Over the last few years the 2nd Ward has been through a major transition, however there is much more work that needs to be done. According to many constituents in the ward—–the West side of the 2nd Ward, which is predominantly African American has been neglected and they await the long needed change. They await the change of the food dessert that they have been subjected to that has no grocery stores within the West side range of the ward, but as well the horrible selection of food choices. Where the South & West Loop’s have selections of delicious and healthy grocery stores and restaurants, the West side of the 2nd Ward is full of Popeyes, McDonalds and Churches chicken with out the ability of giving families a choice to dine and get healthy cuisine in their own communities, they are forced to each fried chicken wings and french fries from the corner greasy spoon, so that their children are sluggish, uneducated on healthy eating, and not able to concentrate in school because they have had a greasy piece of chicken for breakfast, a bag of redhots and a pepsi. Many of the 2nd Ward’s constituents are frustrated with the fact that they are not getting their fair share, and only want an Alderman who is willing to include all to take the seat. The Alderman who is going to bring equal and positive change for it’s constituents–an Alderman who is going speak out and be the advocate for job creation, job circulation and new developments which will include 2nd ward constituents—an Alderman who is going to include everyone in the decision making process as it pertains to new businesses and developments that are being proposed to the area—-and an Alderman who is willing to do hands on work. Due to the concerns of the constituents of the 2nd ward, I have decided to interview three of the candidates who say that they are looking to bring change to the community and here is what they had to say.
I’m Genita Robinson and I would like to be the Alderman of the 2nd Ward because we need people who are looking to step forward, and I am willing to do just that. I have been active in my community for many years. My experience in government, passion and empathy are what make me different than any of the other candidates. Although I live in the South Loop, I was born and raised in Inglewood and understand the struggles of the people. I do also understand that no matter where you are in the ward people want to be apart of the decision making process. The way that I will help the constituents of the 2nd Ward be apart of the decision making process is by starting and connecting with committees. The committees will include any thing from economic development committees to development advisory committees. The challenge in the 2nd Ward is that the communication is lacking due to the digital divide. I believe that it is my job to make sure that the people of the community understand what is being done. I will use all means of communication possible—I understand that we have to meet people where they are. I will be sure to hold regular meetings, I want to get out into the community and listen to the people. As a student in law school, I worked with Randolph Stone defending children who were charged with heavy crimes like, murder, robberies, etc. Through this system I connected children with social workers and in the process learned that many of the children who were involved in these heavy crimes where suffering from a lack of education or had some type of education problem. With this being the case, we found ways to help them to learn, get a better education and to grow up to become productive adults. I had a chance to work for Chicago Public Schools and understand that our public school system is missing a comprehensive plan. We need quality schools and we must make sure that the schools are getting the right support. I understand that the food dessert in my ward has a major impact on our children and the way that they learn. With this being the cause, we have to make sure that everyone is doing their job to help in this situation. We have to make sure that CPS is feeding them properly, especially because most of our kids get two meals a day from CPS. I will push for the right resources, just like I did when I worked in the CEO’s office for CPS for children who were in need of resources for Chicago Public and Charter Schools. As a public servant, I have done many things but what I am most proud of is helping to have a park built in my community and being apart of the Washington Park task force which helped Alderman Cochran put a plan together to help the community in order to fill vacant lots. This effort involved children and seniors. I want people to know and understand, that I am more that my resume—I am a public servant willing to speak up for the people.
For more information on Genita Robinson log on to http://www.genitarobinson.org/
My name is Enrique Perez, and the reason that I would like to become Alderman of the 2nd Ward is because I realize that things are not being done the way that they are suppose to be done. I want the people of the 2nd Ward to know that “There Is A Better Way!” As 2nd Ward Alderman, I will stand up and fight “For A Better Way,” with the constituents. My four key points are Responsiveness, Accountability, Priorities and Transparency. These, I know will help the community of the 2nd Ward become a better place to live and own businesses. I have the vision to know where the ward is and where it will go. And with this vision, I will bring the people together to move forward in this mission. I have an full knowledge of the issues that go on in my community and I have fought for the rights of the community for years at City Hall, not as a politician, but as a concerned citizen. Currently I live in the South Loop, but I have come to the conclusion that the West side of the ward has been neglected. The land on the West side needs to be developed, and we need to bring in all size businesses, new jobs and remove the bureaucracy on how long it takes things to get done. The West side needs some serious attention, and I will be the person who gives it the attention that it needs. Coming together with community in order to solve the problems of crime, employment and education is most important for this ward. It is important that we have a major focus on all of the schools with in the community, especially because there are so many, and much diversity. We have to do the best that we can in order to create opportunities in the community by expanding the concept of trade schools and this should be done on a high school level. I do understand that everyone is not going to college, so it is important that we have trade programs in place in high schools so that our youth are already trained for work. We must realize that it starts first at City Hall, we can not be afraid to confront City Hall with our community problems, and I will speak up and stand for you. City Hall has to understand that we need our fair share of government resources. We are to hold the Park district accountable, Sanitation accountable, etc. I want you to keep in mind the City’s $6.1 billion budget and realize that it could be utilized in a much better way than it has. We must all get our moneys worth. My focus in this mission is to help residence not to lose hope with my four point plan. I will do nothing less than re-define the the role of the Alderman and engage on a different level. We have to understand that the Alderman is the conduit for the many different resources that are available to us. It is time for us to think out of the box and the whole community must be engaged. I will make sure that the community gets the information that is needed in order for us to come together by an intense outreach program at the block level. I will connect with the precinct organizations to make sure that the community is aware of any meetings. I will also do direct mailing, flyers, emails and utilize the faith based organizations through out the community to make sure that everyone is informed. As a person who loves my community, I will devote my time to being the Alderman of the 2nd Ward 24 hours a day.
For more in formation about Enrique Perez call log on to http://www.enriqueforalderman.com
I’m Bob Fioretti, and most of the constituents of the 2nd Ward are already familiar with who I am. I am your current Alderman and I am looking to be the Alderman for a second term. Every since I have been elected in 2007, I have been working to improve the schools, parks, public safety and the infrastructure in the ward. I have also worked to invite new businesses and jobs into the community. As Alderman, it is my job to help make City Council more democratic and to operate in a transparent way. I am running for a second term because I would like to continue the work that I have started. It is my understanding that prior to my election, the 2nd Ward was neglected. Knowing this, I have worked hard to use TIF funds to help upgrade parks and schools, and as well bring new businesses to the ward. I am involved in some efforts to improve the schools in my ward. I have established a Principals meeting in order to bring Principals of the ward together to share ideas, I had a leadership role in “Safe Passage” for Crane High School, and as well participated in a back to school event where school students were able to get vaccinated. Currently, I am working on a Pete’s Fresh Market to be built on the West side of the 2nd Ward, which is considered a food desert. I know that bringing Pete’s Fresh Market to the ward will Encourage other grocery stores to follow. There will also be a Costco built on the 1400 block of South Ashland Ave. I work 60 plus hours every week to solve the problems of my constituents. For the next four years, I plan to work as hard and to continue to work with community groups, parents, teachers, and business owners in order to make the 2nd Ward a better place to live. I support the goals of the community and look for possible funding for “worthwhile projects”. I try my very best to get jobs into the community and negotiate with businesses to hire within the community. My aim is transparency and accountability, and my door is open to anyone who needs assistance in the ward. If you would like to specify a non-profit or for-profit organization that falls short in the area of accountability, I will do the research that is needed and be responsive in reporting back to you. It is through the help of so many individuals and community organizations that much has been accomplished, however knowing that the job is not complete I am running for a second term because there is still much work for us to do.
For more information about Bob Fioretti log on to http://chicago2ndward.com/about-the-alderman
All that has been said comes directly from the mouths of each candidate who is running the race to occupy the seat of the 2nd Ward’s Alderman. While the city of Chicago is in the mist of a complete transformation, the leadership is changing and so is the vision for the city. The people of the city of Chicago, have long awaited the moment to celebrate the transition of change in order that the city is operating out of transparency, accountability, and equality. The candidates who are running for the 2nd Ward seem to have picked up on the momentum of the new vision and understand that if they are not willing to come on board than perhaps, the positions in which they are looking to fill, is not for them. The people of every ward in the city are just looking for their fair share, that in which they have already paid for (in taxes,) but most importantly that in which is rightfully theirs. From an obvious perspective, the inner city Chicagoan’s seem to be the one’s who suffer the most in terms of being left out and are not looking to be put on the back burner any more. With the understanding that oppression is what keeps their neighborhoods poor, and broken. So with that in mind, positive change must come, not for some but for everyone.