March 24, 2017

FAQ: Northwestern

How would you ensure that Northwestern really is a good neighbor to Evanston?

I love Northwestern and make it a habit to attend sporting events, hire Northwestern students as interns, work with Professors on case studies, and assist students applying for Fellowships.

Many people think NU should pay more. I intend to work respectfully and collaboratively with the University leadership to make sure we are each aware of the other’s needs. Over time, I would like to see them extend and increase the one million dollar a year (for five years) “Good Neighbor” Fund they created. I would also like to use my connections as a National Academy of Public Administration Fellow to speak with other Mayors and see what their communities are doing to get their private universities to pay something in lieu of taxes so that we can continue to negotiate and advance our position with Northwestern.

I do think we have made progress under President Schapiro and Mayor Tisdahl’s leadership. I would like to see that continue and will work hard to push for a more equitable relationship. Additionally, I will make it clear that a “good neighbor,” which I do believe the University is trying to be, does not take additional property off the tax rolls. I will vocally and adamantly make this clear, just as I did with their recent purchase on Oak which you can read on Facebook here.

I also think that we need to utilize Northwestern, its resources, and its talent more than we currently are. I think there’s a lot of potential for more collaboration between Northwestern and Evanston (e.g., NU Family Institute, SESP, Library Services, etc.). I think this could be essential in creating the equity for which we all strive.

I think my corporate and government experience working on complex, billion dollar grants to state and local governments positions me well to negotiate, when necessary, from a position of mutual respect.