Promoting Equity

The need for a Mayor who is laser-focused on issues of equity and inclusion has never been more acute than it is today. While the City now has a staff member dedicated exclusively to addressing issues of fairness and equality (something that I successfully pushed for), the Mayor is in a unique position to advocate publicly for inclusiveness and equality both inside and outside the Civic Center. We have, for example, already taken positive steps on issues of gender, including changing our zoning ordinance to require gender-neutral restrooms in new and existing public spaces that have more than two restrooms and adding gender-neutral bathrooms to the Civic Center. 

If I am fortunate enough to be elected as Mayor of Evanston, I would not only be the first Jewish person to hold that position but the first openly gay person elected as the mayor of any city or town in Illinois. That, in and of itself, would send a strong message of inclusion and empowerment not only to our residents but to our neighbors and business partners.

I have been committed to asking hard questions about targeted policing and post-stop searches of Black and Hispanic drivers in Evanston, but there is more that we can do. For starters, we can acknowledge that Black Lives Matter in all we do. Affordable housing is a critical issue in Evanston, but the problem is particularly acute for residents of color, as are problems of unemployment and underemployment. As Mayor I will work to address both problems so that we can all rise together.

(View: Mark’s approach to affordable housing and jobs).

As Mayor, I will continue our current commitment to preserving Evanston’s status as a sanctuary city. Requiring our law enforcement officers to serve as de facto immigration officials would deter the reporting of crimes, hamper the investigation of criminal activity, and make us all less safe. Likewise, requiring health care professionals to police the immigration status of persons seeking treatment would endanger not only the lives of those deterred from seeking needed medical attention but the lives of anyone who interacts with those individuals. I will not let the current Federal administration bully us into abandoning our values and the things that make Evanston the community we all love, and I will fight for the rights of all Evanstonians, whether or not they are documented citizens.

I will do everything in my power to unite the City in common cause against prejudice, hatred and bigotry. When any group’s rights are attacked, all of our rights are attacked. I have reached out to every corner of our city in the past twenty years, both as a board member of organizations like BEHIV and the McGaw YMCA and as an elected official. I am committed to holding monthly meetings in Spanish with our Latin@ community, meeting regularly with students at Northwestern University, attending services with all our city’s different faith groups, reaching out to our LGBTQ+ community, and bringing people from all walks of life to represent our City on committees and at City events.

View: Mark’s Statement on President Trump’s Travel Ban.