Alex Rodriguez: Candidate for At-Large Joliet City Council Seat
3/10/2017, 1:40 p.m.
Tell us about yourself. Where did you grow up, go to school, describe your family life, what are your hobbies, how do you make a living?
A) Alex Rodriguez, 23 years old, grew up in Joliet on both the East and West side. Graduate of Plainfield High School. Attended DeVry University and Arizona State University. I am married with two kittens in our small bungalow - our first house - in the Cathedral Area. We first came to Joliet when I was young and my father chose a different path in life, one that did not include my mother, sister, and I, so we called Guardian Angel and the Daybreak Center home for awhile. It was there I attended Forest Park I.E. School. It is pretty incredible to own a home just a few miles away from Daybreak Center and I am so blessed for the opportunities this city has provided me and my family. When I’m not managing my Starbucks Coffee Store and I am riding my Harley Davidson Ultra Classic. I’ve been a member of the Harley community since I was 16 and a member of our local Joliet HOG Chapter #1025 since 2011. Being a rider is a passion of mine and I was honored to receive the endorsement of Conrad’s Harley Davidson, our local Joliet dealership.
Why are you running for an at-large council seat?
A) I believe our current city council has become stale. When you combine the two elected incumbents their years of service adds up to 40 years. Joliet has changed a lot in 40 years but we continue to elect the same old All Talk, No Action politicians. I am a strong believer in government for the people, by the people, that our government should be composed of ordinary citizens stepping up to lead and own their community, not government controlled by special interests and unions. Twenty, thirty years from now I will still be here in Joliet while some of our current city council members may be retired in Florida. The younger generations need a voice in city government because it is the younger generations that will be impacted the most by decisions made today for tomorrow.
Gambling revenue is on a downward trend from a high in 2007 of just over $36 million to just over $18 million in 2015. What are some other funding streams you see as potential options for the city to replace those shrinking funds?
A) Joliet has to be more than just a casino city. Harrah’s and Hollywood Casinos are great places for adult entertainment and as a city council we have an obligation to see them succeed. With that said Joliet is sitting on a gold mine. Joliet has a downtown, which sits on Route 66, that has enormous potential and is extremely underutilized. We need growth and development in our historic city center that is full of arts and entertainment, parks and recreation, exciting nightlife, and family friendly establishments. A prosperous downtown will benefit the entire city and can even be a fantastic supplement to Harrah’s Casino that will add enormous revenue to the city.