Mark Tendam on Why He Deserves Your Vote

(Transcribed from Alderman Tendam’s Facebook page).

The most recent edition of the Round Table contains an Editorial entitled “Who Deserves Your Vote.” In it, the editors remind Evanston voters that an election should not be a “popularity contest” and that Evanston needs a Mayor with the experience to “help the Evanston schools and the Evanston community evolve and become better, bringing all residents along.” I get criticized sometimes for not tooting my own horn enough. To paraphrase Harry Truman, I believe we can accomplish more in life if we don’t worry about who gets the credit.

But while it is a little out of character for me, I am going to take some time over the next several days to lay out why I believe that I am the candidate who best fills these requirements.

The Roundtable has asked Evanstonians to cast their votes for someone who will always place City over Self. Specifically, the candidate who has “the best interests of the” city “at heart.”

My actions over the past two decades have proven that I love Evanston, I love public service, and I want nothing other than to be a full-time Mayor for this City.

I have no job or business to worry about or promote, nor do I have any desire for higher public office than the position of Mayor. Shortly after being elected to the Council 8 years ago, I posted a photo and stated simply, “I love this job.” I still do. I am proud of the work we have done in 8 years. We have reduced unemployment and filled up once empty commercial spaces. We have strengthened our relationships with the School Boards and have improved our relationship with Northwestern. We have committed ourselves to programs that will promote greater inclusiveness at every age and in every corner of our community. We have begun taking a hard look at the tensions that have developed between our Police and our citizens and I and others on the Council have pledged to close this trust gap. We have taken steps to increase the number of affordable housing units in our City, have returned control of our libraries to a knowledgeable board made up, primarily, of educators and career librarians and we have conducted a rigorous audit of our parks and recreational facilities to determine how and where to begin improving those facilities. This has been important work, but I am running for mayor because there is more for us to do.

The Round Table has asked voters to elect someone who has “a set of priorities” rather than a personal agenda.

My actions over the past two decades have proven that I am all about us and we – not “I” or “me.” If I am fortunate enough to become your Mayor, I will get up every morning and go to bed every night with the single goal of furthering the priorities that I have been stressing in this campaign:

  • Bringing more—and better—jobs to Evanston
  • Improving and increasing sustainable affordable housing
  • Building a relationship of trust between our citizens and our police
  • Supporting and encouraging SMART economic development
  • Ensuring that we leave Evanston a greener, more environmentally place for our descendants
  • Transitioning our Parks to a self-directed fund model that will remove them from other city politics
  • Creating a more accessible Evanston for our youth, our seniors, and differently abled residents
  • Promoting awareness about and providing treatment for people struggling with mental illness and substance abuse
  • Doing everything I can to ensure that every resident of Evanston, regardless of race, gender, sexual identity, religion, or legal status feels welcome here.

You can read more about my plans for the City on all of these issues here.

The Roundtable has asked Evanstonians to cast their votes for someone who has both the vision and the proven leadership skills to move our City forward. Specifically, the candidate who: “would make significant proposals and meaningful amendments, and would engage in thoughtful discussion” rather than a “naysayer, who votes against most measures but has no positive alternatives or solutions to propose.” Someone who is able to simultaneously “stand up” for what is important and “forge a consensus” among the members of the Council and the public. Someone who is not “going to be angry at voters who do not vote for [or with] them or their friends.”

I believe that I am the candidate who most embodies these values. I have spent the past 20 years forging coalitions and building consensus here in Evanston. Most recently, in my role as Chair of the Human Services Committee, I have been working with the Evanston Police chief and concerned members of the public to de-escalate the use of force and build greater trust and transparency between the EPD and the Public. As part of this effort, I have asked the Police Chief to investigate the facts reported by Professor Baumgartner in a recent nationwide study of post-stop searches of persons of color conducted by UNC Chapel Hill.

I am a graduate of the Citizens Police Academy and have enormous respect for the EPD and its leaders. But as I said at the Human Services Committee meeting last month, I would not be doing my job as an elected official or a citizen of this City if I did not stand up and ask for an explanation of the figures reported in the Baumgartner study and then work with the Police and the community to address any systemic bias in our policing. Our next Mayor must be prepared to deal with these important issues on day one. I am the only candidate with the experience and background to do so.

This is just one example of how I approach potentially divisive issues. My leadership style is all about “we, not me” and “facts first.” I do my homework and stand up for what I think is right but I try never to pre-judge an issue. I am a good listener and try never to shut down a debate before all reasonable voices have been heard. I try to treat everyone with respect and kindness and insist that others do the same. We can and should debate policies. We can and should let our voices be heard but we have to do so in a way that encourages everyone to both speak and listen to others.

This is the kind of leader that I have been for the past two decades and it is the kind of leader that I will continue being if I am fortunate enough to become your Mayor.

The Roundtable has asked Evanstonians to cast their votes for someone who has the experience with the City to be an effective leader from day one. Specifically the candidate who: has “attended meetings of the governing body and shown an interest in its operation,” “know[s] and understand[s] the community—both its strengths and weaknesses”; and has “experience in moving measures toward approval and implementation.”

I believe that I am the candidate who most embodies these values. During my time as alderman, and in addition to my duties as a voting member of the Council, I’ve chaired the Human Services Committee, the Planning and Development Committee, the Rules Committee, the City-School Liaison Committee, the Economic Development Committee, the Joint Review Board, the Housing and Homelessness Commission, the Transportation/Parking Committee, and the Women, Minority and Evanston Business Enterprise Development Committee (M/W/EBE). Prior to being elected I served on the City’s Sign Review and Appeals Board, the Board of the YMCA and chaired the board of the only AIDS service provider on the North Shore (BEHIV). I believe in the work that all of the City’s committees do and if I am elected, I will seek to continue on as an active member of the Housing & Homelessness Commission and the City School Liaison Committee.

Twelve years ago I ran for Alderman and lost. I felt bad for a day or two and then I rolled up my sleeves and went back to work for the community. I joined the YMCA Board and got involved with the Residence Committee. I volunteered to help raise money for the YMCA, the Youth Job Center, Y.O.U, Beth Emet Synagogue, and Northlight Theatre among others and I volunteered at Booster events and helped several candidates with their bids for the D65 and D202 School Boards. That commitment and civic involvement gave me the experience that I needed when, four years later, I was elected to the City Council.

I started this campaign without a lot of money, but with a simple message: “Experience Matters.” Over the past two decades I have worked hard for the people of Evanston. I have a record of achievements and leadership that voters can and should study. And when they do, I hope they will agree that I possess all of the qualities needed to be a great Mayor for all of Evanston.


Tendam’s Response to the UNC Traffic Stop Study

Below is a verbatim transcript of Alderman Tendam’s remarks to the Human Services Committee (of which he is chair) regarding the University of North Carolina study that found the Evanston Police Department has the highest post-traffic stop search rate in the country for people of color.  Also included is the response to the study that he posted on Facebook, including a series of questions that he has sent to the Evanston Police Department.

The full text of the study can be found here.

A video of the full Committee meeting can be found here.

Remarks to the Human Services Committee (March 6th):

“Before we get going on the next part of the Agenda I want to address the UNC Traffic Stop study that was published last week.

The study found that at least through 2014, black and brown people driving in Evanston were more likely to be searched following a traffic stop than white people.

The study also found that while there was disparity in the rate of post-stop searches in all but 7 of the 650 law enforcement agencies surveyed, the disparity was much higher in Evanston and Chicago than elsewhere.

I believe that we have to drill into this issue in depth so that we can understand:

  • First, if this is still the case in 2017?
  • And if it is, whether this disparity exists across our entire City or is the product of targeted policing in neighborhoods that have high concentrations of black and brown residents?
  • Are black and brown people being searched more frequently than white people everywhere in Evanston?

I think the assumption is that targeted policing in areas of color is driving these numbers, but we do not know that for sure. We all need to know whether black and brown people are more likely to be searched wherever they may be in Evanston, or if this is just the case in certain higher crime areas which also have large concentrations of black and brown residents.

But that is just one piece of this.  Because if targeted policing is creating this disparity, we all need to know:

  • The provable impacts of targeted policing:
    •  What evidence do we have that targeted policing actually has lowered crime?
    •  Whether there are alternatives to targeted policing—what are the agencies with lower search rate disparities doing and how has that impacted their crime rates?

And wherever these questions take us, we need to continue looking for ways to increase trust in the Police, de-escalate the use of force where we can and create greater levels of community engagement.

These things can and should proceed on a parallel track. I have provided a list of questions to Chief Eddington, the members of the committee and the City Manager which I believe will get us the answers that we need.

I ask that Chief Eddington and his staff to answer these questions as soon as possible and I ask City Manager to include these questions as an addendum to tonight’s minutes and post them to the City’s website.”

Ald. Tendam’s Questions and Response Made on Facebook


Like many of you, I was greatly disturbed to read the results of the UNC Chapel Hill study on ‘Racial Disparities in Traffic Stop Outcomes’ which was published last month. For anyone who did not read the full study (or the reporting on it that was done by Injustice Watch) the main takeaways are the following:

The study examined data (through 2014) from close to 650 law enforcement agencies across 16 different states.

For virtually all of the agencies studied for this period, Black and Hispanic people were more likely to be searched following a traffic stop than White people. Specifically a Black person was 2.5 times more likely to be searched following a stop than a White person and a Hispanic person was 3.14% more likely to be searched following a stop than a White person).

But again, this is just the average. The report went on to find that for the overall period studied, the Evanston Police Department had the highest Black to White post-stop search rate in the country. Specifically, the study found that for some of the years studied, a Black person was seven times more likely to be searched following a traffic stop than a White person and that a Hispanic person was 11.26% more likely to be searched following a stop than a White person.

Before I say anything else on this subject I want to make three things clear:

I have enormous respect for the brave men and women of the Evanston Police Department who put their lives on the line every day to protect us and our families. We owe a huge debt of gratitude, not only to these men and women but to the husbands, wives, children and parents who support and worry about them every minute that they are on the job.

I likewise have nothing but respect and admiration for Police Chief Eddington and Police Commander Dugan who have, throughout the entire time that I have known them, demonstrated an unwavering commitment to fairness, justice and the overall safety and well-being of our City.

I believe that any bias reflected in the results of the UNC Chapel Hill Study are the result of systemic bias (i.e., how and where we are currently deploying our forces) as opposed to any personal bias, prejudice or ill will on the part of the first responders who serve this community. Evanston has a police force that looks like the city it polices and that is a good thing. But it is not the only thing.

I would not be doing my job as a member of this Council OR as a citizen of this community if, without any additional inquiry, I simply accepted that the systemic bias reflected in the UNC study was a price that had to be paid to reduce crime and get guns off the streets.

The fact that crime decreased 7.2% last year is undeniably a good thing. And it is also a good thing that investigatory traffic stops resulted in the seizure of 50 unlawful guns last year. But we have to examine the human and social cost associated with these gains and whether there are less intrusive ways of achieving these goals.

I am not prepared to simply accept, without further investigation, that these positive results could only have been achieved via targeted policing or, even if that is the case, that the costs associated with targeted policing (increased distrust among the members of the targeted communities, anecdotal evidence of reduced property values in those communities, etc.) are outweighed by the perceived benefits.

And even if the answer to that question is that targeted policing is a net positive for the City, we have to find ways of reducing the negative impacts on the neighborhoods that are feeling the brunt of these practices. Ideas that I support include: increased neighborhood policing, placing a greater focus on community engagement programs (like the “Officer and a Gentleman” partnership with District 65 that kicked off this weekend), redoubling our efforts to find employment and job training for the City’s youth and ensuring that police body cameras (included as part of the Department’s 22 step de-escalation plan) are activated for all traffic stops.

As Pastor Michael Nabors said so eloquently recently: “there is a large issue” in Evanston and it “is an Evanston issue, not just an African–American community issue. If there is a wrong within any aspect of the community the entirety of Evanston feels the pain.” We cannot succeed in improving our relationships with one another if we do not work together to investigate these issues while simultaneously exploring more pro-active ways of reducing crime—including the positive steps I have outlined above.

In that spirit, I am sharing with you the questions that I will be presenting to Police Chief Eddington at the Human Services Committee Meeting at 6:00 PM on March 6th. I urge you to attend and make your concerns known at that meeting but in doing so I would ask that you keep in mind that everyone involved in this dialogue wants the same thing in the end — we all want to feel safe, secure and respected. That is true for all of us — citizens and police alike.

Here are my questions:


1. For 2015 and 2016, how many traffic stops were conducted by the EPD?

2. Of those stops, how many were for safety violations (running stop lights or stop signs, speeding, etc.) and how many were “investigatory” in nature (i.e., stops based on “suspicion of wrong-doing” supported by things like broken or missing tail lights, expired registrations)?

3. For each category of stop, how many resulted in the driver and/or passenger and/or the vehicle they were riding in being searched?

4. For each category of stop how many times was the driver white, black or brown?

5. For each search, how many times was the driver (or passenger) white, black or brown?

6. One of the most positive steps that the Evanston Police have adopted in recent years is the requirement that post-stop searches be supported by probable cause. What steps are in place to objectively evaluate these probable cause assessments?


1. What is the mean number of traffic stops per year for the City of Evanston?

2. Which precincts or beats had more than the mean number of Traffic Stops in 2015 and 2016?

3. How many of those stops were for safety violations and how many were “investigatory”?

4. For each category of stop, how many resulted in a search of the driver, the passenger or the vehicle?

5. For each precinct or beat where the number of stops was in excess of the mean in 2015 and 2016, is there evidence that the crime rate in that neighborhood fell from the prior year (i.e., from 2014 to 2015 and from 2015 to 2016) and if so by how much?

6. Of the 50 illegal guns that were recovered as the result of traffic stops last year:

  • How many stops in total were made that year?
  • How many of those stops resulted in a post-stop search?
  • How many stops resulted in the seizure of firearms (in other words, were the 50 guns seized as the result of 50 different stops)?
  • Were the guns discovered through a post-stop search in every case where illegal firearms were seized or were some of those firearms visible in plain sight before any search was initiated (and if so how many times did that occur)?
  • In the cases where firearms were seized, were the suspects known to police before the stop occurred (and if so could a search have been conducted by some other means—such as by securing a warrant for the search of the suspect’s last known residence)?

7. Is data available showing the crime rates for the communities in the study that have lower post stop search ratios than Evanston?

8. Do we know whether communities with post stop search ratios closer to the National average have rejected the “geo-mapping” methodology that Evanston and Chicago uses and if so, do we know what if any impact that decision has had on their crime rates over time?”

We welcome citizen comments and concerns regarding this issue. Please reach out to us at

Tendam Endorses the District 65 Referendum


“We are lucky in Evanston to have some of the best public schools in the country. Parents from around the Chicagoland area move to Evanston so that their children have a chance to receive the education our schools offer.

We can’t afford to lose the programs that make these schools exemplary. If this initiative doesn’t pass, our most vulnerable students will be the most at risk. These children are our future: they will be our neighbors, they will be Evanston employees, and they will raise their families here.

My volunteers and I are fully committed to fighting for the referendum at every door we knock, because a vote for this referendum is a vote for Evanston’s future.”

For more information on the referendum, visit the Save Evanston Schools website. Literature, buttons, and other materials are also available at the Tendam for Mayor campaign headquarters, located at 1030 Davis St. 

Central St. Neighbors’ Association: Survey

Due to a prior commitment, Alderman Tendam was unable to make it to the Central St. Neighbors’ Association forum (February 9th). We have posted his responses to the questions asked here instead, and they were also sent out to members of the Association.

Opening Statement (2 minutes).

When I first came to Evanston, I found a community that made me feel welcome and let me be myself in a way that I’d never experienced before. I first ran for office when funding was cut for Better Existence with HIV (BEHIV), an organization I worked with for many years. I lost my first election, but got involved with a number of community organizations and was elected successfully as 6th Ward Alderman in 2009. I feel that I’ve done a lot of good work on the city council and am proud of all that we’ve accomplished, but I’d like to return to serving the entire city. My work with BEHIV took me into every corner of Evanston, and I want to make sure that everyone, newcomers and lifelong Evanstonians alike, feel as welcome here as I did when I first came.

I am proud to have taken a leadership role on the council on many of our initiatives in the last almost eight years, including amending our Affordable Housing Ordinance to make it more accessible for all, promoting a performing arts center to keep people coming to downtown Evanston, transitioning our libraries to a self-directed fund model that removes them from city politics, and reorganizing our animal shelter. I believe my institutional knowledge of city procedures makes me the strongest candidate to lead our community in these uncertain times.

Our few past Mayors treated the position as a full time plus commitment.  How many hours per week do you anticipate it will take to be a successful Mayor and how will you fit that into your life?

For the past eight years, I have made serving the city of Evanston a full-time commitment, because I think that’s what our citizens deserve. There’s always a lot to be done in our city, and I anticipate being a full-time mayor.  

Please name and elaborate on 3 – 4 things that make Evanston special, that are its strengths.

Here in Evanston we are lucky to have the best of both worlds: access to both Chicago’s urban environment and the North Shore suburban environment. We have access to the CTA buses and trains, Metra trains, Pace buses, and Northwestern buses. We have some of the best schools in the country — schools that will bring families to Evanston so that their kids can learn excel. We have access to Lake Michigan and all our wonderful beaches, as well as strong summer camp programs and  a thriving arts scene, all of which are products of our wonderful Parks and Recreation Department. I think it’s that combination of suburban and urban that makes Evanston truly unique.

What do you see as the 2 biggest problems facing Evanston and how would you address them?

I believe that the two biggest problems facing Evanston today are affordable housing and violence. We’ve made some good strides in the right direction with both of these issues, by amending our Affordable Housing Ordinance and, more recently by establishing new policies and procedures to improve relations between our citizens and the police. However, I believe that the solution to both of these problems lies with a more long-term solution: access to jobs. We need to provide better pathways to education and career tracks for our citizens — paths that will lead them to a living wage and work that they can be proud of. We’ve seen through programs like Curt’s Cafe the power that expanding access can have for our most at-risk citizens, and research shows that bringing better education and work to communities struggling with poverty and violence has tremendous benefits for everyone.

As the Mayor’s position does not vote on legislature nor approve the city’s budget, how will you truly affect change in the City?

The mayor’s job is to address the bigger issues facing the city and bring those citywide problems to the attention of the council. We need to be on the forefront of new and progressive ideas and encourage thinking outside the box, and we need to advocate for solutions in the best interests of our citizens, such as encouraging public/private partnerships to reduce the impact of civic projects on the Evanston taxpayer. The mayor must also build consensus among the aldermen and help them reach compromises when they disagree. In my almost eight years on Council I have worked with all of our aldermen to reach agreements, ensuring that we can do what’s best for the city even when we aren’t coming from the same points of view. I also believe that the mayor needs to build knowledge among the Council of what we’ve already accomplished and how that fits into our plans for the future. I have the institutional knowledge from my time on the council  to provide that viewpoint.

Many of Mayor Tisdahl’s successes have come through her relationship building skills. As Mayor, how do you envision your relationship will be with Northwestern and its President and what does your future with them entail?

I’m fortunate to have a good personal and professional relationship with President Shapiro. (In fact, I organized his welcome party when he first started at Northwestern!) The timing of a relatively new council (five of nine members, including me) coincided with his installation as president eight years ago, and we have since built a positive and productive relationship. I have been pleased with his administration so far — they have hired very responsive new staff who bring a lot to our community, and they’ve done some, good development. Of course we need to be firm about what the city needs and ensure that we have a relationship that benefits both of us.

How is your relationship with our Federal and State representatives and what do you see happening at those levels and how can you impact them and create a positive outcome for Evanston?

I have been endorsed by Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky in this race, as I have a longstanding personal and professional relationship with her. She has seen my leadership on the council in the last eight years and believes that I, of all the mayoral candidates, will best represent Evanston values. In my campaigns for alderman, I was also endorsed by State Senator Daniel Biss, State Representative Robyn Gabel, State Representative Laura Fine, and enjoy good relationships with other elected officials in the area, such as Metropolitan Water Reclamation District (MWRD) Commissioner Debra Shore. My husband and I have also helped representatives out of district, such as Congressmen Brad Schneider (Democrat, 10th District) and Bill Foster (Democrat, 11th District) by hosting fundraisers for them and actively volunteering on their campaigns as well as our local ones. Both our federal and our state representatives are under a great deal of stress right now, and I intend to assist them in any way I can by ensuring that our city continues to uphold and model the values for which they’re fighting in Springfield and in Washington.

Recently an open space and parks scorecard was created by a city hired outside consultant.  Overall the City scored a C+.  What is your view on the City’s parks, recreation and open space, including a potential new Robert Crown Center?  

I believe that we need to establish a clear Parks and Recreation Fund within our city budget so that we know exactly how much money is being allocated to improving and maintaining our parks and facilities. The fact is that we have little transparency right now, and funding for our parks is scattered all across our budget. I would like to see a consolidated account of what we’re spending, and I believe we need to return control over maintenance of our facilities back to the Parks and Recreation Department. They should be in charge of the park maintenance schedules, because they know the most about what needs to be done. I would also like to see improved access across all our parks and beaches for persons with physical disabilities and will push our new council to consider all the ways in which we might make our parks open to all our citizens.

Our unfunded pension liability continues to grow exponentially.  It’s currently close to $250 million dollars.   Annually the city is contributing over $18 million to fund pensions and we are still below the 50% funding mark.  Much of the city property tax increases go towards paying increased pension liability and thus  tying this to your previous public discussions about maintaining affordability and even freezing property taxes, please provide us with any suggestions and your position about this gorilla on the city’s back.

Simply put, we need to keep doing our due diligence as a city. Recent setbacks in payment have not been because of lack of funding but rather because the state has issued new mortality tables and consequently lowered the status of our funding. Essentially, extending life expectancy by 10 years has put us in a position where we can cover our current employees, but can’t accurately project future costs, and it will take time and organization to fix that problem. I intend to push the council to approach this problem systematically and thoroughly to avoid further complications.

Closing Statements (2 minutes).

As I mentioned in my opening statement, Evanston means a great deal to me personally because it allowed me to be myself in a way that I had never experienced anywhere else. These days that freedom is under attack. We’re seeing increased threats to our civil liberties and we may face federal cuts to our affordable housing grants if the president decides to crack down on sanctuary cities nationwide. I will not let our state and federal government bully us into abandoning our values and the things that make Evanston the community we all love. I am prepared to lose government funding to ensure our status as a sanctuary city, and I will fight for the rights of all my constituents, whether they are citizens or not.  

When someone attacks immigrant rights or women’s rights, they are attacking my rights as a Jew and my rights as a gay man. I will not allow any of those attacks to intimidate me or the city council. My experience and my extensive knowledge of how Evanston works has prepared me to find alternative solutions to federal and state funding at the least cost to our taxpayers, and, with your vote, as mayor I will ensure that Evanston remains a community that we can all be proud of.

Evanston Patch Survey

View the full article here.

What is the most pressing issue facing the city in 2017?

Evanston’s greatest need is more jobs and better jobs. Providing accessibility to appropriate training and jobs needed by local employers will give Evanstonians young and old a sense of pride and an livable wage. As a member of the City Council, I’ve been supportive of the Mayor’s Summer Youth Job Program and development of apprenticeship programs at Evanston Township High School and Northwestern University and the results are becoming very clear.

As mayor, what is something you’d like to change immediately?

I want to take the lead in building a stronger, more inclusive dialogue among ALL Evanstonians. I believe there are very positive movements in the private sector — especially among faith groups. Special services and other collaborations among these groups have been increasing in both frequency and the number of people participating. I have participated in events hosted by Second Baptist Church and my synagogue, Beth Emet.

What would like to see done with the Harley Clarke Mansion?

I believe we should find a way to preserve the Harley Clark Mansion for both public and private use. The ownership of the mansion must remain in the hands of the city, but the burden of restoration and maintenance CANNOT be that of the Evanston tax payers. The mansion could be home to a restaurant, artist’s gallery, even an all-Evanston gift shop for residents to sell nonperishable goods. It can provide entertainment space of public and private events and offer offices for community groups.

What are your thoughts on the Dodge Avenue bike lane and how the city has catered to bicyclists in recent years?

The Dodge Avenue bike lanes are the result of inadequate funds to do the job properly. The Dodge bike lanes are welcomed by many riders but clearly a difficult addition for emergency vehicles, busses and people with mobility issues. I look forward to the inclusion of bike lanes on Sheridan Road as funding has allowed us to plan them in a way that provides direction and visibility for pedestrians and automobile drivers.

How would you address the crime problem facing some neighborhoods in Evanston?

There are short-, medium- and long-term approaches that we have begun to implement or are already implementing in order to address youth violence. In the short-term, the City and Police departments have worked with the school districts to improve and increase security within the high school and respond to incidents around the school. We have upgraded exterior lighting, implemented an anonymous text-a- tip program and established clear guidelines for emergency situations. Last summer there was a substantial decline in violent crime among our youth, attributed in part to the Mayor’s Summer Youth Program. This kind of mid-range approach is a work in progress. Our dedicated city staff will continue to build on their success providing more work opportunities for our youth. In the long-term, the city will continue to partner with early childcare/education providers and larger collaborations like Cradle to Career. It will require dedication and careful understanding and a lot of other hard work, but the results can be outstanding.

There’s been a perceived disconnect between the Evanston Police Department and the city’s African-American community. How much of a problem is this and what solution would you offer?

I believe the perception is very clear and fairly accurate. The increased use of neighborhood (beat cops) and Problem Solving Team officers are producing positive results. We need to monitor and possibly reassess our police services in the African-American and Latino neighborhoods. Recent changes in policies and procedures will be helpful when problems arise.

We’ve seen a few businesses open and close in a short time frame downtown. What is the key to not only attracting businesses to Evanston but keeping them here as well?

I believe the time has come that we can be more selective in asking businesses to come to Evanston. What are the missing merchants or services we need to make each business district more complete? Do we need another burger place or boxing studio? We must be persistent in our efforts so all residents have access to good, affordable food and other necessities for a healthy lifestyle.

Our downtown is flourishing with new restaurants, brew pubs, and hotel rooms. But we need to make sure these venues stay busy by making our city an even more popular destination. I will continue to push for a downtown performing arts venue, a woman’s history campus, and other large projects that will bring people to Evanston to work, learn, and play.

Evanston is known as a progressive leader and a city ahead of the curve in many areas. Are you proud of this trait?

Our city’s status as a progressive leader is one of my greatest sources of civic pride. We have a history of leading by example. When the City of Chicago struggled to pass an ordinance protecting the civil rights of gays and lesbians, Evanston passed an ordinance that protected lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people (LGBT) — and that was twenty-some years ago. Our achievements in environmental protection have been acclaimed worldwide. And on the economic front, our TIF (tax increment financing) programs have served us well while other communities struggle in their attempts at tax increment financing.

How would you describe the city’s partnership with Northwestern University? Has this partnership been effective and would you like to see it continue?

The timing of a relatively new council (5 of 9 members) coincided with the installation of a new president at Northwestern University, eight years ago, and we have since built a positive and productive relationship. We are no longer included on the lists of worst town-gown communities. And Northwestern’s presence throughout Evanston — ETHS, public events, non-profits — is undeniable.

Are there enough social programs in Evanston and are the ones here effective?

We are rich with social service programs — effective ones, too. But there are missing links that enable residents to access the services they need.

There is also a strong need for case management. A needed service becomes useless if there are barriers to receiving it. Too often, transportation, childcare and other services are lacking.

As mayor, how would you address the community’s call for free beach access during the summer months?

We should help provide beach access to all residents in need. But we need to provide it in a manner that maintains our beaches as safe and enjoyable.

We must also push to improve our beach access for people with disabilities and those who care for them. Another consideration for beach access is transportation. A trolly-like shuttle that makes a loop to and from the beaches would benefit many people and reduce lakefront congestion.

Also, add your political background, experience and any other unique qualifications that make you the best candidate for mayor of Evanston.

Volunteer and Civic Engagement: I have extensive experience in community action and leadership. I became a board member of Better Existence with HIV (BEHIV) in 1996, serving as President of the Board from 1997-2002. I was also a member of the McGaw YMCA Board, serving as their fundraising event co-chair for several years, as well as on the Y’s Residence Committee; in addition, I’m a longtime board member and committee chair of the Democratic Party of Evanston.

I am a graduate of the Evanston Community Foundation’s Leadership Evanston program (2004), served on the steering committee of Leadership Evanston. I’m also a graduate of Evanston’s Citizen Police Academy (2010).

I’ve served two terms as 6th Ward Alderman on the Evanston City Council over the last seven plus years, and they’ve been very productive. I am proud to have taken a leadership role on many of our initiatives:

  • We amended the Affordable Housing Ordinance with incentives for builders to include a range of housing options on site, or opt to make a significant contribution to the housing fund. By the end of 2017, funds received will exceed three million dollars.
  • We reorganized the Evanston Animal Shelter and Animal Control Program with expanded adoption and fostering programs operated largely by volunteer Evanston residents.
  • Focusing city and private efforts on a versatile Performing Arts Center in our downtown will help us maintain our standing as a top entertainment destination — keeping our restaurants and hotels thriving.
  • By transitioning the Evanston Public Library to a self-directed fund model, compliant with state law, we created a self-directed board removed from other city politics.

On Council, I serve on the Rules, Planning and Development, Human Services, Economic Development, Parking and Transportation and City-School Liaison Committees as well as the Housing and Homelessness Commission.

Education and professional background: I am a 1978 magna cum laude graduate of the University of Cincinnati with a B.S. Degree in Design. I practiced graphic design for 35 years at large and small firms including international public relations firms Hill+Knowlton and Burson-Marsteller. For the last 20 years I have run my own business with a long list of clients including Brach’s Candy, First Chicago, Chicago-Kent College of Law, Cohn & Wolfe and William M. Mercer.

Democratic Party of Evanston Survey

Below are Mark’s full responses to the survey put out by the Democratic Party of Evanston for their endorsement session at 4 pm on Sunday, February 19th at the Unitarian Church of Evanston (1330 Ridge Ave.).

Why are you seeking this office?

When I first came to Evanston, I found a community that made me feel welcome and let me be myself in a way that I’d never experienced before. I first ran for office when funding was cut for Better Existence with HIV (BEHIV), an organization I worked with for many years. I lost, but got involved with a number of community organizations and was elected successfully as 6th Ward Alderman in 2009. I feel that I’ve done a lot of good work on the City Council and am proud of all that we’ve accomplished, but I’d like to return to serving the entire city. My work with BEHIV took me into every corner of Evanston, and I want to make sure that everyone, newcomers and lifelong Evanstonians alike, feel as welcome here as I did when I first came.

Are you a democrat? Liberal?  Progressive?

Yes, I am a lifelong Democrat. I served on the Board of the Democratic Party of Evanston from 2005 to 2009, and chaired the Communications Committee. I define myself as a progressive, liberal Democrat, because the most important issue to me has always been civil rights, and I feel that my role as an elected official is to protect civil rights above all else.

Why should the Democratic Party of Evanston endorse you?

I have been very involved with the DPOE over the years. In addition to being on the Board for four years, my husband, Neal Moglin, and I have hosted events for Democratic officials in and out of our district and volunteered for the Democratic Party. Additionally, in my race for alderman I was endorsed by every single one of our local Democratic representatives. I have always put community first and advocated for civil rights, and I believe the duty of government, whether local, state, or federal, is to advocate for inclusivity and equity. I believe that these values represent the Democratic Party. In 2012, The DPOE honored Neal and me with the Evanston Community Service Award.

How many doors did you knock on this week? What are voters telling you?

My campaign team and I knocked on almost a thousand doors this weekend, and the voters we reached are, more than anything else, troubled by what they’ve seen on the national scene and are looking to our local government for reassurance. In times like these, it is more important than ever to establish strong local ordinances that will protect those whom our federal government puts at risk.

List five key endorsements you have received?

Jan Schakowsky, U. S. Congresswoman (IL-9)
Debra Shore, Metropolitan Water Reclamation District Commissioner
Evanston Firefighters Association Local 742
Gerri Sizemore, Evanston/North Shore NAACP board member
Richard Rykhus, former D65 School Board member

Describe one innovative progressive/liberal initiative you will pursue if elected?

I plan to advocate for and raise awareness about physical and mental disabilities and the daily troubles our citizens face when caring for themselves and the ones they love. In Evanston, there are a lot of barriers to accessing our services, and not all of our services work for the people they are intended to help. I will work hard to make our parks, playgrounds, summer programs, and beaches more inclusive and to partner with our schools in their efforts to bring much-needed services to children with disabilities and their families. Additionally, I want to ensure that our seniors can live out their lives in Evanston, either at home or in one of our many senior care facilities by implementing the recommendations set fourth by the Age Friendly Task Force. I also hope, that by raising awareness, we can erase some of the stigma surrounding mental illness, and substance abuse, and raise the quality of life for all Evanstonians.

Evanston is a sanctuary city. What should the City do if the federal government begins cutting funding because it does not cooperate in immigration enforcement?  

We must fight to resist any policies that don’t reflect the values of our community. There is no choice here: Evanston cannot bow to intimidation tactics or bullying from the federal government. I feel we are most likely at risk for losing funding for Community Development Block Grants (CDBG) and HUD/Home funds, but we are prepared for that. As a result of our amended Affordable Housing Ordinance, we are generating increased contributions to our Affordable Housing Fund, and that revenue should make up for potential losses in funding.

Please address the video of Lawrence Crosby’s arrest on October 10, 2015, and the City’s response to his arrest?

The Crosby arrest video prompted City officials, including myself, to take action with required training for police officers, particularly in the areas of de-escalation and better communication procedures from dispatch to arrest. More recently, a long list of changes in policy and procedure was presented to the Council as guidelines for our police force going forward, which helped address other recent incidents, such as the arrest of Devon Reid in November 2016. As Chair of the Human Services Committee, I can attest that the changes will provide greater interaction between police and citizens, including providing more evidence regarding complaints and making the complaint procedure more accessible.

Is there inequality in Evanston, for example in policing, housing, education, access to services, or jobs? If so, what are the causes and what do you intend to do to address inequality?

Certainly, inequality exists in Evanston. Inequality is ingrained in our culture, and we will not make any progress in addressing it by denying that it exists. I believe in Evanston because we never stop trying to address inequalities and diminish them wherever possible. I believe that the solution lies in stepping past our fears and our social boundaries to engage in frank, honest dialogue. We need to begin with objective listening, in order to include and promote the voices of those most marginalized in our communities.

Do you oppose each of the proposals set for the in Governor Bruce Rauner’s Turnaround Agenda (see Be specific as to any you support. Why?

On the surface, I believe Governor Rauner and I agree in identifying the biggest concerns for our state. However, we disagree completely on how those things must be accomplished. Governor Rauner’s uncompromising stance on leading Illinois out of its current debt crisis has left us with little hope of the possibility of working together. I believe his policies only benefit people in the very highest income level. If we agree that sacrifices may need to be made, we cannot favor any one group and instead must approach reform in such a way that we don’t disadvantage our most vulnerable.

What should be the minimum wage?  Should workers be able to earn paid sick leave? What is the City’s role on these issues?

I firmly believe in at least $15 an hour, but would like to see minimum wage go even higher than that, because even $15 per hour is not a livable wage. I believe the key to this is creating better jobs, ones that will provide a career instead of just a paycheck. We as a Council have worked to discourage fast food jobs from coming into Evanston, because those aren’t the kind of jobs we need here. I also firmly believe in paid sick leave. People get sick, and no one should be penalized for that. All jobs should provide earned benefits, including minimum wage jobs.

What will you do to promote economic development? What about small businesses?

Of our City departments, Economic Development has been transformed the most over the last eight years. I joined the Council right after the recession hit, and we were able to rise out of the recession relatively quickly and make Evanston one of the most attractive places for business — nationwide. We were able to develop restaurants and retail businesses to get people to come to our neighborhood shopping districts, while also building our downtown through events sponsored by the city, Downtown Evanston, and the North Shore Visitors and Convention Bureau. We continue to reap the benefits of our TIFs (Tax Increment Financing) districts, which bring income and infrastructure to our city.

Describe how the City should interact with its public employee unions?

Thus far our City Manager and our CFO (Chief Financial Officer), along with our Human Resources staff have worked hard to reach agreements in a fair and relatively quick manner. I believe that continuing to cooperate fully with our police, firefighters, AFSME, and other unions will continue to yield productive results.

Do you consider department-staffing levels (including for the fire department) a mandatory subject of collective bargaining?

Yes, directors, staff, and other leaders know the needs of their departments very well. Council members rely on the information provided by these departments to make decisions. It is in our best interests to make sure that we know as much as possible about our departments as they strive to bring the best services possible to all who live, work, learn, and play in Evanston.

What will you do to make our Evanston more environmentally sustainable?

We’ve taken care of our own house: the Civic Center, city vehicles, and other city buildings are more efficient now than ever before. And, we’ve taken the time to make sure that we’re operating on a sustainable system. The time has come to turn outward and implement the same policies city-wide. These investments will save us money in the long run by conserving energy and preserving Evanston for those to come, but it will also help save money in the short term, by cutting back utility costs. Through our new initiative in benchmarking, we will have information from larger commercial and residential building owners that will help us set additional, realistic goals.

What will you do to combat gun violence?

Overwhelmingly, what I’ve heard from communities affected by gun violence is that we need to invest more in affordable housing and better jobs. We should, of course, do everything we can to assist and train police officers — especially in ways that reduce access to guns. But we also need to look at the big picture and invest in long-term solutions. These issues are intersectional: addressing economic development and providing better treatment for mental illness and substance abuse will also lead to a reduction in violence.

Tendam on the Travel Ban

Alderman Tendam’s Statement to Northwestern University Students on the Travel Ban, Evanston as a Sanctuary City, and the Current Administration

Sanctuary cities make us all safer. Making people afraid to report violence in the home or on the streets hurts all of us. Telling our police to investigate violence rather than legal status helps all of us.

Immigration rights are human rights. America was built by immigrants. First and second generation Americans wrote our constitution. My husband is a first generation American—the son of a refugee.

The current president doesn’t understand America. He doesn’t understand our Constitution, and he doesn’t understand that his policies are making us less safe. Demonizing non-white, non-Christian people recruits extremists, and taking away civil rights from some people diminishes the rights of all people.

We cannot let this administration divide America.

Why am I here? As a Jewish man and an openly gay man, I know how important it is to stand up for myself. But I also know I would not be where I am if others had not stood up for me.

When we say we need to resist what’s happening now, we are saying stand up, rise up, and lift up everyone in this country. When someone attacks workers’ rights they are attacking all of our rights. When someone attacks the rights of Muslims, they are attacking my rights as a Jew, my rights as a gay man, and everyone’s rights as human beings.