Elections | Politics

Turning Out

Organizers discuss how to get youth invested in local elections

Photo by Davon Clark

Alex Boutros believes in the value of voting.

Elections | Politics

Money, Money, Money: Thirteen Takeaways From Chicago’s Historic Election

Dollar for dollar, Mayor-elect Lori Lightfoot spent less than half as much as Toni Preckwinkle to clinch her landslide victory

The Chicago Teacher's Union holds a mayoral forum Monday night with five mayoral candidates, Lori Lightfoot, Toni Preckwinkle, Susana Mendoza, Amara Enyia, and Paul Vallas on topics that cover displacement in Chicago in African American communities. (April Alonso)

Elections | Politics

Wrestling for the 25th Ward

Extremes of Pilsen’s political spectrum face each other in the runoff

Siena Fite

The energy in the auditorium at Benito Juarez High School in Pilsen on March 20 was charged and heated, at times feeling closer to a pep rally than a political debate. Neighborhood residents and members of various community organizations had packed in to hear the two runoff candidates for 25th Ward alderman, Byron Sigcho-Lopez and Alex Acevedo, present their visions for the next four years of ward leadership.

Elections | Interviews | Politics

Meet the Challengers: Deborah Foster-Bonner

The Weekly sits down with the accountant and activist in the runoff for 6th Ward alderman

Haley Tweedell

Several days after the February 26 election, as the last votes trickled in, it was revealed that financial advisor and Chatham community activist Deborah Foster-Bonner had forced two-term 6th Ward Alderman Roderick Sawyer, the son of former 6th Ward alderman and, briefly, mayor Eugene Sawyer, into a runoff. Running on a platform of community engagement, and assisted by, judging from precinct-level election data, widespread dissatisfaction with Sawyer’s tenure in the Chatham part of the ward (which is also made up of parts of Park Manor and Englewood), Foster-Bonner’s has been a small, mostly self-funded campaign—though she has picked up the endorsements of both the Sun-Times and the Tribune. It remains to be seen whether she can make inroads in the parts of the ward where Sawyer did well, but the act of forcing a family dynasty into a runoff in Chicago is no small feat in and of itself. This interview, conducted at Foster-Bonner’s Chatham campaign office before the February 26 election, has been edited for length and clarity.

Elections | Opinions & Editorials | Politics

Op-Ed: Lori Lightfoot’s Dark Promises

Lori Lightfoot’s proposal to use closed schools for police academies should show progressives her true colors

Ellen Hao

The same day that City Council voted to approve the new $95 million police academy plan in West Garfield Park, mayoral candidate Lori Lightfoot spoke at the University of Chicago about the need to build an even more expensive and expansive police academy. Lightfoot clarified that she does not support the current proposal “as is,” but that “we absolutely need a new training facility,” and “to do it right it would cost far more than” $95 million. She cited the New York Police Department’s new $750 million training center as an example. To Lightfoot, a police training center done right should involve more community engagement and “academic development.” Notably, she said the city should consider turning some of the thirty-eight remaining vacant schools of the fifty closed by Mayor Rahm Emanuel into police training facilities.

Elections | Interviews | Politics

Meet the Candidates: Alex Acevedo

The Weekly sits down with the nurse and activist in the runoff for alderman in the 25th Ward

Katie Hill

Last month, Alex Acevedo came in second of the five candidates vying to replace disgraced 25th Ward Alderman Danny Solís. Providing a more conservative, homeowner-focused foil to his runoff companion Byron Sigcho-Lopez’s DSA-endorsed platform, Acevedo often reminds voters of his work as a nurse and with a neighborhood watch group.

Elections | Politics

By a Hair

Four incumbents in tight contests barely scrape by without a runoff

Neil Miller

After last week’s citywide election, much was made of the fact that several City Council incumbents had been ousted—in some cases quite unceremoniously—from their posts. (Maria Hadden, for instance, defeated Joe Moore by twenty-seven percent in the northernmost 49th Ward.)  On the South Side, however, sitting aldermen fared a little better. Most of those who will go to a runoff, like Leslie Hairston (5th) and Raymond Lopez (15th), look as if they’ll win comfortably in the April follow-up election; in fact, only Toni Foulkes (16th) trailed a challenger in the initial round of voting. But despite relatively successful end results, even some long-time aldermen only scraped through to reelection by the skin of their teeth. Here, the Weekly analyzes four close races in which the incumbent prevailed.

Elections | Interviews | Politics

Meet the Challengers: Joseph Ziegler Jr.

Joseph Ziegler Jr / Facebook

Joseph Ziegler lives and owns an insurance business in the same neighborhood he grew up in, in the 21st Ward. The ward, which includes parts of Auburn Gresham, Brainerd, and Washington Heights, has been run by Alderman Howard Brookins Jr. since 2004. Ziegler once worked with the alderman but parted ways with him years ago. The times he’s spent outside of Chicago was when he was a student at Southern University in Louisiana.

Elections | Interviews | Politics

Meet the Challengers: Berto Aguayo

The Weekly sits down with the anti-violence organizer running for alderman in the 15th Ward

Asia Babiuk

Berto Aguayo, a twenty-four-year-old organizer from Back of the Yards, was the first of four challengers to 15th Ward Alderman Raymond Lopez to announce their candidacy, and is by far the youngest. All four candidates work in anti-violence—the group includes a CPD crime prevention specialist, a minister, and a violence interrupter—but Aguayo may have come to his profession the most directly. He is a former gang member who, after becoming involved with the Mikva Challenge youth civic engagement program, went on to graduate from Dominican University, intern for U.S. Senator Dick Durbin and the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights, co-found the Resurrection Project’s #IncreaseThePeace initiative, and serve as a national leadership trainer with the Obama Foundation.