Candidates Views – General Elections April 6 – Rockford Mayor

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 Mayoral General Election - 2021

NameThomas McNamara ✔︎Unopposed
Thomas McNamara
Street Address425 East State Street
CityRockford
Preferred public campaign contact methodhttps://www.mcnamaraformayor.com/ Email - info@mcnamaraformayor.com FB- https://www.facebook.com/tommcnamaraformayor Twitter - @tmcrkfd
Highest Education AchievedMasters Degree
Field of Experience, either paid or volunteerNon Profit Administration
Candidate PartyDemocrat
Elective OfficeMayor
Constituent AreaRockford
Candidate StatusIncumbent
Why do you want to serve as Mayor? What prompted you to run for office?I love Rockford and helping us reach and exceed our full potential. We need to reduce crime, strengthen neighborhoods, increase economic activity, increase educational attainment and increase unity and pride.
How much time, in hours, do you think you will have to spend each week in committee meetings?30
How much time, in hours, will you have available each week to address constituents concerns, discuss issues, and personally meet with some constituents?30
Do you have any plans, or ambition, to seek other elected positions in government after serving on the City Council?Maybe. Let's see how this goes.
Do you plan to hold regular public constituent meetings?Yes, monthly
What are the special challenges of your constituent area and how do you plan to address those needs?We must reduce violence.We need stronger more stable neighborhoods. We need lower property taxes. We need more livable wage jobs.We need unity through our diversity. While we have reduced revenues and 1/3 less staff than comparable cities.
What specific talents from your previous experiences make you a good candidate for your office?The ability to actively listen, develop an action plan and get it accomplished makes me a strong candidate. Understanding my own shortcomings and surrounding myself with talented, high integrity individuals.
For Rockford aldermanic candidates: On which committees do you wish to be a member? n/a
What specific skills do you bring to the committees?I am on - Alignment Rockford Board, Criminal Justice Coordinating Council, Board of Region 1 Planning Council, Illinois Municipal League Board, Restore, Renew, Reinvest State Board, RAEDC Board, Workforce Connection Board, among others.
What is your experience in group negotiations for stated goals? (In partisan situations certain guidelines may need consensus.)Nearly every vote at City Council has been approved with bipartisan support. I built strong relationships through communication, trust, listening and follow through. Initiatives like Family Peace Center and Rockford Promise are examples.
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 with my knowledge and experience. That's why I was chosen to represent.
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?Not applicable to Mayor. We need to support and advance policies & initiatives that benefit the entire community.
What is the core reason(s) for crime in your constituent area and the community as a whole.There is not one but three that come to mind is – poverty, low educational attainment levels and the trauma our young people experience in their home, on their street and in our community.
What ideas do you have to reduce crime in your constituent area and the community as a whole? Please include funding ideas.Increasing enrollment in early childhood education. I developed NIU Rockford Promise. I have created and opened the Family Peace Center. I have brought Camp Hope to Rockford. We need more focus and collaboration on our youth and families.
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?As a community wrap our arms & resources around young people experiencing trauma. The majority of violent offenders have experienced trauma as a young child. Additionally, those who commit crimes utilizing a gun need to be held accountable.
What ideas do you have for more commerce that brings jobs to the community for middle-class wages and benefits?We must improve infrastructure. We need to ensure our residents get the education and training they need for today's economy. We need to continue to improve our ‘livability’ as businesses follow residents.
What do you think needs done to address the issues of social-economic and race inequity this community?Appreciate and celebrate our diversity. We need our boards to be reflective of our diversity. I increased the number of women on boards by 52% & people of color by 60%. We need to recognize problems exist and work honestly to address them.
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.In my 4 years as mayor we have never increased property taxes. In 2020, we passed Rockford Promise, started co-responder model, passed cannabis resolution, approved a balanced budget, moved police body-cams forward, passed local preference ordinance, opened FPC.
LWVGR-Candidate-Questionnaire-1/2021