Better Government Free of Corruption and a Decrease in the Mayor's Salary

  • I am not taking any campaign contributions from those who do direct business with the city of Aurora or are seeking contracts with the city
  • I would reduce the mayoral salary by 25% as my first act in office to usher in a new culture of public service. I want every city employee to know they work for the taxpayers.
  • I believe in an open-door policy and a transparent schedule
  • We need more community engagement and meetings, before the council moves forward on big decisions

Taxes, Budgets and TIF Districts

  • Re-align the city’s budget to meet the goals for a new vision for Aurora; a vision to bring our city into the 21st Century as one of the greenest cities in America
  • I oppose the further use of taxpayer dollars to subsidize moving the casino from downtown to the I-88/Farnsworth Interchange. I think we need a pause on this project until a developer approaches the city.
  • We can finance energy efficiency remodels for commercial and residential spaces through Property Assessed Clean Energy Programs (PACE)
  • Increased revenue by increasing the Cannabis Tax from 2% to 3% and investing that money in youth services

New Business Opportunities in the Energy Efficiency World - A Green Aurora

  • Making Aurora the epicenter of the green building movement and embracing renewable energy will ultimately make us an exporter city. The region that adopts these aggressive incentives and standards first will attract new businesses that build energy efficient windows and doors, new insulation businesses, and businesses that specialize in energy efficiency and renewables
  • Explore micro hydro-electric plants on the Fox River that do not harm the environment
  • Businesses, and other facilities that have large parking lots could see tax reductions for covering their parking lots with solar panels, offering shade, and free energy.
  • Work with other governing bodies to aggressively pursue grants and green building incentives
  • I will work with our schools, Waubonsee Community College, and Aurora University to develop the training programs necessary to achieve this transition in our local economy

Rebuilding Aurora’s Economy by Investing in Energy Efficiency and Renewables

  • Putting money directly into Aurora homes and businesses for those who pursue energy efficiency retrofits, solar investments, and electric charging stations
  • Reduce energy bills for homeowners and businesses
  • Focusing on stabilizing the residential market and protecting property values if the economy continues to decline during the pandemic
  • Local tax rebates should be streamlined with state and federal programs so homeowners can maximize the investment they make in their homes
  • Propose a “Treebate” tax incentive for home and business owners who plant hardwood trees purchased from a local greenhouse
  • Work to build a local food economy by partnering with schools, local restaurants, local farmers, and other governing bodies

Investing in Living Wage Jobs, Small Businesses, and Our Community

  • Focus economic development efforts on attracting companies that are interested in paying a living wage and treating employees like family
  • Communities thrive when workers are earning a living wage. When people have money to buy a home and care for their home, the whole neighborhood improves and grows stronger
  • When parents can survive on a 40/hr work week, they can spend more time with their kids to participate in school activities, help with homework, and enjoy the parks, trails and facilities that our community offers
  • The city needs to work with the Aurora Township, the Library Board, the Fox Valley Park District, and school districts to construct an overlapping plan for more community centers that offer localized, needs-based facilities and services
  • Continue rebuilding Aurora’s downtown area especially for locally owned businesses
  • Add additional requirements for TIF districts to have a living wage standard
  • Recruit businesses that want to be part of our green building movement
  • Oppose any new temp agencies that bring low wage jobs

Public Safety, Police Reforms and Budget Priorities

We must have a productive discussion about reforming the police department both for the safety of all our residents and for the safety of the officers who serve. We need to re-align the city budget to achieve the following:

  • Invest in real crime prevention: job creation, community & youth services, and education/job training programs
  • Requiring new police and fire employees to live in the city
  • Transitioning some policing positions into community service officers with a background in mental health to respond to non-violent calls
  • Neighborhood service officers who are engaged in the community and can conduct wellness checks for senior citizens who want to see a friendly face
  • Creating citizen oversight body with investigative powers for cases of police brutality or shootings
  • A zero-tolerance policy for any city employee who engages in excessive use of force, uses racial slurs, or discriminates against the taxpayers whom they serve
  • Replace our squad cars and public vehicles with hybrid or electric vehicles
  • Our police will not coordinate with ICE
  • Oppose the expansion of red-light cameras

Evolving and Adapting to COVID-19

  • The city’s role in responding to COVID-19 should be to find ways to help restaurants have more outdoor seating or curbside pick-up during the winter months
  • Strongly encourage people to keep their masks on in any place that has a fan-powered heating or cooling system
  • Maintain access to clean, running water for city residents without imposing late fees
  • Urge utilities to keep the heat on during the winter months
  • Throughout the pandemic it is important to prevent an increased homeless population, that would create new financial burdens. If the federal government does not act, we will need to work with state lawmakers to expand safe, non-congested housing options for homeless people so the virus does not spread rapidly through places like Hesed House.

One Aurora - Creating a Government that Works for All!

  • Strive to bring people together, close the wealth gap, give people a seat at the table and form a more collaborative government
  • Support keeping the PRIDE parade here in Aurora along with other cultural events that celebrate our diversity
  • Many of Aurora’s undocumented residents are living in the shadows because federal laws do not make legal migration easy. We need a connecting point for people who are trying to navigate the paperwork process between organizations like World Relief and Family Focus.
  • Use my voice as a community leader to challenge those who seek to ban, divide or exclude people from the United States based on class, race, or religion. Such as the Muslim ban.

Support Women's Rights

"I have always and will always support a women's autonomy over her own body. I support planned parenthood and a woman's right to choose. If I'm elected mayor, Planned Parenthood can rest assure that they have a home in Aurora!" ~ John Laesch