Nicole Lee

11th Ward aldermanic candidate and incumbent Nicole Lee


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Essay Questions

1. What are the top issues facing the McKinley Park neighborhood area of your ward, and what are your proposed solutions?

Public safety remains the number one issue in my ward and across the city. I am committed to ensuring officers in our districts have the resources, training and equipment they need to safely protect our community. It means taking on gangs that have been terrorizing our neighbors for too long – and it also means continuing the hard work that our officers do everyday to get illegal guns off our streets. CPD has made great progress on both of these fronts in unimaginable circumstances, but there is more work to do. We must also address root causes of violence by investing in historically neglected communities and by generating jobs and economic opportunity in areas where options have been limited for too long.


2. What are the greatest opportunities for improving the McKinley Park neighborhood and the ward, and how would you work to enable this?

There’s been a lot of great work that has already been done in the community by organizations and individuals, including McKinley Park Development Council and CMAP. I hope to collaborate with these organizations to build upon their work, which was laid out in the McKinley Park Neighborhood Plan. With McKinley Park now split between the 11th and 12th Wards, I will ensure a partnership with the 12th Ward alderman to identify opportunities where we can work together to get things done to improve the neighborhood. I am also always open to hearing directly from the community on ideas or goals they have for their neighborhoods, and I hope they know that they can always come directly to my team and me.


3. How will you ensure that your constituents in the McKinley Park neighborhood will have their voices heard and considered in ward decisions?

During my time as alderman, I have worked to ensure constituents have access to a transparent, accessible ward office. I’ve made it my mission to broaden the umbrella and welcome more opinions, voices, and individuals into ward discussions and I will continue that important work if elected.


4. After redistricting, the McKinley Park neighborhood is now irregularly chopped up between the 11th and 12th wards. How will you work with your fellow neighboring City Council representative on issues that straddle both wards, such as the revitalization of the 35th Street commercial corridor?

As the current alderman, I have hands-on experience relationship-building with my fellow aldermen and I know how important it is to work together and find common ground to get things done. While there might be instances where we don’t agree, through frequent and open communication with the 12th Ward alderman, I know we will be able to build a strong relationship where we can discuss the issues of importance facing our wards.


5. How will you ensure and improve the delivery of City of Chicago services to McKinley Park neighborhood residents and businesses?

As Alderman, one of my top priorities is securing city resources for the 11th ward. Our plan is to continue to be responsive to constituent service requests and identify opportunities to bring more infrastructure improvements and economic development resources to the community.


6. What past experience, capabilities and capacities make you the best candidate for the job?

I am the only candidate in my race that has any hands-on experience doing the job of alderman. I’ve worked hard to build on the foundation that was already in place and to expand our reach to serve the needs of more residents. I’m the most qualified for the job, not just because I’ve been doing the work every day, but because I came into the role with more than 25 years of experience helping others under the constraints of limited financial resources and a near endless amount of need, which is not unlike being an alderman in Chicago. I understand how to prioritize projects, the importance of communication in the process, and every day, I continue to learn more about how to maximize the resources that the City of Chicago has for the benefit of my constituents. Beyond the day to day work of constituent services, I’ve been an active participant on the committees on which I serve including: Finance, Budget, Public Safety, Workforce Development, Transportation and Ethics. I know what it takes to balance the needs of the ward with the needs of the city, and have worked with my colleagues to make hard decisions to move the city forward. I’m passionate about serving the people of the community that made me who I am and I’m prepared to keep my sleeves rolled up to fight for the residents of the 11th ward if they select me to do so for a full term.

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