Our next Mayor will need to have strong relationships with our neighboring cities and townships as well as with our State and Federal elected officials. I began cultivating these relationships 20 years ago during my time as the Chairman of the only non-profit organization on the North Shore to deal with the AIDS crisis — BEHIV (Better Existence with HIV).
I continued those relationships after my time on the BEHIV board ended and am uniquely qualified to work with our leaders and to fight for the governmental support that Evanston needs. I will ensure that we are at the table when opportunities arise to improve the lives of our residents. An example of this was the 2015 opening of a new federally qualified community health center to serve low income patients in Evanston and Skokie. The creation of this vital resource would not have been possible without the help and involvement of my friend, Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky, who secured the $650,000 annual grant that helped get this project off the ground and a $1.8 Million grant from Northshore University Health System.
And I will ensure that the City does not lose any momentum in its strategy to increase revenue through the sale of water to neighboring communities. I have been involved in making the infrastructure decisions that have made these deals possible and have the insight needed to work with the City Manager and the next Council to close as many lucrative water deals as we can going forward.
But as we look to the future, we must also be prepared to deal with the State and Federal funding cuts that have become an ever-present threat. Over the course of the past several years, I have worked with staff and the rest of the Council to ensure that the City will continue to function if gridlock or spending cuts reduce the levels of State and Federal funding that we have previously relied upon. This includes my votes to increase the City’s cash reserves and create alternative budget proposals that anticipate (and address) any funding cuts that might come our way. And if the worst happens and funding cuts require changes above and beyond those that we have already planned for, I will work with the City Manager and the Council to ensure that those changes have minimal impact on our most vulnerable citizens.
Being Mayor is different from running a business. It requires focus and attention, not on maximizing profits, but on doing the maximum good for the maximum number of people with the resources that are available. I have been involved in creating eight balanced budgets that had this as their central aim. If I am fortunate enough to earn your vote for Mayor, I will continue this work.
“I am proud to endorse Mark Tendam in the race for Mayor of Evanston. One of Evanston’s greatest strengths is our diversity. As our mayor, Mark Tendam will maintain a resolute commitment to equality and inclusivity for all Evanstonians. He will ensure that Evanston remains a sanctuary city, providing a safe haven for families in jeopardy of deportation during this uncertain time.
As a member of and champion for both the LGBTQ and Jewish communities, I trust Mark Tendam to be an empathetic advocate for marginalized communities and fight for every Evanstonian, regardless of race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender identity, or religion.”
– Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky, D-IL (9th Congressional District).