I have officially launched my campaign for re-election as Alderman of the 49th Ward, and am asking for your vote on February 26th.
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 to prove why I deserve your vote. 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.
These last four years have been filled with more progress than ever before. We have made significant progress on many fronts:
- Safeguarded the diversity of our neighborhood through the creation and preservation of 175 units of affordable housing in just the past year alone.
- Worked to improve public safety by securing the police resources necessary to respond to public safety emergencies, and bringing to Rogers Park a new strategic deployment center with the same kind of “smart policing” strategies that have resulted in significant crime reduction in other police districts.
- Retained an experienced Ward Service staff, responding to more than 40,000 city service requests in the last four years with speed and courtesy, and hosted “Satellite Service Offices” to bring the ward office closer to the people.
- Gave people opportunities to improve their lives through annual job fairs, which match job seekers with employers, and expungement seminars, which provide those who made mistakes in the past a chance to clear their criminal records and start afresh.
- Brought over $80 million in capital improvements to our neighborhood schools, resulting in improved school ratings and test scores at all our local schools.
- Kept residents informed with regular electronic newsletters.
We also have worked hard to build our community together:
- The nation’s first and most successful “Participatory Budgeting” process gives Rogers Park residents the power to decide how to spend their tax dollars and shape the future of our neighborhood.
- The Glenwood Sunday Farmers Market continues to thrive thanks in part to staff support provided by my office.
- Green initiatives, such as the annual “Neighborhood Swap,” paper shredding, electronics recycling and the “Rogers Park Greenway,” a new bike route that provides bicyclists and pedestrians safe passage through our neighborhood, make Rogers Park more livable for everyone.
- Rogers Park residents are physically and mentally healthier thanks to two new health clinics that provide a range of medical and mental health services and a new medical marijuana dispensary for those afflicted with debilitating medical conditions.
- Community ties are growing stronger with regular events, such as the annual Back to School Picnic, the 49th Ward Spring Clean-up, the Community Bike Ride and the “Follow Me on Friday” business promotion series that highlights new and longtime Rogers Park Businesses.
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.
(For the 49th Ward Alderman’s Ward Service Office site, please visit http://www.ward49.com.)