FRAN SPIELMAN, CHICAGO SUN-TIMES | LINK TO ARTICLE
The flip-side of Chicago’s 1.25 million city stickers would carry advertising to generate $15 million-a-year — enough to hire 100 new police officers and give motorists a modest break — under a plan proposed by the frontrunner for city clerk.
State Rep. Susana Mendoza (D-Chicago) wants to turn city stickers into money makers, much the way Mayor Daley has talked about letting private companies put holiday decorations and their corporate logos on bridge houses along the Chicago River.
The front-side of Chicago city stickers bears the winning entry of a design competition among student artists. The flip-side that motorists stare at on the inside of the windshield includes a grey scale of the city seal and signatures of the mayor and city clerk.
“It really advertises me, if I’m elected. It’s a complete waste of real estate. We have an opportunity to open it up to corporate advertisers to raise $15 million,” said Mendoza, who’s running for city clerk with the backing of powerful City Council Finance Committee Chairman Ald. Edward M. Burke (14th).
“Nobody is talking about how they’re gonna bring that type of revenue to the city and it’s such a no-brainer. As clerk, I should not be the beneficiary of that very valuable real estate. Taxpayers should be the beneficiaries.”
A request-for-proposals (RFP) from advertisers would determine the precise amount of new revenue. But, Mendoza conservatively estimates that advertisers would pay $1-a-month per sticker for the right to plaster their ads on 1.25 million windshields.
“That’s really cheap if you think about being in someone’s vehicle for 365 days. It’s a great deal and great opportunity for an advertiser,” she said.
Mayor Daley’s final budget includes enough money to hire just 200 police officers. That’s nowhere near enough to keep pace with normal retirements, let alone solve a severe manpower shortage.
Mendoza said she would use $9 million of the new ad revenues to hire 100 additional officers. The remaining $6 million would be used to cut city sticker fees by $5.
“It’s not gonna change anybody’s life. But, if people allow a corporate sponsor to come into their vehicle, we should at least make an effort to give something back at a time when everybody seems to be taking from city taxpayers,” Mendoza said.
Corporate sponsors would also be required to pick up the $170,000 annual cost of printing city stickers. That money would be used to provide more summer jobs for inner-city teens.
Chicago sells 1.25 million city stickers each year at a cost of $75 for smaller passenger vehicles and $120 for SUV’s and other vehicles weighing more than 4,500 pounds. The $100 million goes into a Vehicle Tax Fund used to repair Chicago streets.
The sticker fee for smaller vehicles has not been raised since 2000. Increases in 2003 and 2008 applied only to SUVs.
* Read the January 4 press statement, regarding this topic, from Susana Mendoza about Rahm Emaunel's plan.
* Download and view the official City Sticker Ad Proposal from Susana Mendoza
* Contribute $250, $100, $50 or $25 to Susana Mendoza's campaign to ensure that her proven experience, and ideas such as ads on city stickers, will benefit all of Chicago.
* Click here to view all the articles about the Susana Mendoza proposal for ads on city stickers.
LINK TO ARTICLE