8 FOR ALDERMAN 44th Ward: North Side
Today, we conclude our endorsements in competitive aldermanic races in Chicago. You can read all our endorsements, including our endorsement of Lori Lightfoot for mayor, online by going to: bit.ly/2D5SQEa.
43rd Ward: Lincoln Park
Ald. Michele Smith deserves praise for leading an effort to demand more public open space in one of the biggest developments Chicago has seen in years, Lincoln Yards. That said, we see — or hope to see — a sea change in how business gets done at City Hall with the election of a brand new mayor and City Council. Most especially,
Chicago needs a more independent Council, led by aldermen who have the policy chops to hold their own. Our endorsement goes to Derek Lindblom, who was Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s lead negotiator on getting local unions to buy in to pension reforms that the Illinois Supreme Court later struck down. Lindblom knows the pros and cons of all the various revenue proposals floating around, such as the specious La Salle Street tax, which he says would fail in practice because of the advanced technology now used in trading. And then there’s TIF reform; Lindblom has proposed specific changes. Also running are Steven McClellan, Jacob Ringer, Leslie Fox and Rebecca Janowitz.
What matters most in this election is to preserve a political counterweight to the Ricketts family, owners of the Chicago Cubs, as they continue their aggressive redevelopment of Wrigley Field and nearby streets. The Rickettses, who would prefer a more compliant alderman, are working hard against the incumbent, Tom Tunney, which is precisely why we’re endorsing him. Tunney’s challengers, former state associate budget director Austin Baidas and nonprofit consultant Elizabeth Shydlowski, would appear to be people of integrity. But it’s important to understand, as reported by Crain’s Chicago Business, that the Rickettses — along with others believed to be allied with the family — have flooded the ward with more than $100,000 in dark money campaign spending. Baidas reportedly got into the race after meeting with Laura Ricketts and a pollster, although he says he is not supported by the Ricketts family. Shydlowski accepted a $10,000 donation from Cubs Chairman Tom Ricketts and $5,000 from Todd Ricketts’ wife, Sylvie Legere. The Rickettses have been ter-
rific for the 44th Ward in several ways, as Tunney would readily agree. But their best interests are not always the ward’s best interests. We’re with Tunney, who refuses to be overly impressed and cowed.
Arena is endorsed with enthusiasm for a third term.
He is bringing development to this ward with thoughtful, forwardthinking planning. That’s not good enough for some in this ward, who don’t want affordable housing in Jefferson Park. But we’re on Arena’s side, and we think the majority of residents are as well. Arena’s taking into consideration the housing needs of middle class, working class, the elderly, disabled people and veterans. He’s working to locate development close to public transit, something needed across the city. He’s also added bike lanes in the ward and supported a $25 million renovation of the Jefferson Park Transit Center. Under Arena, a new Independence Branch library opened in Irving Park, with affordable housing units for seniors above the library. Also running are firefighter James “Jim” Gardiner, AT&T wireless technician Robert A. Bank and Chicago Park District operations manager Marilyn Morales.
47th Ward: North Side
The field is crowded and the choices are good. Outgoing alderman Ameya Pawar has set the bar high for his successor in this solidly progressive ward that includes Lincoln Square, North Center and parts of Lake View and Andersonville. Our endorsement goes to Michael Negron, a lawyer who most recently was Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s policy director and worked in the Obama administration prior to that. The City Council could use aldermen with that kind of experience — and we hear that Negron didn’t hesitate to stand up to Emanuel, his boss, when he felt push-back was necessary. Negron worked on issues of importance to working families, such as the city’s paid sick time and minimum wage ordinances and expanding affordable housing. Also running are Eileen Dordek, a social worker who has demonstrated a commitment to building consensus among the city’s diverse communities; Jeff Jenkins, founder of the nonprofit Midnight Circus in the Parks; lawyer Matt Martin; restaurant owner Gus Katsafaros; Heather Way Kitzes; firefighter Thomas Schwartzers; teacher Angela Maloney; and physician Kimball Ladien.
48th Ward: Far North Side
Two-term incumbent Harry Osterman, a lifelong resident of Edgewater, is a thoughtful member of the City Council who sees public safety as the city’s biggest challenge. He supports a hybrid school board with some elected members and some appointed by the mayor, so the mayor does not lose — and cannot duck — accountability. He points to 1,100 units of housing being built now in this ward, with affordable housing on-site. He says everything but a property tax is on the table to bring in new revenue to get the city’s budget in order. Osterman, whom we endorse, has earned another four years representing this ward, which includes parts of Edgewater, Andersonville and Uptown. Also running is Navy veteran David Earl Williams III, who ran last year as the Libertarian candidate for lieutenant governor.
49th Ward: Far North Side
Ald. Joe Moore has consistently delivered results for this diverse ward, which includes Rogers Park and West Ridge. He deserves credit for bringing in more affordable housing, including a public-private development on Sheridan Road that includes a new Target store. He’s championed community policing and more block clubs to help curb crime. And the Chicago
Police Department’s 24th
District headquarters, which is in the ward, is getting a new Strategic Deployment Center with new surveillance cameras and other high-tech crime-fighting gear. Moore has been an outspoken progressive voice for policies in support of working people, including a higher minimum wage and paid sick leave. He has been knocked by critics for growing closer to Mayor Rahm Emanuel over the years, but he rightly says it was the mayor who did more of the moving. “I haven’t changed,” Moore told us. “The political situation in the city changed.” Moore’s challenger in this race is Maria Hadden, a nonprofit executive with a solid record of community service.
50th Ward: Far North Side
Two-term incumbent Debra L. Silverstein has done a creditable job of upgrading constituent services and amenities in this diverse West Rogers Park ward. She can point to a $15 million streetscape upgrade along Devon Avenue. She also helped secure funding for a long-sought new Northtown Library. She worked with the police after a Sikh temple was attacked in the ward and some residents grew too fearful of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents to leave their homes. Silverstein supports the legalization of recreational marijuana and gambling expansion, provided there are safeguards. She is endorsed. Also running are retired teacher Andrew D. Rowlas and nonprofit executive Zehra Quadri.