SOCIAL ISSUES

"I have spent almost the entirety of my life trying to understand the conditions in which oppressed people exist. And I have done this through the vantage point of a working-class Black woman.  I am committed to the struggle against racism, sexism, classism, ableism (and all the other 'isms' that prevent people from living their full lives), not because my own well-being is contingent on this, but because humanity is a shared experience.
It is with this integrity and experience that I will work to ensure the 2nd Ward's political agenda affirms the lives of the most vulnerable."
 
—Darlene Cannon
THE ISSUES
Setting the stage for our lives.
EQUITABLE HOUSING

The 2nd Ward has a rich history of affordability, but over the last two decades, homes for working-class and low-income families have significantly decreased. Subsequently, rents have surged, making it almost impossible for residents to become first-time home buyers. Real estate development and gentrification patterns threaten affordability, housing mobility, and racial justice. As elected alderwoman, Darlene commits to equity-focused community development that increases low-income and equitable housing resources. Through community collaboration, a needs-assessment data collection, and rigorous housing policy research, we can ensure the 2nd Ward is developed without displacement. Together we can transform housing opportunities to ensure progressive policies are rooted in racial and economical justice. 

         Click to learn about housing priorities and supporting policies:

Reinstating Evanston Housing Corporation First Time Homebuyer Program


First time homebuyers of single-family homes, townhouses, or condos, whose income is below average medium income, would receive loan offers below market interest rates.




Lifting the Ban on Rent Control


While the ban on rent control is legislation at the state level, local level officials have the ability to inspire and organize residents to take action. Housing justice is racial justice, as systemic racism has exploited and prevented fair housing. Lifting the ban on rent control would help limit the displacement of Black people and other minority people across the state.




Repurposing Vacant, Abandoned, or Substandard Property


Evanston has a unique opportunity to innovatively think about affordable housing. Theoretically, repurposing vacant, abandoned, or substandard property would operate with respect to both the acquisition and the rehab aspects of the process. 1 Aquisition: properties that the local government (or state government) obtains through tax foreclosure or tax reversion, effectively with low or without cost to Evanston. 2. Rehab: In most cases, Evanston would not rehabilitate the houses themselves, but pass the property through to a nonprofit or other entity to rehabilitate the property under municipal supervision. Projects would then be allocated on a needs basis.




Establishing Long-Term Community Land Trust


Evanston's first Community Land Trust (CLT) exists in the 2nd Ward at 2212 Washington St. CLTs are created to acquire and reserve land for community benefit under community control. Typically this is one way to ensure land stays affordable for generations. The ownership of the home is separate from the ownership of the land that it is built on, with the focus on providing an affordable single-family homeownership option for low and moderate income families.





COMMUNITY SAFETY AND CARE

Nationally, political movements have exposed the systemic ways in which the lives of Black, Indigenous and people of color (BIPOC) are under constant threat.

 

Currently, COVID19 and pandemic conditions have exacerbated this reality, and disproportionally harm communities of color. 

This campaign is committed to understanding all the ways in which city policy, education and community oversight can enhance the way we build solidarity and strong neighborhoods.

Click to learn about creating safe communities:

Tax Exempt Universities and payment in lieu of taxes (PILOT)


Private tax exempt colleges and universities in the US are not just exempt of federal, corporate income tax, but also from state and local property tax. So to honor the federal tax status of various educational institutions, communities across the country are organizing around payment in lieu of taxes (PILOT) programs. Currently, there are more 218 localities in 28 states that provide PILOTs, amounting to more than $92 million per year. One remarkable Ivy League example, University of Pennsylvania established a payment fund that would benefit Philadelphia Public Schools, where 52 percent of students are Black and 21 percent are Hispanic).The University of Pennsylvania will donate $100 million in payments in lieu of taxes to help Philadelphia public schools.




Evanston's Stance on NU Fair Share


In a 2000 referendum, 83.5 percent of Evanston residents supported the City Council’s advisory requesting NU pay its “fair share” of the cost of municipal services the city provides for the university such as fire protection and response services.




Alternatives to Raised Residential Property Taxs


It's important that we seek alternatives to raising taxes and various cost for citizens. Currently, our city's operating trend is, balancing the budget on residents' property tax, increased ticket and resources costs.

However, there are alternatives to responsible fiscal management.We estimate, if NU paid its fair share in property taxes, it would contribute well over $20MM to the city annually, perhaps closer to $30MM. Please see Northwestern University Parcal Tax Status Memorandum (2017)





CLIMATE JUSTICE AND SUSTAINABILITY
We have to fight climate change through scientific information, community support, corporate accountability, and prioritizing those systematically most impacted by our current climate crisis. 
Climate change is not just an environmental issue; we must look at solutions through an equity lens. 
Ways to help create a greener Evanston:
  • Support Evanston’s Climate Action and Resilience Plan (CARP) which calls for zero carbon/zero waste by 2050
  • Prioritize the expansion of green initiatives through corporate tax
  • Create Alternate Retail Electric Supplier (ARES), a publicly owned energy utility 
  • Create high paying jobs that would result in a mass expansion of renewable energy (e.g., solar installation)
  • Ensure all existing city buildings meet high-performance renewable standards
  • Provide incentives for green community practices
  • Prioritize residential weatherization grants and training for low-income and minority families
STRONG LOCAL ECONOMY
Our current pandemic conditions have created mass unemployment and harmed local business across the country. This reality is amid an economic system that unjustly favors the rich and wealthy. 
We have to improve our municipal capacity through innovative partnerships and bold initiatives that protect workers and the environment. 
It's time we address corporate loopholes and create ordinances that protect workers and business owners to ensure we are working against the racial wealth gap in this country. 
From Recovery to Resilience:
  • Work to understand the direct implications of COVID-19 on local and small businesses
  • Work with council members to advocate for Small Business Administration relief and Paycheck Protection Program loan
  • Identify unique opportunity to push for significant long-term change and innovation related to the way we do business 
  • Streamlining all permitting processes that would result in alternative revenue for small and local businesses  
  • Creatively using federal funding, finding new sources of capital to target specific projects and programs, and building incentives that solve chronic, long-standing problems and not just the immediate crisis
  • Support workers' fight for fair and livable wages
  • Increase taxes on multi-million dollar companies like Airbnb and Uber to as a supplemental resource for both worker and small business owners
  • Support efforts that would defer or forgive business rent payments, payroll expenses and sales taxes, and overhead costs until business stabilizes
  • Collaborate with local Black and women led business development committees to foster a robust business equity initiate
  • Investigate challenges faced by business owners through dialogues and a continuum of surveys

Tax Exempt Universities and payment in lieu of taxes (PILOT)


Private tax exempt colleges and universities in the US are not just exempt of federal, corporate income tax, but also from state and local property tax. So to honor the federal tax status of various educational institutions, communities across the country are organizing around payment in lieu of taxes (PILOT) programs. Currently, there are more 218 localities in 28 states that provide PILOTs, amounting to more than $92 million per year. One remarkable Ivy League example, University of Pennsylvania established a payment fund that would benefit Philadelphia Public Schools, where 52 percent of students are Black and 21 percent are Hispanic).The University of Pennsylvania will donate $100 million in payments in lieu of taxes to help Philadelphia public schools.




Evanston's Stance on NU Fair Share


In a 2000 referendum, 83.5 percent of Evanston residents supported the City Council’s advisory requesting NU pay its “fair share” of the cost of municipal services the city provides for the university such as fire protection and response services.




Alternatives to Raised Residential Property Taxs


It's important that we seek alternatives to raising taxes and various cost for citizens. Currently, our city's operating trend is, balancing the budget on residents' property tax, increased ticket and resources costs.

However, there are alternatives to responsible fiscal management.We estimate, if NU paid its fair share in property taxes, it would contribute well over $20MM to the city annually, perhaps closer to $30MM. Please see Northwestern University Parcal Tax Status Memorandum (2017)





Fair Share Northwestern Partnership
Evanston and Northwestern University have a historical and symbolic relationship. Evanston is proud to have the prestige of Northwestern; it's one of the best private higher Ed. institutions in the country, it's also one of the richest. Northwestern has over an 11 billion dollar endowment. 
Nationally, college towns are looking to universities to step into financial positions to become fair share partners. But what does fair share does this look like?
This idea will builds on the previous efforts to ensure NU a fair share partner, and expand the number of similar legislation that exist across the country. 
Fair Share Quick Facts:

 

               

  © 2020 by Darlene Cannon for 2nd Ward Alderwoman. Built and paid by Darlene Cannon for the 2nd Ward.

A copy of our report filed with the State Board of Elections is (or will be) available on the Board’s official website (www.elections.il.gov) or for purchase from the State Board of Elections, Springfield, Illinois.