For the 49th Ward Alderman’s Ward Service Office site, please visit http://www.ward49.com.
I have officially launched my campaign for re-election as Alderman of the 49th Ward.
My nominating papers contained the signatures of 7,180 residents. This was by far the most petition signatures I have ever gathered in any of my aldermanic bids and reflects the broad support I have earned the last four years. Four years which have been filled with more progress than ever before in a neighborhood that is more united than ever before.
Over the coming weeks, I will redouble my efforts to knock on doors, greet voters at coffee shops, grocery stores and “L” stations and engage in direct conversations on the social media. In short, I will continue to reach out to every corner of our diverse community to talk about my record of accomplishments and, most importantly, to listen.
Over the last 4 years, we have made significant progress on many fronts:
- The ward service office responds to over 10,000 individual requests for service each and every year.
- I’ve kept the residents of the 49th Ward informed of important issues and events in the community through regular email blasts.
- We’ve made considerable progress over the years in combating crime and disorder. Thanks to strong community involvement and good police work, crime in Rogers Park less than half of what it was when I first took office 23 years ago.
- I’ve expanded my successful participatory budgeting program, in which the residents of the 49th Ward, not the politicians, decide by a direct vote how to spend a portion of their tax dollars. Since 2009, over $5 million in neighborhood improvements have been allocated through this grand experiment in democracy.
- I’ve overseen the revitalization of Morse Avenue and brought businesses to other retail districts. After the Dominick’s closed at Howard and Clark, I worked to bring Jewel-Osco to the neighborhood and made sure the Jewel hired community residents to work at the new store.
- I’ve provided 49th Ward residents with access to jobs through a twice-a-year job fair and by asking new businesses, such as Jewel and Burger King, to hire from the neighborhood. I was one of the leaders in the successful fight to raise the minimum wage in Chicago to $13 an hour and make it automatically in increase
- I have a full-time housing advocate on staff who works with tenants and responsible landlords to create and preserve quality affordable housing.
- I’ve worked with our school principals and local school councils to provide our neighborhood schools with the resources they need. Five of our seven schools have seen their school quality ratings increase and no school has experienced a decrease in its ratings.
A strong culture of civic engagement, a growing and vibrant business community, jobs for neighborhood residents, safe and affordable housing and good schools. These are the ingredients for a safer neighborhood. These are the hallmarks of a strong and cohesive community. These are the pillars on which I stand for re-election.
We have faced many challenges over the years, but with each new challenge we not only survive but grow and thrive. Indeed, nothing stands in our way if we all work together.
Friends and neighbors, four years ago you gave me another chance to prove that I still had it in me. I thank you for that opportunity, and I hope I have earned your confidence. I’m at the top of my game, and if you honor me with another four years, I promise you the best is yet to come.