Under Evanston’s City Manager structure, the Mayor plays two critical roles. The first is to be the “Booster in Chief” and “Good Will Ambassador” for all things Evanston. This involves strengthening the City’s relationships with County, State and Federal lawmakers, Northwestern University, our phenomenal local School Districts, local businesses and residents, and reaching out to build new relationships wherever possible.
The Mayor’s second role, as the only city-wide elected member of Council, is to advocate for policies and initiatives that will benefit the entire community. This is a collaborative process and it is only effective if the Mayor is able to build consensus between people with competing views and goals.
I believe that my 20 years of public service, including my eight years as Alderman of the 6th Ward, make me the most qualified candidate to play these roles. I am running on my record of rolling up my sleeves and getting involved because I love Evanston and want us to be the best we can be.
I am also running on my record as a consensus builder. Over the years I have forged strong working relationships with my fellow Council Members, the City Manager, the City Staff, and the community at large. As a graduate of the Citizens Police Academy and through my work on the Human Services, Planning and development, Economic Development and City-School Liaison Committees, and the Housing, Homelessness and Human Relations Commission, I have developed an understanding of the needs and concerns of all Evanstonians and demonstrated my willingness to work 24/7 to address those concerns.
If I am fortunate enough to earn your vote, I will be a full-time Mayor. I will wake up every morning and go to bed every night with the single goal of making life better for everyone who lives, works, studies and plays in our wonderful community.
Mark’s Profile in the Evanston Round Table
Mark’s Endorsement of the District 65 Referendum
Mark’s full response to the Citizen’s Greener Evanston Survey
Mark’s full response to the Central St. Neighbors’ Association Survey
Mark’s full response to the Evanston Patch Survey
Mark’s full response to the Democratic Party of Evanston Survey
Mark’s Statement on the Travel Ban
Mark supported and voted for the adoption of the Council’s Age-Friendly initiative, which created a committee dedicated to making Evanston accessible for our oldest and youngest residents. As Mayor, Mark will continue to focus on the challenges facing our seniors and our youth including accessibility and mobility issues. He is committed to removing the stigma surrounding mental and physical disabilities and illnesses and stamping out elder abuse and bullying throughout the City.
Creating Sustainable Affordable Housing
Mark’s leadership on the Council led to the amendment of the City’s Affordable Housing Act. These changes increased incentives for developers who include affordable units in their projects and beefed up the financial penalties on developers who don’t. Mark will work to keep housing affordable in Evanston by increasing the tax on ‘tear-down’ properties, incentivizing developers to create more affordable housing, and creating more sustainable homes.
Mark joined the Council directly after the 2008 economic recession and helped the City of Evanston get back on its feet. He will promote smart economic development for the entire City by being selective about the businesses we bring to Evanston, creating additional job training programs and investing in projects like a downtown Performing Arts Center that will bring revenue to the city.
Evanston’s Relationship with Its Neighbors
Mark has strong relationships with local, state and federal leaders, from the members of our local school boards to our Congressperson and our two US Senators. He will use those connections to ensure that we are at the table when opportunities like the creation of the Erie Health Center arise, and he will continue the City’s momentum to make smart deals for the sale of water to our neighboring communities.
Mark will continue the City’s 8 year record of making Evanston more sustainable by ensuring that the City is on track for our 27% reduction of greenhouse gases by 2020, promoting sharing of resources, making cycling in Evanston safer and more accessible, and promoting sustainable development.
Improving Our Parks
Mark has proposed moving the management of our parks and recreation facilities to a self-directed fund model. This will take city politics out of the process and ensure that decisions about where and how we deploy your tax dollars are made by the people most knowledgeable about those facilities. As the leader of the successful effort that created the independent library structure that we have today, Mark is uniquely qualified to lead this restructuring of the parks and recreation department.
Job Growth and Workforce Development
Mark is committed to creating careers in Evanston, not just jobs. He plans to work with Oakton Community College, Northwestern University, and ETHS to provide more and better job training and apprenticeship programs and will promote the expansion of the Summer Youth Job Program.
Mark will make sure that everyone has a seat at the table in our government. He has proposed holding monthly meetings in Spanish for our Latin@ community to keep them informed about the state of the City, and ensuring that the City of Evanston maintains its status as a sanctuary city no matter what.
A graduate of the Evanston Citizen’s Police Academy, Mark is committed to increasing trust between our citizens and our police. He is leading the effort to re- examine the EPD’s stop-and-frisk and targeted policing policies and will encourage an increased dialogue over these issues with the public. He is committed to supporting programs like An Officer and a Gentleman and treating the root causes of crime.