Candidates Views – General Elections April 6 – Rockford 8th Ward

Groovy Ballot Box

On January 9, 2021 The League of Women Voters of Greater Rockford sent a questionnaire to reachable candidates in the Municipal Elections being held April 6, 2021. Early voting started March 12, and mail-in ballots available when a request is sent to: Rockford Board of Elections at voterockford.com, Boone County Clerk’s office and the Winnebago County Clerk’s office.

The results below are for the Rockford and Belvidere city races only. Candidates not submitting questionnaire information will have their names present, all candidates are in ballot order.


General Voting and Election Information

Ballots, voter rights, contact info, literally everything, is on the LWVGR Voter Information page. Office winners are checked.


Rockford 8th Ward General Election - 2021

NameKaren Hoffman ✔︎Unopposed
Karen Hoffman
Street Address3323 Carolina Ave
CityRockford
Preferred public campaign contact methodkkhoffman01@comcast.net
Highest Education AchievedAssociate Degree Diploma or Trade certification
Field of Experience, either paid or volunteerSocial Work and Community Activist
Candidate PartyDemocratic
Elective OfficeAlderperson
Constituent Area8th Ward
Candidate StatusIncumbent
Why do you want to be on the City Council? What prompted you to run for office?I am running for a 2nd term to complete the work in my Ward that I started during my original term. My Ward had been severely neglected over many years and was hard hit during two recessions. I wanted us to again be a friendly community.
How much time, in hours, do you think you will have to spend each week in committee meetings?6
How much time, in hours, will you have available each week to address constituents concerns, discuss issues, and personally meet with some constituents?27
Do you have any plans, or ambition, to seek other elected positions in government after serving on the City Council?No, This office is my only goal.
Do you plan to hold regular public constituent meetings?Yes, Quarterly
What are the special challenges of your constituent area and how do you plan to address those needs?My Ward had severe flooding issues and many of the roads and sidewalks were in severe disrepair. People had lost hope in our community and had consequently walked-away from their homes or lost them in foreclosure. We needed to rebuild.
What specific talents from your previous experiences make you a good candidate for your office?I worked for the State of Illinois so I understood how government works. I also was an activist for many years and ran a neighborhood group so I understood the challenges and how to overcome them.
For Rockford aldermanic candidates: On which committees do you wish to be a member? Housing Ad Hoc
Community Action Agency
Code & Regulation
Finance & Personnel
Labor Negotiations
What specific skills do you bring to the committees?I have been very active in the community for over 13 years so I understand the needs and as an activist, I know how to apply for funds beyond those available thru the City to accomplish necessary tasks.
What is your experience in group negotiations for stated goals? (In partisan situations certain guidelines may need consensus.)I have the ability to work with both sides of the aisle and consequently have been able to get a resolution passed thru Council.
If you feel strongly about a particular issue and your constituents feel the opposite, how would you vote when the issues comes up on the Council?Vote as the majority of my constituents want. I represent them.
In decisions where your constituent area will gain at the expense of the community as a whole, where does your allegiance to your constituent area end and your concern about community-wide issues begin?I first represent my Ward, but I would try to negotiate so that all are served, but if I don't put my constituents first who will?
What is the core reason(s) for crime in your constituent area and the community as a whole.The core reason for crime in my area is varied. Much is the result of gangs and drug dealers who are arguing over territory but often it is the result of Domestic Violence of some sort. There is little petty crime. It is mostly targeted.
What ideas do you have to reduce crime in your constituent area and the community as a whole? Please include funding ideas.For my area, it has been to involve all citizens. We have worked together closely and support the Police. We have encouraged personal cameras. As a whole, we must implement some changes to policing and systemic racism.
Do you support retraining police to reduce confrontational police tactics?Yes, police retraining is needed and additional social resources are needed to augment the ability to keep the peace.
What method would you support to pay for additional social resources to keep the peace?Keep police funding the same; support higher taxes to pay for additional social resources.
What do you think the community can do about the increase in gun violence that has not already been done?Press for stronger gun laws at the State level but also to work with young people to redirect them from gangs and guns. We also need reentry programs and ways to invest in those returning from prison. We have been working on the issue.
What ideas do you have for more commerce that brings jobs to the community for middle-class wages and benefits?We need to continue making the downtown and the City a destination area. That brings in tax dollars to improve living conditions and makes us a place that is welcoming to prospective employers. We need to reduce crime.
What do you think needs done to address the issues of social-economic and race inequity this community?We need to add affordable housing units. Our City is short by 5000 units. We need programs that redirect our youth and we need reentry programs and ways to help returning offenders to develop their own businesses. Improve underserved areas.
Concerning the Covid-19 pandemic, what mitigation-level rules you support?Mandatory CDC-recommended masks and 6-foot social distancing.
Please state any other areas, important to you, that you want the public to know.We need for all Aldermen to work together for the good of their individual Wards but we also need to recognize that all Wards are different and we need to acknowledge that poverty is not a result of any personal character flaw.
LWVGR-Candidate-Questionnaire-1/2021