Editor’s Note: A version of this Q&A was published in September 2010. Rogers is a Chicago native and Austin resident.
Tell us a bit about yourself.
I’m a newly retired police officer (April 16, 2010), and I have lived in Austin since 1970. I began working [with the Chicago Police Dept.] in 1977 as a civilian in the beat representative program, a federally-funded program aimed at going out into the community and doing workshops and seminars and crime prevention programs…pulling the community together. I was involved in that until 1986.
When I moved to the Austin community, I began to volunteer for Concerned Members of Austin – its mission was to empower the community. I sat on one of the committees and we were given federal funds to start the beat rep program. At one point [the Chicago Police Dept.] offered me a position. Then in 1986, I became a sworn officer. I worked at the 29th Ward, 15th District station my entire career.
How will you bring money and/or projects into Austin?
We will focus on education, economic development. I’m encouraging people to have a voice, to offer suggestions…From what I understand, and I’ve been doing some research, there are some projects that the 29th Ward could be involved in, that it’s currently not. I want to make sure the 29th Ward won’t be overlooked. There is the Harrison TIF (tax increment financing), the North Avenue TIF, and there are some huge businesses that want to come to Austin. We need to…bring those businesses to the table to use those dollars. And we need to make sure that [businesses] have knowledge of the application process.
-Nick Moroni, staff reporter