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2017 Election Questionnaire: Berwyn City Council Ward 6 candidate Alicia M. Ruiz

Published: Monday, March 20, 2017 5:45 p.m. CDT
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(Photo provided)
Berwyn City Council Ward 6 candidate Alicia M. Ruiz

Age

50 

Current occupation

Real Estate Consultant, Small Business Owner

Education

AABA, Benedictine UniversityBS, Urban Planning, University of IL (2017)

Immediate family

3 Children and 6 Grandchildren

Civic involvement

President, Prairie Oak PTACommissioner, Zoning Board of Appeals, City of BerwynCommissioner, Historic Preservation Commission, City of BerwynChair, West Town Chapter, Chicago Association of Realtors

Previous elected offices held

While I’ve been appointed by city to various commissions and zoning boards, this would be my first elected position and will take this opportunity to build upon my existing track record of leadership and community service.

Why have you decided to run for this office?

I’m running for Alderman to provide the 6th Ward with a strong, progressive and independent voice, and to bring new and bold ideas to Berwyn. I will be an accessible and proactive advocate for all residents, bring transparency to city government and will balance my responsibilities to residents with the demands of serving the city.

What experience and strengths would you bring to this office if elected?

Due to my background in urban planning, I have a deep understanding of public affairs and public policy issues. I also have a proven track record of strong leadership skills, thanks in part to leading the Prairie Oak PTA as president for the past several years. Further, I’ve served on Berwyn’s Board of Appeals and the Historic Preservation Commission, where I work in a government setting to cut through the red tape to get done what needs to get done for residents.

What project most needs to be completed in Berwyn? How would you work to ensure the project is completed and done well?

The 6th Ward has a very diverse range of residents; we’re different than any other ward in Berwyn. I’ll create a Diversity Commission, comprised of both long-time and new residents, as well as local experts who will be tasked with making Berwyn the most aware, diverse and socially progressive city in the region. Berwyn is rapidly changing with an influx of new and great residents, and we need to welcome them and let them know how to engage with our city.

How would you support expanding the city’s commercial and industrial tax base?

Berwyn’s commercial corridors are continually changing. The best way to expand the city’s tax base is to adapt to and support these changes. As a municipal planner, I recognize that these changes are constant and necessary and as a small business owner, I also understand those concerns, as well. I will work for an increase in retail openings in and around Berwyn, while recognizing and supporting the development and changes in the city’s commercial corridors.

What issues specific to your ward would you like to see addressed by the council?

I will ensure that the 6th Ward gets its fair share of resources. I will advocate for new infrastructure – specifically new alleys, sidewalks and streets, and better speed control measures, such as permanent speed feedback signs. I will also find ways to pay for this by cost-sharing with other agencies, which is paramount, so as to improve services for residents at no additional cost to them.

The current political climate across the United States seems more divided than ever. What will you do to foster cooperation and compromise on the council?

As public servants, we all have one common goal: a passion to improve Berwyn and help make it better for residents. I will work together with others in our city government to advocate for the citizens of Berwyn. My hope is that this collaboration will encourage area residents to engage with the community, regardless of specific issues or backgrounds, to help continue to make Berwyn a great place to live.

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