear anymore tax increases.

Vote for me, Bob Bank in the Feb. 26th Municipal Election.

Candidate Q&A

What is your vision for this office?

Bring the communities and people of this ward together. After 2 terms of the incumbent’s “divide and conquer” practice, there has been an “us vs. them” mentality foisted upon this ward’s residents in every category, from new resident vs. longtime resident, old vs. young, one neighborhood vs. the neighborhood next-door etc. We are all in this together! Maintaining the residential character of our neighborhoods. Keeping residents safe, and boosting our shopping districts. Maintaining a balanced City budget.

I support an elected school board and will fight to make sure every student can gain the skills they need for a successful life. I will work to expand the curriculum in our high schools to include technology and building/trade classes so that our students are prepared for careers that produce good wages.

I also feel we need to increase investment in our City Colleges of Chicago. In an ever-changing economy we need to have affordable access to education that prepares students for new skills that businesses demand.

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

Increasing crime in our Ward. In going door to door these past several months and literally talking to thousands of residents of the 45th Ward, their main concern is safety for themselves and their family. If you don’t have safety and security, you have nothing.

As Alderman, I will improve relations with police and increase the number of police officers patrolling in our community. As stated previously we can improve our safety by having a lively shopping district by filling our empty storefronts.