4th Ward Alderman Special Election Coverage

Editor’s Note: A special election for 4th Ward Alderman will take place on Tuesday, Feb. 28, due to the resignation of former Ald. Will Burns last February. In the interim, Mayor Rahm Emanuel appointed Ald. Sophia King (4th) to serve the ward, which includes parts of the Hyde Park, Kenwood, Bronzeville and South Loop neighborhoods.

Candidates running for alderman in the upcoming election include Ebony Lucas, Marcellus H. Moore, Jr., King, Gregory Livingston and Gerald Scott McCarthy. The candidate that is chosen will serve the remainder of the term, which is two years.

While the election is on Feb. 28, open voting is currently available to registered voters of the 4th Ward. Early voting is available at the Chicago Board of Election Commissioners’ office, 69 W. Washington St. If necessary, a run-off election will take place on Tuesday, April 4.

Each candidate has written a column explaining why he or she is running for 4th Ward Alderman.

I’ve decided to be the change I want to see

Ebony Lucas

On February 28, 2017, 4th Ward residents will have an opportunity to choose a representative. I am running for Alderman of the 4th Ward because I have decided to BE the change that I want to see. I love the community and I have the vision, knowledge, and experience to bring the development, school improvement, safety, and community engagement that the 4th Ward deserves. I want the 4th Ward to be a safe, engaged community with access to opportunity for all residents.

I have demonstrated my commitment to the community throughout my career. I began as a teacher, worked as a fundraiser, and have practiced law for 13 years. I operate a small law firm in the 4th Ward and have been active in community organizations including the 41st and Ellis Block Club, 4th on 53rd Parade, Hyde Park Chamber of Commerce, Mandrake Park Advisory Council,

Dearborn Realtist Board, and Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.

I live in the 4th Ward with my husband and 4 children and have personally experienced the frustrations of public schools with limited programming and growing violence. The violence and poverty in Chicago are symptoms of a bigger problem, failing public education. I am passionate about ensuring that public school funds are not used for development and that teachers are properly compensated and receive the necessary resources so that we can fight violence at its source. I want to make sure that we are giving all children equal access and opportunity to participate in community based and city programs such as Operation Rainbow PUSH’s STEM program, After School Matters, One Summer Chicago, and park district programs. As Alderman, I will be a liaison between the community, schools, and organizations to ensure that we are fostering and valuing the unique talents of our children and providing them with opportunities to succeed.

Over the past 9 years, I have assisted over 500 people with saving their homes and purchasing new homes. I am knowledgeable about real estate and small business. I value the preservation and creation of affordable housing so that seniors, young people, and working families are not priced out of our community. I will fight for development of housing for those who don’t qualify for subsidies but cannot afford $2,000 per month in rent. I will demand that developers comply with the Affordable Requirements Ordinance and include affordable housing in new housing developments in the community. I will work collaboratively with real estate investors who are seeking to rehabilitate vacant properties and create housing opportunities.

In the past 10 years, 31st through 50th streets have fallen far short of the rapid commercial development seen in other areas of the ward. I will prioritize increased commercial development and make sure that we are giving opportunities for local developers, contractors, and service providers to participate in economic development and job creation throughout the entire ward. I am excited about working hands on with the developers of Michael Reese to ensure that the development is inclusive of local contractors and tradesmen and that the site creates long term jobs, opportunities for small businesses, and reflects the cultural history of Bronzeville and the legacy of those who were born at Michael Reese Hospital.

I look forward to the renegotiation of the collective bargaining agreement with the Chicago Police Department in 2017. We need to ensure that the police department is taking the suggestions of the US Department of Justice and that there is a clear system of accountability for officers, and for the department as a whole. Officers must be properly trained and supervised. There must be a fair and fiscally responsible process for hiring and promotions. Officers must also be given training and tools for conflict de- escalation and community policing. We must work together to bridge the gap between the community and the police. That starts with the police department reviewing its policies and procedures and developing a more community- centered approach to policing.

We can’t keep doing the same things and expect different results. If you are tired of the tax increases, failing schools, lack of affordable housing, and increasing violence, then stand with me. I am an independent voice that will represent the people of the 4th Ward and take action. My endorsers are residents of the 4th Ward whom I have personally helped and who know that I will read, ask tough questions, engage the community, and make decisions that are in the best interest of the 4th Ward. On February 28, 2017, VOTE Ebony Lucas as Alderman of the 4th Ward.

Thank you,

Ebony Lucas
Punch #1 for Ebony Lucas

I am the collaborative and thoughtful leader that is needed to serve the ward  

Marcells H. Moore

My name is Marcellus H. Moore, Jr. and I am running for 4th Ward Alderman because of my love and commitment to this community…the community that I was born in and that I now raise my three children.  The community where I went to Lake Meadows Nursery School and Ancona Montessori.  The community that I remember going to Mr. G’s and the Original House of Pancakes (on 51st and Lake Park of course).  The community that I have been civically active and committed to through my participation in multiple organizations that directly serve the community.  From the Hyde Park Kenwood Legends to NEIU to the YMCA (and more)…from youth sports and mentorship to senior housing to ex-offender job training to small business development and support.  I have participated in career days and Real Men Read sessions within the Ward.  I currently serve on two Local School Councils within the ward.  My commitment to this community is strong!

Even in my professional life as an attorney, approximately 80 percent of my current workload is the result of being appointed by Cook County Circuit Court judges to represent minor children in custody and divorce cases as their child representative or Guardian ad Litem (GAL).  In that role, it is my responsibility to evaluate the case on behalf of my minor child(ren) client(s) and help the judge determine rulings that are ”in the best interest” of the minor child(ren).

Prior to this role, I had the privilege to work for two of the premier commercial real estate organizations in the world, representing corporate clients ranging from Bank of America to T-Mobile.  I’ve also had the opportunity to represent large retail landlords around the city including Jeffery Plaza and Canterbury Shopping Center.  These experiences offered me opportunities to build relationships throughout the real estate industry, many of which I still maintain.  I also have had the opportunity to work and negotiate with municipalities around the City of Chicago, surrounding suburbs and throughout the U.S. and parts of Canada. 

And the commitment I outline above, both civic and professional, is an active, “hands on” commitment.  With regards to the HPK Legends, many people are unaware of the 6 a.m. mornings at rain soaked fields trying to get fields in playable conditions.  Parents have witnessed the days that I have cut out of the office early and raced to the fields to umpire a game personally in shirt and tie because of last minute umpire cancellations.  With my Child Rep/GAL commitments, I have driven three hours, and in some cases even flown across the country, to do home visits with client’s parents.  I maintain regular weekend meeting time to accommodate clients who work during the week and are unable to travel to my office during regular business hours.  My clients have my cell number and email and are often able to communicate with me throughout all hours of the day and days of the week.  These are just a few examples of the extent of my commitment to the activities, organizations and responsibilities with which I engage.

I am also the PROUD father of three wonderful children, all of whom are in or are products of CPS schools.  I want to be part of helping to build a community that they can be proud of…that they can feel safe in…that they can go to well supported, well funded and well resourced schools in…that they can find a job in…that they can have some fun in. 

I am running for alderman because I believe I am the type of collaborative and thoughtful representative and leader that is needed to serve this ward.  My spirit has led me to be a committed servant to this community for years.  When the local little league needed a Director of Operations, I stepped up.  When a local school needed a interim head of school, I stepped up.  When local LSC’s didn’t have enough interest to fill their rosters, I stepped up.  When the courts needed people to serve as child representatives, I answered the call.  And now that the 4th Ward needs to elect a new alderman, HERE I AM! 

I am confident that as a 4th generation Morehouse College graduate and my dual degree JD/MBA from Northwestern University’s J.L. Kellogg Graduate School of Management and Pritzker School of Law will only strengthen and support my experiences and strengthen my capacity to understand, analyze and resolve the complex issues involved in being alderman.

My commitment is sincere.  My passion is genuine.  I want to be YOUR alderman! 

To learn more about me, please visit www.Moorefor4.org or email me at Marcellus@Moorefor4.org.
I thank you for your consideration!

Thank you,

Marcellus H. Moore, Jr.
Punch #2 for Marcellus H. Moore, Jr. 

Alderman Sophia King: Continuing the progress in the 4th Ward

Sophia King

I am not a career politician. I have never before run for an elected office. I am a mother,
wife and educator who has been an active volunteer in the 4th Ward for almost 30 years. I am now asking for your vote for alderman to continue serving as your voice in our communities and the City Council.

Nine months ago, I was appointed your alderman after a committee of 4th ward residents recommended me unanimously over 20 applicants to fill the vacancy left by the departure of the previous alderman.

I am committed to the 4th Ward—and have a solid track record of service here. I raised my daughters here. My husband and I make our home here. And I continue to
encourage enhancements that celebrate the unique qualities of the many multifaceted and vibrant communities that our ward represents like Bronzeville, Hyde Park, Kenwood, Oakland, Grand Blvd., the Gap and the South Loop. With our strong history of citizen involvement in local government, I believe we can achieve these goals together.

City Council gives one a broad perspective of our city—that’s part of how I know how much it really matters who represents us in our Council. I do not see my job as alderman as a stepping-stone to some other career. Fighting for our community is the job. Doing what is best for our ward, especially in these challenging times, is the job.

There is much work to do, but I am proud of the work I’ve done thus far as alderman and before, advocating for our community and taking care of constituent requests. As an educator I know the importance of Co-curricular models and thus I am working with principals and LSC’s to bring after school programming and millions of dollars in resources to neighborhood schools, including Robinson, Pershing, Doolittle, Dyett, Reavis, Murray, King and Dunbar High School. I’m also working closely with the Dunbar team to make sure there are real opportunities for students seeking to go into the trades. In fact, I’m pleased to note that the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers has moved into the school and committed to hire and train students in their apprentice program so that they can work towards union jobs with livable wages.

I’m excited to be preparing to announce several upcoming projects, including $1 million in funding for a new field at Dunbar Park, and a new $35 million development at 45th Street and Cottage Grove. That project is especially exciting to me, as it will be done in partnership with an African American contractor.

As I’ve listened to residents, especially seniors, I’ve advocated for—and won—an increase in bus service and shelters for the 43rd and 39th Street buses. I am also announcing and have secured funding for a dog park —the first dog park on the South Side. In addition, my office is also working on the next phase of housing near Mariano’s as well as the redevelopment of the Michael Reese Hospital site.

There is still more to do especially on this issue of safety to which we need to take a direct and comprehensive approach. To this end, I am one of the founders of The It’s Time Organization, which works to reduce gun violence. Additionally, as alderman, I created the Safe Summer Initiative, which extended Safe Passage workers to the summer for the first time. Furthermore, I understand the correlation between poverty and crime which is why I am not only working directly with neighborhoods on unique safety challenges but I’m also working to bring more jobs and youth engagement programs to address some of the systemic issues.

We are facing serious threats to the health and safety of the women of our community.

Between the budget cuts and the changing political climate, protections which we took for granted are under assault, especially for the health of women and families. That is why I have served on the board of Planned Parenthood, an organization dedicated to the work of preventive health care, the nation’s largest provider of breast cancer screening, and family planning. For low-income women, Planned Parenthood is the number one source of help, and now its federal funding is in jeopardy. I am committed to working to ensure that every woman has a reliable place to turn for this indispensable help and care.

I would like to continue to fight to make positive changes in our community. Please take a look at our campaign website www.friendsofsophiaking.com or call 872-818-5464 to learn more about my background, hopes and dreams for the 4th Ward. I hope I can earn your support in the February 28th election. Together we can keep the 4th Ward.

Thank you,

Ald. Sophia King (4th)
Punch #3 for Sophia King

I’m willing to stand up for and with the people

Gregory Livingston

The Great Chicago Fire of 1871 was the singed and bloody birth of modern Chicago. Chicago in 2017 is burning again with murder, chaos, civic distrust and the mass exodus of the middle class. No ward is safe because it’s not only about the genesis of the fire but also in what direction the wind is blowing. 

The 4th Ward is the great bridge ward between the ‘haves’ and the ‘have nots’. Since the 2012 remap, the 4th extends from 55th Street to Jackson Blvd and as far West as Michigan Avenue and eastward to Lake Michigan. This is probably the most economically diverse Ward in the city. In embracing our incredible diversity we must understand that there is no need to begrudge any resident’s success nor exclude those working through challenges of unemployment and poverty. 

This election is truly ‘Special’ – Chicago’s future hangs in the balance on the outcome of this race. Independence and Transparency vs. The Machine and Elitism.

February is Black History Month and I’m reminded of when Harold Washington and Ralph Metcalfe broke away from the Chicago Political Machine over 40 years ago. Of course Harold Washington went on to become Chicago’s first black Mayor via a tumultuous and bitter election in 1983; the Council Wars – the Vrydolyak 29 vs the Washington 21. It took a whole term and another election win by Washington but changes began to take place and then Harold died. The Machine began to roar back to life to fill the vacuum left by Harold the reformer. 

Thirty years later we are again living through Chicago Life According to the Machine: Meigs Field, Parking Meter Deals, the most Massive School Closing in History, the quickest Red Light Cameras in the country, a mayor [Rahm Emanuel] who brags about phasing out healthcare for city retirees – charges 7 cents for bags – is publicly greeted with the chant 16 Shots and a coverup. It seems our mayor also peddles elective favors and thereby disenfranchises voters muscling in his Aldermanic pick to maintain his control over the lucrative property in our lakefront ward. 

Why do I want to become the new 4th Ward Alderman?  Because the residents of this great ward (and the city) are being locked out of their own ward. Residents are disrespected and neglected and aldermanic community meetings are staff meetings in disguise. 

Community engagement must be a priority. I plan on instituting a series of townhall meetings across the ward to develop the ‘People’s Plan’. This will be a boots on effort because the residents know what’s happening in their neighborhoods better than myself.  We engage City Council and the mayor with this plan using real data to hopefully make better decisions. No matter what happens the People’s Voice will not be muted. 

The idea is to start a new Great Chicago Fire. One that burns out the corrupt rubber-stamp mentality of the Rahm/[Richard]Daley rewardees and appointees.  One that lights the fire of inspiration and reform blowing from the 4th Ward and throughout our city by the winds of change, transparency and independence. 

My life’s work shows my commitment to the community and my courage, passion and intelligence to stand up, for and with the people – building progressive and inclusive coalitions in places where people have given up on life and true citizenship. On February 28th Punch #4 for the 4th Ward.

Thank you, 

Gregory Seal Livingston.
Punch #4 for Gregory Seal Livingston.

I’ve been listening to residents and I have a plan to help the ward

Gerald Scott McCarthy

Like millions, on January 10, 2017, I listened to President Barack H. Obama deliver his farewell address to the nation. For me, his remarks affirmed my decision to have joined the race for 4th Ward Alderman: “If something needs fixing, then lace up your shoes and do some organizing,” he said. “If you’re disappointed by your elected officials, grab a clip board, get some signatures, and run for office yourself. Show up, dive in, stay at it.”

As a Chicago native who has lived in diverse communities from K-Town to Kenwood, I have been an active participant in our system of democracy, voting in every election for the past three decades. I’ve supported meaningful charitable causes – education initiatives, in particular – and I have been what some people call an “informed citizen,” following how our city works and plans. Meanwhile, I have watched our school quality diminish, violence increase and middle class dissipate. So, a year ago, I committed myself to diving in to fight for the city I love; to devoting my time, talent and experience to public service and to running for public office. Let me work with you to rebuild and reinvigorate our community. When elected, I will be your “AOTO” – an Alderman on the offense – advocating for the 4th Ward and inviting residents to have a true say in the decisions that affect their quality of life, from jobs. Having a say starts with being heard, and I’ve done a lot of listening to 4th ward residents in the past few months.

Here’s some of what I’ve learned from you.

1. You want to be engaged more deeply with your city government and you want more trust in and access to your elected officials.
2. You want the 4th Ward to be affordable to people who want to live here, and you want a community that offers good public education, thriving businesses and fewer vacant lots and abandoned buildings.
3. You want crime rates reduced. You’ve been worn down by senseless violence in our ward and in our city.

You’ve told me this and so much more, and it’s been exciting to be on the receiving end of your ideas for community improvement. I believe we can do this, together. I’m ready to fight for seniors to be in a position to remain in the communities they’ve lived in for decades, and not pushed out by rising property taxes and soaring rents. I’m ready to work toward citizens having faith in law enforcement by tearing down the blue wall, brick by brick, and by advocating for better trained, culturally acute beat cops walking the streets. I’m ready to seek out more opportunities for people to make an honest living and earn a decent wage, and to promote vibrant commercial activity that supports businesses no just on small-business Saturday, but every Saturday.

The alderman must endorse fiscally responsible policies, foster economic growth, be accountable to the people and transparent in their decision making. And just as we must be good stewards in our community we must be good stewards of our environment. Issues regarding energy efficiency and sustainable living affect us all, right now, not just high-income residents or free-spirited activists. Our 4th ward needs neighborhood recycling centers, cooperative community gardens, and meaningful incentives for retrofitting homes or businesses with energy efficient features.

These are the issues that 4th Ward residents tell me matter to them most. As your alderman, I endeavor to keep listening to you, one neighbor at a time. Learn more about my 6-Point Plan at McCarthy4Alderman.com and remember to Punch 6.

Thank you,

Gerald Scott McCarthy
Punch #6 for Gerald Scott McCarthy