About the Candidate

Name: Michael T. Cummings
Date of Birth: 11/2/1958
Occupation: Retired Police Officer, CPD
Political Experience: None
Political Party: Democrat
Website: cummings19thward.com
Twitter | Facebook | Instagram

Candidate Q&A

Why are you running?

My candidacy is premised on the need for leadership in our ward. A once strong voice on the policies and politics of our city, we seem to have settled for profitable committee assignments. I am prepared to address the issues we face in our ward and our city and speak out against policies that fail our communities.

What does this office do well, and what needs fixing?

The ward hosts paper shredding events. We need to do a better job of addressing the crime problem which has been trending in the wrong direction for years. Constituent services are unsatisfactory and we need to do a better job of promoting our community to attract businesses and help revitalize our business corridors.

What is the most pressing issue facing your constituents and how do you plan on addressing it?

Public safety is everyone’s top concern. Using my 35 years of experience with the Chicago Police Department, I will promote policies and training that support our officers and make our community safe. I will work especially hard to combat failed policies that put all of us at risk.

What specific steps would you take to ensure your office is accessible and responsive to your constituents?

The simple courtesy of a return call to constituents would be a tremendous start, as it is not the practice currently. In addition, I would open my office on nights and weekends and be available to listen to the residents of our community.

Do you believe in the tradition of aldermanic prerogative, which gives each City Council member the final say on issues in their ward?

Yes, the Alderperson is elected to represent their community, so with proper input from its  residents, they should be able to decide the direction of their ward.

Should the $1.9 billion budget for the Chicago Police Department increase, stay the same or decrease?

I would oppose any decrease in a CPD budget, but will take a closer look at the current spending to determine if resources can be put towards better strategies in combating crime.

Should the city raise the Real Estate Transfer Tax on properties sold for more than $1 million to fund programs to help unhoused Chicagoans?

I would not support raising the transfer tax.

Should the city open and operate mental health clinics to provide free care to Chicagoans?

I don’t believe the city is prepared to take on this problem alone, as evidenced by our current situation. We should pursue a public private partnership to address the mental health issues we face.

How should Chicago build the 120,000 homes it needs for low- and moderate-income Chicagoans?

Promoting private investor interest with Low Income Housing Tax Credits is one approach, as well as the city expanding incentives for development. Also, government housing authorities need to work with developers to incentivize construction projects.

What do you see as potential solutions to address the number of shootings in Chicago?

First and foremost, the staffing shortage of the CPD needs to be addressed and resolved. The department needs additional Officers. The Superintendent needs to be replaced by a competent Officer from the current command staff who understands how to deploy Officers and be able to implement effective strategies that will combat crime.

Should city employees continue to be required to live in Chicago?

Yes, but we need to improve the safety of our citizens and restore the world class stature the city once had. Once we achieve these goals, city residents and city employees would not consider leaving the city. There would be no reason to.