Achievements

As Alderman of the 47th Ward, Gene worked tirelessly with his neighbors and local community organizations to make our neighborhoods the most livable community in the City of Chicago.

City Council Leadership

  • Worked to streamline the licensing process, reducing the number of licensing fee categories and adjusting the fees to more accurately reflect the city's cost of inspection and certification.
  • Revised the animal ordinance to protect our pets and the many animals that are in between homes as well as establishing additional licensing categories to encompass all pet care facilities and services.
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Affordable Housing Programs

  • Developed the nationally recognized Northcenter Senior Campus to provide over 500 rental and condominium units for residents over 55.  
  • Lead the drive in City Council to call on the Illinois General Assembly to extend the 7% cap on property taxes.
  • Down zoned residential streets along with sections of principal arterial roads to maintain the single family homes in the ward.
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Businesses Development and Retention

  • Led community-based neighborhood planning projects to create vital commercial and industrial districts in our neighborhoods.  
  • Worked with business and building owners in the Ravenswood Corridor to support the development of multi-unit incubator spaces in many of the factory buildings, while still supporting traditional manufacturing, to maintain over 1500 jobs.
  • Strong proponent of local entrepreneurship.  Through Gene’s leadership, over $1.7 million has been given to local 47th Ward businesses through grants since 2006.
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Public Transportation

  • Led the charge for the $530 million Brown Line Expansion Project, which expanded platforms, made the stations ADA accessible, and reduced overcrowding to provide safer and better service to commuters.
  • Working with Metra to build a better Ravenswood Metra Station and replace 22 bridges on the Union Pacific North Line through a $185 million federal stimulus project. 
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Improvements to Community Schools

  • Gene fought for millions in capital funds for improvements to area schools. 
  • Spearheaded effort to have Coonley Elementary School  designated a Regional Gifted Center in 2008.  
  • Formed a task force to examine ways to improve local high schools to ensure that public school continue to be a viable option for children growing up in our neighborhoods. 
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Public Safety

  • Commitment to public safety has made the 47th Ward statistically one of the safest communities in the City.  
  • Strong advocate of the Chicago Alternative Policing Strategy (CAPS) program, which brings police officers and community members together to discuss crime and public safety issues.

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Renovating Parks and Play Lots

  • Worked with the Chicago Park District, community organizations, and his neighbors to develop new play lots at Chase Park, Revere Park, Welles Park, and Winnemac Park.  
  • Gene assembled the area south of Addison Street and east of the Chicago River through TIF funds for the expansion of Clark Park. 
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Family Focused Activities and Programs

  • Sponsored family-friendly concerts, films, and festivals every year.
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