By Donna Hammond –
On Tuesday, February 28th, the City of Chicago went to the polls to vote for the city’s next mayor and alderpersons. In the aldermanic candidates’ race, there were five Black wards where candidates did not garner 50% plus 1 of the votes needed to be elected to the City Council. Those candidates will face a run-off election on Tuesday, April 4th. Before heading to the polls, it is necessary that we make informed decisions on who will be responsible for our communities over the next four years. Run-off candidates for the 4th, 5th, 6th, 21st, and 24th wards include:
Photo credit: Leadership Greater ChicagoPrentice Butler
4th Ward Aldermanic candidate, Prentice Butler, has worked many years in the public service arena. As a south sider, Butler’s commitment to community and justice is the foundation of his public service career. Butler recently served as Chief of Staff for outgoing 4th Ward Alderwoman Sophia D. King, where he has worked on residential development, enhancing public safety, and community engagement.
If elected as 4th Ward alderman, Butler plans to focus on issues around quality public schools that will engage students and provide them with tools to prepare them for furthering their education and job/employment prospects. One of his desires is to continue to support the trade programs in the 4th Ward, such as the program at Dunbar High School.
Another issue of importance to Butler is equity within economic development. For example, in the Bronzeville community, current development plans include the Michael Reese “mega development” at the site of the former Michael Reese Hospital, and a redevelopment of the Cottage Grove retail corridor. Several projects include the 4400 Grove Phase II and the Lyric Center, all in an effort to create a sustainable community that is available for all residents of the 4th Ward. In addition, Butler is concerned about public safety in the community and believes that funding for violence interrupters and mental health programs are needed for the communities. Public safety is important to him, along with connecting our youth with employment.
Butler also believes that government transparent and accountability are necessary in the struggle to change the mentality of the public’s distrust in institutions, starting with those in the role of Alderpersons of Chicago. In addition, he feels the City Council is responsible for focusing on the needs of their constituents and offering residents opportunities to be involved in the decision-making processes. Other issues Butler is committed to include transportation, development, housing, and infrastructure. www.prentice4ward.vote.
4th Ward Aldermanic candidate, State Rep. Lamont Robinson (5th Dist. Illinois), has dedicated his life to public service as a businessman, educator, and director of a youth mentorship program. In his role as a state representative, Robinson has focused on social justice, community resources, education, and public safety. He provided that he will bring these same issues to the forefront of his role, if elected alderman of the 4th Ward. “As the next Alderman, I will work tirelessly to ensure that my constituents’ needs and priorities are heard loud and clear in city government,” said Rep. Robinson.
If elected as the 4th Ward alderman, Robinson plans to focus on public safety with efforts to address gun violence in the ward and supporting a new Office of Gun Violence Prevention and the anti-assault weapon and anti-ghost gun legislation he helped pass in Springfield. In addition, he intends to engage in community policing with regular town hall meetings with members of the Chicago Police Department and other law enforcement agencies for open dialogue and collaboration, and to build trust between law enforcement and the community. In addition, Robinson realizes the importance of support and resources for those experiencing mental health crises and hopes to reopen public mental health clinics and support the Treatment Not Trauma Campaign. In addition, Robinson is determined to create safer and stronger neighborhoods through formation and reinstating block clubs and increasing community engagement and participation in neighborhood safety initiatives.
Another issue Robinson would like to engage is to fully fund Chicago Public Schools by increasing funding and staffing for CPS schools through revenue resources and reallocating existing funds; increasing funding for early childhood education and before/after school programs, and increasing funding for additional counselors and social workers, and technology, books, and supplies.
Robinson believes that it is important to preserve and provide affordable and accessible housing in our communities. As Alderman, he plans to work to implement inclusionary zoning policies, updating the Affordable Requirements Ordinance in an effort to require developers to include 30% of affordable units in new housing developments. In addition, he will advocate for state and federal funding to support low-income families seeking affordable housing, as well as engage the community through education workshops on the property tax appeals process. Other issues Robinson wants to address are responsible economic development and robust city services. www.votelamontrobinson.com.
Photo credit: Victor PowellDesmon Yancy (Photo credit: Victor Powell)
5th Ward Aldermanic Candidate, Desmon Yancy, serves as the Senior Director of Organizing and Advocacy for the Inner-City Muslim Action Network. Prior to joining the organization, he has worked as a co-founder for the Grassroots Alliance for Police Accountability and the Empowering Communities for Public Safety Coalitions, which was instrumental in the creation of the City of Chicago’s Community Commission on Public Safety and Accountability. A grassroots organizer, Yancy has worked to increase the minimum wage, expand voter access, increase senior and people with disabilities resources, all of which he wants to bring to the 5th Ward as Alderman.
Equity in community safety is important to Yancy, who understands the need to hold police accountable. He plans to work with his constituents in the community and both the Chicago Police Department and the University of Chicago Police Department to ensure residents feel protected in their communities and in encounters with law enforcement agencies.
As alderman, Yancy would like to engage neighborhood chambers of commerce in conversations on identifying small business opportunities, as well as attracting new businesses to the ward. In addition, he intends to communicate with property owners in an effort to secure resources to assist in making their properties attractive and competitive with properties in other communities, as well as identifying pathways to home ownership.
Yancy’s experience as a former teacher will assist him in plans for a Youth Council that will provide mentoring and a safe space for young people to engage within the community. In addition, he believes that childcare should be available for all families; families should not have to choose between working to provide for their children or staying home because of the high cost of childcare.
Yancy also supports the Treatment Not Trauma initiative, believing that sending armed police officers to mental health crises escalates situations. He feels there is a need for more mental health workers in city-run facilities and that the city should increase education and mental health resources for the city’s residents. Finally, Yancy supports Bring Chicago Home and any efforts to curb homelessness and housing instability in the City of Chicago. www.yancyforthe5th.com
Attorney Martina “Tina” Hone
Attorney Martina “Tina” Hone, a native South side resident shared that she has been a “justice seeker” her entire life. In addition to her work as an attorney and professor, she has worked in areas including Chief Equity Officer for the YWCA Chicago and the Chicago City government.
As a candidate for the 5th Ward Aldermanic seat, Hone’s interests include public safety, supporting the youth, economic justice, thriving business corridors and jobs, housing and pathways to home ownership, and efficient government services. Hone believes that in the area of public safety, some of the issues include investments in the root causes of the city’s public safety crisis: lack of meaningful work, housing and food insecurity, investment in youth, and the mental health crisis.
As an advocate for underserved youth in her public career, Hone is interested in developing venues in support of our youth and where teens can come together safely on holidays at community venues such as the South Shore Cultural Center and the Gary Comer Youth Center. In addition, as we see the disparities that impact Black communities due to systematic economic disenfranchisement, Hone believes in the importance of turning our focus on jobs for residents of communities with high crime and poverty, as well as jobs with pathways of growth for the formerly incarcerated to assist them in rejoining society.
If elected as 5th Ward Alderman, Hone plans to work with affordable housing advocates to sustain housing stability in the community, as well as offering programs for low-income families in their quest for home ownership.
Finally, Attorney Hone believes that city services need to be delivered more efficiently and find ways to work out issues relating to transportation (ghost buses) and adding more police officers to the 5th ward to reduce police response times. www.hone5thward.com
Photo Credit: Rev. William HallRev. William Hall
Rev. William Hall, Senior Pastor St. James Community Church in the Chatham community, where he was born and raised. His parents laid the foundation and instilled in him the value of giving one’s self to others through public service work. Rev. Hall has served as Field Director for the Rainbow/PUSH Coalition and currently serves as the Director of Faith and Community Partnerships for UCAN Chicago, a child welfare advocacy group. A born community leader, business strategist, and organizer, Rev. Hall looks forward to serving as the alderman for the 6th Ward.
Rev. Hall shared that the main issues he wants to address as alderman include education, public safety, economic growth, and city services. He is a supporter of the Treatment, Not Trauma Initiative which provides resources for those experiencing mental health crises. “The City of Chicago lacks resources and social services that not only address the increase in mental health crisis; I am committed to accessing every resource needed to help the 6th ward community in an effort to address the growing mental health crisis, drug addiction, and poverty.”
As the son of an educator, Rev. Hall knows the importance of strong neighborhood schools for our children. As alderman, he plans to advocate for public schools that are fully-funded and for fair working conditions and salaries for school faculty and staff. “One of the resources we need to bring back to our neighborhood schools is after-school and mentoring programs for our students and parents.”
Businesses in the 6th Ward are important to the growth of the communities they serve and they are important to Rev. Hall. He plans to work with business owners to develop strategies to promote economic growth. As a supporter of organized labor, Rev. Hall knows the importance of businesses supporting workers and that workers are equitably compensated through salary increases and to stabilize pensions for middle-class Chicagoans.
As 6th Ward alderman, Rev. Hall will be committed to communicating with his constituents through regular community meetings and to be transparent in providing residents information about the ward budget and funds for neighborhood and community improvement. www.williamhallfor6.com.
Rev. Richard Wooten
6th Ward Aldermanic candidate Rev. Richard Wooten is a 23-year Chicago Police veteran with a passion for working in the African American community. He is also the founder of Gathering Point Ministries, which provides spiritual counseling and support to at-risk youth. If elected, Wooten will focus on restoring values to build stronger families, support of veterans, protecting seniors, providing access to job opportunities and quality schools, and build safe, thriving communities.
If elected, Rev. Wooten plans to engage the community in issues such as crime, senior care, mental health, food deserts, women’s reproductive rights, education, and police accountability and reform. In addition, he plans to advocate for tougher gun laws, work to restore Chicago Police Department bike and foot patrols, support increased funding for residential security cameras. www.wooten4us.com.
Photo Credit: Vashon JordanRonnie Mosley
21st Ward Aldermanic candidate Ronnie Mosley is a seasoned organizer for issues such as gun violence prevention, cannabis, education reform, youth health, voting rights, and entrepreneurship. He co-founded Homegrown Strategy Group, a policy and organizing firm, and Black Bench, which lifts up Black community leaders through programming and network building.
If elected as 21st Ward Alderman, Mosley’s top priorities include improving the economy for working people, through increasing/strengthening wages, providing decent jobs, bolstering public safety, and providing resources for youth and seniors. In addition, he will also focus on public safety with an emphasis on ending gun violence. Mosley shared, “I’ve lost friends and loved ones to gun violence over the years. I’ve made the pursuit of ending gun violence in Chicago and our state as one of my life’s missions.” He further added, “We know that in some of our communities, Black youth have more access to criminal activity than to a quality education and career opportunities. The interconnectedness of gun violence and poverty is glaring and obvious. That is why I plan to redirect more city resources towards investments in job growth and job training.”
Candidate Mosley also plans to work to make mental health resources and housing more readily available to youth and senior citizens who are regularly denied access to essential resources. In addition, he plans to support property tax relief and income equality initiatives that can help foster development and community support for the city’s vulnerable populations.
Another plan is to create a strong and vibrant retail district that will attract more retailers to open stores in the 21st Ward, as well as establishing job training programs that will develop self-sufficient and transformative retail economy that the citizens of his community deserve. Mosley also stated that to create a safe ward, it is important to work with Chicago Police district commanders to address response times, as well as looking at the root causes of poverty, mental wellness and hunger. “When we plan our community, we control its future; we deserve a ward office that fights for us and one that serves the entire ward, connecting the ward with services across levels of government,” Mosley added. www.Linktr.ee/ronniemosley
21st Ward Aldermanic candidate Cornell Dantzler, a retired Chicago Firefighter and U.S. Navy veteran, is a lifelong resident of the 21st Ward.
If elected alderman, Dantzler’s vision for the 21st Ward will include creating proactive solutions to address community safety; prioritizing the rebuild of sidewalks, streets, and alleys, expanding the business district and working to increase business ownership in the community, and investing in improving the performance of neighborhood schools, along with a partnership to develop trade opportunities. Dantzler envisions a full-time service aldermanic office and plans to engage in weekly Ward Night meetings that will address the concerns of the residents of the 21st Ward communities. www.dantzler4alderman.org.
Photo credit: Novell PhotographyMonique Scott
Alderwoman Monique Scott is the incumbent candidate facing a run-off for alderman of the 24th Ward. A native of North Lawndale, she was appointed alderman by Mayor Lori Lightfoot after her brother, Michael Scott, resigned the seat to work in the private sector. As the current alderman, Scott’s goals for the 24th Ward include: Economic development and investments, affordable housing options to market rate, a reduction of vacant lots and abandoned storefronts, working to improve the “food desert” in North Lawndale, and improving access to local jobs. www.aldermanscott.com
Creative Scott, candidate for 24th Ward Alderman, is a lifelong resident of the North Lawndale community. He is the owner of Creative Salon which has been in the neighborhood for 29 years. Scott takes pleasure in giving back to the community, by hosting toy drives, summer concerts, back-to-school events, and much more. As the 24th Ward aldermanic candidate, Scott would like to produce change and to transform the minds and actions of the community with the community’s assistance.
Public safety, education, economic development, and wellness are Scott’s most important concerns. His aspiration for the residents of the 24th ward is to have a community where they feel safe and are proud to live in. Scott believes that the community needs something to believe in and a place where they belong, knowing that it can become something other than what they have been conditioned to witness and live first-hand.
Scott offered that he is a person that gives and produces. “Long before I knew the importance of aldermanic duties, I have always served the people,” he shared. “I knew I wanted to run for office when I realized that the current leadership never showed up; this is when I realized a CHANGE was needed,” said Scott. “As a business owner, I have managed to be a person people are comfortable with in asking for assistance, such as scholarships, mutual aid, and other resources.” Scott shared though there are a number of issues in the 24th Ward, he believes in its residents and their right to be concerned. He is interested in taking a multi-prong approach to tackle and improve conditions of poverty, crime, and education.
If elected, Scott shared that a high priority for the City Council’s consideration would be economic development. He stated that the council must begin to create a change that people can see and take part in. As alderman, he stated that the goal is to bridge the gaps in the community, whether between the residents and law enforcement or bridging the generational divides between youth and seniors. www.scottfor24.com
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