RACE: City Council - 19th Ward

About the Candidate

Name: Timothy "Tim" Noonan
Date of Birth: 08/08/1968
Occupation: Computer Consultant focusing on FOIA and eDiscovery systems for the federal government
Political Experience: Elected representative of local school council
Political Party: Democrat
Website: noonan19.com
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Candidate Q&A

Why are you running?

We are in a very divisive place right now, in our ward, our city and our country. My goal as alderman is to unite our neighborhoods. We have 3 distinct neighborhoods here in the ward. I want to unite them and make the 19th ward a welcoming and safe place for everyone who lives here.

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

Currently the 19th ward office is good at notifying neighbors about crime that has already occurred in our neighborhood.

The ward office needs to work for everyone. There are “haves” and “have nots” based on where you live in the ward or your past opposition to the alderman. Services are not doled out even handedly. We need to shine a light on the proceedings and choices for the ward and the city. Programs such as participatory budgeting will help residents to have a voice in how their city prioritizes spending.

Supporting existing small businesses and seeking more to fill our empty storefronts. There has been a focus on chain or large businesses to get established here. Yet we give away precious resources to attract these businesses here. All the while we see other businesses close. The lost opportunities of small community-based businesses are untold. We need to establish incentives to hire local workers.

Local public schools are treated as an afterthought here in our ward. I would request an invitation to all LSC meetings and bring the power of the office to have sports, art, music, and clubs to every school in the ward. I would make sure that the technology and resources are available for our children to thrive. I would encourage inter-school cooperative projects and events. We need to have vocational options for our children who choose a skilled trade.

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

Public safety is our most pressing issue. Our public safety officers are woefully understaffed. We are down nearly 2,000 police officers and counting. We need to make this job winnable. We ask too much of our police. We are asking the police to be a Swiss Army knife to address the types of calls they are assigned. The police are overworked, and their personal lives are taking a toll, which makes reforms difficult.

I am in a unique position, as compared to the other candidates when it comes to public safety. I have never been a police officer and I am not from a police family. This allows me the vision to see beyond the same old tactics that have not worked for years. I am in a position since I do not have the pedigree or am beholden to anyone, to take public safety from a holistic approach.
We need to provide mental health services for our police force. The rash of suicides that occur in the ranks is heartbreaking. We ask for our police to work long hours without days off. We are taking them to their breaking point. 

Treatment Not Trauma creates a city-wide crisis response program that dispatches mental health professionals and EMT to calls instead of police officers. Treatment Not Trauma would fund a strong public care system able to support individuals after they have a crisis and work to prevent emergencies before they happen. Treatment Not Trauma would alleviate many calls that our public safety officers are currently addressing. This program would free the police to address other issues.

I believe public safety starts earlier than when the crime is committed. We should look at public safety from the standpoint of occupying and giving our young people positive choices before they result to crime. Make sure that our residents have what they need to provide for their families and opportunities to make a living. There should be a path to the middle class, instead we see barriers.

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

I would make sure my office is open when people are available to visit, such as weekends and evenings. I would also request to be invited to LSC meetings and community gatherings to be of assistance and help overcome hurdles. I would like to have town hall meetings to hear firsthand the concerns of our residents. I would make regular contact and surveys, and not during election time,but throughout my tenure. I would meet our residents where they are and when they can meet. I would be of service to my constituents.

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

No.there are issues where an alderman’s position would be weighted more than others, but this leaves the opportunity for corruption and vindictive practices as the final say. My focus is to have community input in decision making, because it is the residents who know what is best for their community.

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

We need a budget that will reflect a safer and welcoming Chicago. That budget may be increased, stay the same or decrease, that should not be the question. What we need are safer communities. Public Safety does not start at the perpetrating of a crime. Public Safety begins at the point of choices. The 19th ward systematically removed basketball hoops from our ward. Where are children supposed to play? We need to give our young people options. Removing options and jailing is not Public Safety.

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

Yes, not only is it the right thing to do, but addressing homelessness would add to the value to your home by making Chicago a better place to live. Homeless is a chronic issue throughout chicago. The causes of homelessness are many. Yet mental health is the leading issue. Many people try to self-medicate and end up living on the streets. Our friends are victims, not criminals. When we provide programs for our unhoused, we provide a lifeline to them. They will become contributing citizens and we will all be better for it.

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

Yes. Many Chicagoans are suffering mental health challenges. The pandemic did not make things any better. I would not only push to have our mental health clinics opened, but I would expand the number of clinics. Also, I would work with Chicago Public Schools to make sure that we have professionals for our children who are suffering from mental health crises and give them coping tools.

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

Yes, Chicago is a tale of two cities. There are many Chicagoans that are in desperate need of housing and good schools. This is a major reason why there are so many that leave Chicago. We should also focus on schools to attract young families and start to build affordable housing. In the 19th ward there needs to be affordable residential options for seniors. Many seniors are on their own, but do not have an affordable place to live as they transition into a senior care facility.

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

Shootings occur in the absence of options. People do not inherently want to shoot someone. Shootings occur in the act of a crime, such as a carjacking or as a show of force. People result to gun violence because they are not presented with options. We need to unite this city. We need to bolster our community and religious programs to make sure our kids have places to go. We need good jobs for our kids. We need a kinder community and we will see a sharp decline in shootings.

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

Yes, requiring city employees to live in Chicago creates buy-in from employees and their families. I feel strongly that if the city of chicago is good enough to get a paycheck from then it is good enough to live. As all things, the more you put into something the more you get out. If we require employees to live, then there is an incentive to make sure that we live in the best place for their children and the children of the entire city.