Issues

O’Hare Noise

In Fall 2013, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) made changes to landing and takeoff patterns that have redirected new air traffic over neighborhoods in the 39th Ward. The result of these changes is a dramatic increase in the level of jet noise.  Alderman Laurino supports O’Hare airport as a strong source of jobs, but she will not accept our neighborhood bearing the pain for the whole region.

Alderman Laurino has a multi-tier approach to combat the effects of the airplane noise:

  • jet aircraft landingWorking with Congressman Mike Quigley and the Illinois Congressional delegation to demand that the Federal government divide flights more equitably between runways day and night, east and west, and to use all existing runways including the diagonals.
  • Working with community groups in trying to encourage residents to appeal their property taxes because of the effect of airplane noise.
  • Pushing for City Council hearings on the noise issue. She wants the FAA and the Chicago Department of Aviation to stand up and answer the tough questions, and present real plans for fair flight allocation and sound proofing assistance.
  • Sponsoring a referendum to allow Chicago voters an opportunity to send a strong message to the FAA this fall.
  • Introduced a resolution calling on the FAA to hold new hearings in areas affected by runway expansions and provide accurate data to the public.

The Alderman is a strong supporter of the community based organization FAIR (Fair Allocation in Runways) Coalition and will continue to work alongside them to accomplish their goals.

Education

Alderman Laurino believes schools are the heart and soul of a community. Good schools increase property values, attract businesses, but most important, prepare children to be the leaders of tomorrow.

EducationWorking with parents, community organizations, and educators, Alderman Laurino helped bring new annexes to Volta, Haugan, Sauganash and Palmer Schools; fought for funding for major additions to the Sauganash and Hibbard elementary schools; secured the location of the Edison Gifted School; and helped in the creation of the Albany Park Multicultural Academy.

Alderman Margaret Laurino’s plan to help our children compete in a constantly changing technological world:

  • Implement new technology and upgrade present programs that enable parents to assist their child with schoolwork.
  • Investigate the feasibility of replacing textbooks with computer notepads; it will cut down on costs while giving students greater access to the most recent subject matter.
  • Support a full day kindergarten program.
  • Strictly enforce zero tolerance for bullying and tighten all security measures. Studies demonstrate that children learn better in a safe environment.
  • Emphasize remedial reading programs; reading comprehension unlocks the unlimited potential of computer driven technology and is the basis of all learning.
  • Provide students with proven successful after-school programs
  • Modernize older school facilities with the latest technology.
  • Ensure all students are computer literate upon graduation from high school.
  • Employ innovative technology like Skype to teach students who are home ill or disabled.
  • Emphasize pre-kindergarten early childhood classes.

Senior Citizens

senior citizensAlderman Margaret Laurino remembers the support and lessons her parents and our community gave to us when we were young, so she does everything she can for seniors today.   She brought new affordable senior housing to North Park Village and she has been instrumental in many improvements to North Park Village, including restoration of the historic Rock Garden.

Alderman Laurino will continue her work with seniors to help them maintain an independent healthy lifestyle by:

  • Continuing to assign a staff person to work with 39th Ward seniors to assist them with their daily needs and concerns, however big or small, and to make sure they receive all the benefits they’ve earned.
  • Acting as a bridge to state, city, and federal governmental agencies, cutting through bureaucratic red tape to enable seniors to receive their benefits in a timely manner.
  • Performing well-being checks for homebound seniors, calling them throughout the year to make sure that their needs are met and that they are safe.
  • Supporting and initiating legislation that addresses the needs of seniors.
  • While working to secure funding for home improvement grants for senior homeowners, she helped seniors receive hundreds of thousands of dollars in property tax refunds and other benefits.

Infrastructure and Neighborhood Services

Alderman Laurino knows that delivering neighborhood services is vitally important to the quality of life for the residents of the 39th Ward. That is why she is constantly working with various city departments to improve the delivery of city services to residents in the 39th Ward.

InfrastructureAlderman Laurino is committed to funding infrastructure improvement that will provide a foundation for growth for future generations of 39th Ward residents. Alderman Laurino knows that it is vital that we continue to invest in our communities by repaving streets, supporting project that enhance our business corridors and identifying solutions to flooding problems that have plagued some communities for decades.

Alderman Laurino has worked to bring millions of dollars of infrastructure improvements to the 39th Ward and will continue to fight for additional funding to improve infrastructure and service delivery throughout the 39th Ward:

  • Work to ensure that the Albany Park Diversion Tunnel is constructed. This $52 million dollar project will alleviate much of the flooding issues that have affected the Albany Park Community for decades.
  • Continue to seek funding for “Rails to Trails” projects, which take existing abandoned railroads and convert them into off street bike paths that will provide opportunities to enjoy one of the beautiful parks and nature preserves in the 39th Ward.
  • Identify funding for programs that assist residents in repairing sidewalks and streets in front of their homes
  • Seek additional funding for tree planting, prioritizing locations that have lost trees due to the Emerald Ash Bore
  • Continue to improve and expand our parks and forest preserves as our legacy to future generations.

Economic Development

Economic DevelopmentAlderman Laurino is committed to bringing quality developments, businesses, and jobs to the 39th Ward. She works closely with property and business owners, brokers, businesses, and local Chambers to make sure that new projects meet the community’s standards and needs. Assisting existing businesses is equally important, particularly during a tough economy. Through her hard work and perseverance, she secured the Thai Town Center on Pulaski, high quality single family homes on Peterson, new businesses in the industrial corridor, and the mixed use development that houses Whole Foods at Cicero and Peterson.

Alderman Laurino’s plan to bolster economic development includes:

  • Utilizing multiple planning tools to ensure that the community has meaningful input in the development process.
  • Identifying retail and commercial opportunities throughout the 39th Ward.
  • Serving as a liaison to businesses and city departments to provide them assistance and resources to start, keep and expand their businesses.
  • Encouraging the use of financial incentives such as the Small Business Improvement Fund and tax incentives to aid in building improvements, new facades and other renovations for businesses throughout the ward.
  • Work with telecommunication providers to ensure that high speed internet is universally available to users throughout the North Side of Chicago

Public Safety

Public SafetyOne of the most important quality of life issues through the city is public safety.  Alderman Laurino has been dedicated to ensuring our emergency personnel have the tools and resources available to them.  Replacing an outdated police station with a new state-of-the-art facility for the 17th District was a first step, but Alderman Laurino plans to continue to:

  • Work alongside the Office of Emergency Management and Communications to examine and improve emergency response times within the Ward.
  • Fight for our “City’s Finest” so that our Ward gets our fair share of police officers on our streets.
  • Work with residents and community associations to identify the specific safety needs on a block-by block basis.
  • Spearhead efforts to encourage community associations to form safe task force committees and establish block clubs.
  • Attend neighborhood CAPS meetings so that every incident remains a priority for our emergency responders.
  • Support increased funding to combat computer consumer fraud crimes and for detecting adults who use the Internet looking for minors.

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