To the Editor:
Having read your endorsements of the candidates for Alderman, I felt compelled to write you regarding Leslie Hairston. Somehow, I think your editorial board based the decision on the basis of one vote. An important vote to be sure; but only one vote and not her entire body of work.
Speaking as one constituent, I can say she and her staff have been excellent and very responsive. During the summer of 2015, there was a spike in the incidence of gun violence in the area around our residence. A number of us reached out to Ald. Hairston and asked her to meet. She did and we aired our concerns and came up with a list of items we wanted her to work on regarding this violence. Not only did she meet with us the following month, she and her staff followed up on many items. Since that time, we have not seen the violence return at anywhere near the same level.
A couple of years later, without notice, Bixler Playground was closed in the middle of summer for renovation. Obvious to anyone with a child under the age of 8, that is the busiest time of year for the park. We contacted Leslie and she had the head of Parks and Recreation meet with the Bixler Playground PAC and explain what happened. Within a few weeks, the park was renovated and opened.
As a final example, when Treasure Island suddenly and without warning closed last fall, she quickly organized a meeting of the community. There the University of Chicago was able to communicate what they were going to do to attract a new market for that space. In addition, she gave the workers a forum to describe what had been done to them and had attorneys present to deal with the unfair labor practices. During that meeting, a number of participants organized a job fair for the displaced workers
She and her staff are incredibly responsive. Each month she has a meeting for the ward, she talks openly about a wide range of issues involving the 5th Ward. Most of the meetings, she asks for direct input about what citizens would like to see in terms of businesses and services for the ward. Leslie is extremely connected to the ward and very attuned to the issues that confront our area. Her staff is savvy and agile.
What I strongly urge my neighbors and friends to do is look at the whole body of work in considering their vote this election. This is why Leslie Hairston has earned my vote for re-election for Alderman from the 5th Ward.