PROGRESSIVE CAUCUS MEMBERS
As of 2019, the Progressive Reform Caucus is proud to number 18 sitting aldermen among our ranks.
Alderman Daniel LaSpata, 1st Ward
Alderman Sophia King, 4th Ward
Alderman Leslie Hairston, 5th Ward
Alderman Roderick Sawyer, 6th Ward
Alderwoman Susan Sadlowski Garza, 10th Ward
Alderman Stephanie Coleman, 16th Ward
Alderman David Moore, 17th Ward
Alderman Jeanette Taylor, 20th Ward
Alderman Mike Rodriguez, 22nd Ward
Alderman Byron Sigcho-Lopez, 25th Ward
Alderman Christopher Taliaferro, 29th Ward
Alderman Felix Cardona Jr., 31st Ward
Alderman Scott Waguespack, 32nd Ward
Alderman Rossana Rodriguez, 33rd Ward
Alderman Carlos Ramirez-Rosa, 35th Ward
Alderman Andre Vasquez, 40th Ward
Alderman Matt Martin, 47th Ward
Alderwoman Maria Hadden, 49th Ward
Alderman Daniel LaSpata was elected to 1st Ward Alderman on February 26th, 2019. He has spent the last twenty years in Chicago and the last thirteen as a leader on housing and community development campaigns in the greater Logan Square area. Currently a Masters’ Candidate in Urban Planning and Public Policy at UIC, Daniel also took on fruitful professional experiences with the Chicago Rehab Network, Center for Tax and Budget Accountability, and Friends of the Parks.
He was inspired to run for office after witnessing anti-democratic and inequitable development processes, which left too many out of the prosperity of the city’s booming economy and housing market. As Alderman, Daniel hopes to lend his political leadership and organizing experience to the development of a more equitable and sustainable Chicago. A Chicago committed to breaking down its segregated past (and present) and weathering the storms of climate change will take a multitude of stakeholders and sometimes unlikely partnerships.
Since becoming alderman in April 2016, Alderman King has led the 4th Ward with transparency, a focus on service, and as a voice for those who have historically lacked a champion in City Hall.
Alderman King grew up in Evanston, Illinois. Her family hails from the Mississippi Delta, so as a child and young adult, she spent considerable time in the state. After her mother was extended the opportunity to attend Northwestern University in Evanston, the family relocated to the Chicago area. By example, her mother’s path demonstrated the value of education, hard work and how the power of opportunity can impact one’s life trajectory.
Through her work at the Latin School of Chicago, Alderman King was driven to help found the Ariel Community Academy — established to provide North Kenwood-Oakland residents with the same quality education that her students at Latin received.
Alderman King utilized her Master’s Degree in Education and Social Policy from Northwestern University to diversify classes at the Latin School and promote Co-Curricular education at Chicago Public Schools.
During the five years Alderman King spent as a small business owner in the 4th Ward, she gained a unique perspective about the importance of small businesses to a community. Alderman King has stimulated job opportunities for young people and for many in need, and as a result of that strong drive and focus, she has become a strong advocate for growing minority businesses and fair DBE representation in City contracts.
Alderman King also founded Harriet’s Daughters, a non-profit aimed at increasing employment and wealth in the African American community. She and her organization worked with elected officials and individuals in leadership positions to turn a spotlight on disparities, and to enable access to jobs and procurement opportunities.
Whether fighting for youth programs as President of the Kenwood Park Advisory Council, advocating for women’s reproductive rights as Vice President of Planned Parenthood Chicago, creating a community response to gun violence with The It’s Time Organization (TITO), or educating and empowering African-American women and businesses with Harriet’s Daughters by advocating for more inclusion in City and State contracts, Alderman King has skillfully brought people together and engaged them in productive dialog to address complex challenges.
Alderman Leslie Hairston, 5th Ward
A Chicago native and fierce community advocate with deep roots in the South Shore and Hyde Park neighborhoods, Leslie Hairston has built a professional career dedicated to public service. The fourth term alderman of Chicago’s 5th Ward sits on six City Council committees. She is vice chair of Economic, Capital & Technology Development and a member of Finance; Budget & Government Operations; Committees, Rules & Ethics; Health & Environmental Protection; and Special Events, Cultural Affairs & Recreation. She also chairs the council’s Black Caucus Sub-committee on Business and is a member of the Chicago City Council Progressive Reform Coalition.
Since her election to the aldermanic office in 1999, Hairston has been instrumental in spearheading infrastructure improvements, business development, and initiatives to enhance ward residents’ safety, security and quality of life. She helped pioneer environmentally-friendly waste collection programs and, most recently, Participatory Budgeting, which engages constituents in determining how to allocate city funds earmarked for ward capital improvements.
Hairston oversees many notable cultural and natural assets, including the lakefront, Jackson Park, the Museum of Science and Industry, and the University of Chicago. She takes particular pride in developing new institutions through partnerships between the community, business and government – such as preserving the doomed country club that became the South Shore Cultural Center and culinary school, or creating from scratch the Gary Comer Youth Center in Grand Crossing. Both architecturally significant sites were visited by international dignitaries during the 2012 NATO meeting.
Hairston has earned a reputation for her principled positions beyond her ward, particularly for continuing to be among the handful of aldermen who refuse to approve the sale or lease of such city assets as parking meters without proper notice, documentation or financial justification. She has forced examination of city contracts for fair inclusion of minority vendors and fought ordinances that disproportionately burdened lakefront condominiums with requirements for sprinkler systems and façade improvements. She accepted the same challenge made to congressmen to live for a week on food stamps, which led to her sponsoring city legislation to expand the use of the Link card to purchase fresh produce.
A strong litigator, Hairston previously served as assistant attorney general for the state of Illinois and staff attorney and special prosecutor for the State’s Attorney’s Appellate Prosecutor’s Office, where she argued before the Illinois State Supreme Court. An active member of the Illinois State Bar Association, she serves on its Real Estate Law section council.
Hairston has been heavily involved in professional, legal and social service activities, such as the Illinois State Bar Association, Friends of the Park, Kaleidoscope Inc., and Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority. She is particularly proud of her work with youth-based initiatives.
Alderman Roderick Sawyer, 6th Ward
Alderman Roderick T. Sawyer was sworn in as Alderman of the 6th Ward in May of 2011. Chicago’s 6th Ward represents the Chatham, Chesterfield, Englewood, Greater Grand Crossing, Park Manor and West Chesterfield neighborhoods. After the remap takes effect, he will lose parts of the Chesterfield, Roseland Heights and West Chesterfield communities.
In March of 2012 he also became the Democratic Committeeman of the 6th Ward, which is a part of the Cook County Democratic Party.
Alderman Sawyer is an active member of the City Council Committees on Education and Child Development, Human Relations, License and Consumer Protection, Pedestrian and Traffic Safety, Special Events, Cultural Affairs and Rules and Ethics. Alderman Sawyer prides himself on being independent and working for what is in the best interest of his community.
Alderman Sawyer was born and raised in Chicago’s 6th Ward. Roderick has called the 6th Ward home his entire life. He is the youngest of three children born to Celeste C. Taylor and the late Mayor of Chicago and former 6th Ward Alderman, the Honorable Eugene Sawyer.
Growing up on the South Side of Chicago, Alderman Sawyer’s parents ensured he understood the importance of helping others, maintaining a strong work ethic, building solid neighborhoods, and functioning as one community towards a greater public good. Mirroring his father, Roderick started his work in public service at a young age. Ever since joining the 6th Ward Young Democrats as a child, Alderman Sawyer has worked to fulfill his passion for public service. He remains fully committed to strong neighborhoods as he is an active participant in all of the 6th Ward Community Organizations, Resident Association of Greater Englewood (R.A.G.E.), Park Manor Neighbors Community Council, Chatham Avalon Park Community Council, Greater Chatham Alliance, Chesterfield Community Council, West Chesterfield Community Council and Roseland Heights Community Council.
Alderman Sawyer began his education at the Howalton Day School. In 1981, he graduated from St. Ignatius College Prep and four years later, he earned a Bachelor of Science in Finance from DePaul University. He received a Juris Doctorate from IIT-Chicago Kent College of Law in 1990 and was admitted to the Illinois State Bar in the same year.
Alderman Sawyer practiced law at the Law Office of Roderick T. Sawyer where he became an expert at licensing issues. Alderman Sawyer uses his legal expertise to promote economic development in his community and to combat problem businesses.
Presently, Alderman Sawyer is on the Board of Directors of the South Shore Drill Team, eta Creative Arts Foundation, Meyering Park Advisory Council and Board of Trustees at St. Mark A.M.E. Zion Church. Since his election in 2001, Alderman Sawyer has served on McDade Classical School’s Local School Council as a member and former Chairman. Every year he co-chairs a fundraiser, which raises monies for a scholarship fund that provides financial assistance for disadvantaged African-Americans who attend his high school alma mater.
In his spare time, Alderman Sawyer enjoys deejaying as an amateur music mixologist, playing basketball, softball and dominoes. Roderick is married to Cheryll and they have two children, Sydni Celeste and Roderick T. Jr.
Alderwoman Susan Sadlowski Garza, 10th Ward
Alderwoman Garza is a lifelong resident of the 10th Ward and has worked in Chicago Public Schools for 21years. She is the daughter of rank and file union leader Ed Sadlowski. Alderwoman Garza holds a bachelor’s degree from Governor’s State University and a master’s degree from Concordia University. She was a counselor at Jane Addams Elementary School as well as Area Vice President for the Chicago Teachers Union. Alderwoman Garza also sat on the Executive Board of the Chicago Teachers Union. She also is a member of the AFL-CIO. In 2015, she was elected as the first woman alderman in the 10th Ward
Alderwoman Garza has worked with of thousands of families throughout the 10th Ward to create award winning after school programs such as “Safe-Kids” and “Bully Patrol.” She has worked tirelessly with students and teachers in every school within the 10th Ward. She is also a member of “Communities in Schools,” a citywide program that serves at-risk youth. Alderwoman Garza has served on the board of the Hegewisch Community Committee. For 15 years, she served as the program director there. She is a member of the East-side Pride, and has been instrumental in the fight against pollutants in the neighborhood.
Alderwoman Garza has actively put in her time to the people of South Chicago’s neighborhood. In an effort to empower workers to fight for their rights, she has worked with Juan Diego Center to send buses to Springfield to fight for immigration and pensions. She has also volunteered at the South Chicago Battered Women’s Shelter by starting a children’s library.
Alderwoman Garza long career in activism is strongly rooted in her belief that together, we can change this city.
Alderman Stephanie Coleman was elected to the 16th Ward Alderman on April 2nd, 2019. Alderman Coleman is a lifelong 16th Ward resident, an agent of change, and an inspiration to others. Although known as the Daughter of Englewood, she serves Chicago Lawn, Gage Park, and New City. Alderman Coleman is the daughter of Pastor David and Bishop Shirley Coleman who instilled in her strong ethics of deep faith and hard work. Her mother was 16th Ward Alderman during the administration of former Mayor Richard M. Daley.
Alderman Coleman has been the elected Democratic Committeeman of that ward since 2016, serving the community with distinction and is the Democratic champion in registering the most voters in Cook County. While in that capacity, Committeeman Coleman was a 2017 Delegate to the prestigious Illinois Women Institute of Leadership Training Academy and was City Vice Chairman of the Cook County Young Democrats.
Alderman Coleman is the founder and CEO of the Sons and Daughters of Englewood (S.A.D.E.), she served as Vice President of the Moran Park Advisory Council, and an active participant in Residents Association Greater Englewood (R.A.G.E.).
Alderman Coleman is driven by the philosophy of CommUNITY, bringing neighbors together by hosting many popular events such as community picnics and an annual Seniors and Veterans Ball. Alderman Coleman currently serves on five city committees, and is the Vice Chair of the City of Chicago Aldermanic Black Caucus.
Among the many accolades she has received, she has been honored with the 2018 Chicago Defender Women of Excellence Award, the Young Women’s Professional League the Class of 2017 40-Under-40 Award, and the Friends in the City Foundation Award for Community Leadership.
A strong proponent of education, Alderman Coleman graduated from Robert Morris University in 2007 with a Bachelor of Business Administration majoring in Management and Business Law and matriculated to Spertus Institute for Jewish Leadership, graduating in 2014 with a Master of Science Degree in Nonprofit Management.
David Moore was elected 17th Ward alderman on February 24, 2015. A native Chicagoan, David spent his childhood in the Robert Taylor Homes, before moving to the Auburn-Gresham community. Upon completing Simeon Vocational High School, he graduated Western Illinois University with a dual major in accounting and operations management. He earned an MA with emphasis in government studies at Loyola University-Chicago.
David established a successful accounting career in the private sector at several Fortune 500 companies, as well as with Chicago’s Department of Aviation and Housing Authority. Most recently, he served as an assistant to the commissioner of the Cook County Board of Review, coordinating the Faith-based Community Initiative.
David traces his “call” to public service back to his days as an 11-year-old walking the 17th Ward with his uncle, an assistant precinct captain. Years later, David became precinct captain of the ward’s Democratic Organization. He worked on behalf of local neighborhoods in several capacities, most notably successful voter registration drives, assisting officials shut down drug houses and common-sense gun legislation. He also played key roles in city, state national elections.
David is the proud father of Alexandria Moore and son of Elizabeth Lee—known for generously giving her time to 17th Ward residents and causes. The community recognizes him as a man of integrity, as well as for his volunteer work particularly with seniors, students and those involved with drug abuse. He is a member of the National Forum for Black Public Administrators and Rainbow PUSH Coalition. He serves on the board of the Kodero Hunter “MVP” Foundation and as a deacon of his long-time religious home, Fellowship Missionary Baptist Church.
Alderman Jeanette B. Taylor was elected to the 20th Ward Alderman on April 2nd, 2019. Alderman Taylor is a lifelong Chicagoan, a dedicated wife, mother of five children and grandmother of one beautiful child. She is the oldest of three children and a product of the historic Bronzeville community, where the phrase “It takes a village” has always been her mantra. Alderman Taylor is a dedicated community leader with a 20-year history of working for education and youth justice. She has a keen understanding of community needs based on her years of service as a local school council member and a parent advocate.
Alderman Taylor served on the Mollison Elementary Local School Council for over twenty years and for 15, was the council chairperson. She inspired parents and students to stand up and successfully stopped two efforts by Chicago Public Schools to close Mollison. Today, it is a school with a respected International Baccalaureate Program and an active base of parent leaders. She joined the Kenwood Oakland Community Organization (KOCO), one of Chicago’s oldest African American led community organization in 2006 as a parent leader and joined the staff as a community organizer.
Alderman Taylor is widely recognized as one of the Dyett Hunger Strikers and lead a successful campaign that reopened a historic high school in 2016 after four-years of organizing and a 34-day hunger strike. She continues to organize with community residents to demand a community benefits agreement-ordinance for the Obama Presidential Center to stop displacement of community residents.
Alderman Michael D. Rodríguez was elected to the 22nd Ward Alderman on April 2nd, 2019. He has years of experience as a community organizer, non-profit leader and youth mentor. He is a leader who has gained the trust of voters throughout the 22nd Ward and leaders throughout the country.
As Alderman of the 22nd Ward, he has fought for the working class residents of his district. He has been a progressive champion on the council, most notably as the chief co-sponsor of the Fair Workweek ordinance that passed city council in July 2019, as co-chief sponsor of ending the carve outs in Chicago’s Welcoming City Ordinance and as the Whip of the Chicago Progressive Reform Caucus.
Alderman Rodríguez is also the elected Democratic Committeeman of the 22nd Ward, and was elected by his peers as Executive Vice Chairman of the Cook County Democratic Party, the youngest person to ever serve in this leadership role, and accepted the position with the goal of representing progressive interests at the party level. He currently serves as Vice President of the 22nd Ward Independent Political Organization, Chair of the Board of the Juvenile Justice Institute, the Board of Neighborhood Housing Services (NHS) and on the advisory board of Second Federal Self-Help Credit Union.
Alderman Rodríguez was most recently the Executive Officer of the Cook County Medical Examiner’s Office where he coordinated legislation, budget, and human resources for an office that examines 6,000 individuals who die annually in Cook County due to criminal violence, suicide, overdoses and other cases as defined by County ordinance.
Before serving Cook County residents, Alderman Rodríguez was Executive Director of Enlace Chicago. During his tenure, Enlace’s budget doubled to $5.2 million with a staff of over 200. Also during his tenure, Enlace was the recipient of the Neighborhood Strategy of the Year in 2012 for its comprehensive community based violence prevention efforts and the Community Plan of the Year in 2015 for their Little Village Quality of Life Plan. He is proud to have been a young community organizer at the Little Village hunger strike in 2001, which resulted in the construction of the Little Village Lawndale High School, where Enlace to this day remains a principal school community partner.
Alderman Rodríguez completed a Master of Arts from the University of Chicago, School of Social Service Administration, where he was the recipient of the McCormick-Tribune Fellowship for leadership in Community Organizing, Planning and Development. He earned a BA in Marketing with a minor in Latin American Studies from DePaul University and has earned an Executive Leadership certification from the University of Notre Dame.
Alderman Rodríguez was a 2018 fellow with the Civic Leadership Academy, a 2012 fellow with Leadership Greater Chicago and was a W.K. Kellogg Foundation Community Leadership Network, National Fellow, focusing on addressing issues of racial equity and improving the lives of vulnerable children in the United States. He also served as Vice President of the National Council of La Raza, Affiliate Council (now Unidos US) and as a Gubernatorial appointee to the Illinois Juvenile Justice Commission.
Alderman Rodríguez has received various honors including the Elizabeth Butler Distinguished Alumni Award from the University of Chicago, SSA and the Community Impact Award from Neighborhood Housing Services. President Barack Obama named Mr. Rodríguez, one of 12 national ‘Champions of Change’ in Youth Violence Prevention in 2012.
Alderman Rodríguez is a lifelong resident of Chicago’s Little Village community, where he lives with his wife Jacqueline, their children Sophia and Diego, and their Polish Lowland Sheepdog, Kahlo.
Alderman Byron Sigcho-Lopez was elected to the 25th Ward Alderman on April 2nd, 2019. Alderman Byron Sigcho-Lopez was born in Quito, Ecuador. He immigrated to the US at the age of 17. He attended Cumberland University in Tennessee and graduate with a bachelor’s degree in Mathematics and Business Administration. While still learning the English language and overcoming many challenges as an immigrant, Alderman Sigcho-Lopez received the President’s Award from Cumberland University. Shortly after, he received his master’s degree in Economics and is currently a PhD Policy candidate in Urban Education at the University of Illinois in Chicago, where he found his second home – Pilsen.
As an avid soccer player and love for the sport, Alderman Sigcho-Lopez decided to become a volunteer soccer coach in his community. During that time, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel threatened to close many public schools that some of his students attended. Prompting him to become even more involved for social justice. As an adult bilingual education teacher, he worked with parents and teachers in the community he came to love and call home.
In 2015, Alderman Sigcho-Lopez became the director of Pilsen Alliance, he quickly became a leader and voice for the Pilsen community and the greater Chicagoland area in the struggle against gentrification and displacement. After two campaign races to fight corrupt and now disgraced Alderman Solis, Byron won and is now the Alderman of the 25th Ward. As alderman, he has vowed to continue to fight for issues that have shaped his progressive politics.
Ald. Chris Taliaferro represents the 29th Ward, which includes Chicago’s Austin and Galewood Communities. Born in Smithfield, Virginia, Ald. Taliaferro served in the United States Marine Corps, serving in Virginia and as an infantry sergeant with the 3rd Battalion, 8th Marines, in Camp Lejeune, North Carolina. In 1989, he was assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 24th Marines in Chicago, where he taught weapons and tactics during Operation Desert Storm, as part of the Inspector and Instructor staff. Throughout Ald. Taliaferro’s service in the armed forces, his commitment, dedication and leadership led to numerous meritorious promotions, citations and awards.
In 1994, Ald. Taliaferro began his career with the Chicago Police Department. He served as a Sergeant with the Department and has served the City of Chicago for over 20 years, receiving numerous awards.
Ald. Taliaferro has been a litigation attorney at Nexus Legal Group, P.C. and served as one of the firm’s founding partners. He focused his practice on family law and dedicated many hours each year to pro bono legal services for the elderly and those unable to financially retain effective legal representation.
Alderman Felix Cardona Jr. was elected to the 31st Ward Alderman on April 2nd, 2019. Alderman Cardona is a happily married father of four, born and raised on the north side of Chicago in the Logan Square neighborhood. He is of Puerto Rican descent and his parents were small business owners of a neighborhood grocery store. This was his first experience helping in the family business and serving the community. His parents always worked hard to achieve the American dream and instilled that work ethic in him. His father Pipo Cardona was always involved in the Puerto Rican community and served as vice president of the Puerto Rican Parade Committee in the 1990s.
Alderman Cardona attended neighborhood schools such as St. Sylvester and St. John Berchmans. He graduated from Quigley Seminary and obtained a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice from Northeastern University.
Alderman Cardona’s Public Service career began in 1992 while employed for the Cook County Board of Review. Throughout his years at the Board of Review, he worked for the residents of Cook County helping educate property owners on how to appeal their assessments. During his tenure at the Cook County Assessor’s office he was appointed as Director of Incentive Properties in 2010. This incentive program helps communities retain commercial and industrial properties in Cook County, which secures jobs in the community. He has also been involved with non-for-profit organizations and churches to insure they are getting the permitted exemptions allowed by the State of Illinois.
Alderman Cardona’s community involvement consists of helping residents appeal their property taxes. He has worked in conjunction with elected officials and brought these services to our community. He is also involved in helping his church coordinate back to school fairs and campaigned for food donations to fill their food pantry for distribution to families in need. He volunteered at Kilbourn Park as a coach and with programs that introduce our youth to sports.
His top priority as Alderman is to give the residents of the 31st ward a voice, and not only listen, but also take steps to address ongoing issues within the ward. He wants to improve our services and increase programs pertaining to seniors and our youth.
Scott Waguespack is the alderman of Chicago’s 32nd Ward, which includes parts of the Lakeview, Roscoe Village, Logan Square, Bucktown and Wicker Park neighborhoods. Since his election as alderman in 2007, Ald. Waguespack has been a leading independent voice in the City Council, often challenging both the Daley and Emanuel administrations on issues of transparency, finances, public safety and public education. Since 2015, Ald. Waguespack has served as chair of the 11-member Progressive Reform Caucus.
In 2008, Ald. Waguespack was elected as the 32nd Ward’s Democratic Committeeman. In that role, he has worked to register, educate and mobilize voters to elect more progressive leaders in the Northwest Side corridor.
Ald. Waguespack graduated from Colorado State University and Chicago-Kent College of Law. After college, he served in the U.S. Peace Corps in Kenya, where he worked with UNICEF and various women’s groups to build health clinics and water supplies, and provided training in primary health. He remains active with the Chicago Area Returned Peace Corps Association.
Ald. Waguespack has worked with the U.S. State Department, the American Bar Association, and various governments in the Balkans working to assist the War Crimes Tribunal in the former Yugoslavia, establishing a rule of law, and working on economic development. He served as an advisor to the President of Kosovo and the interim government after the end of the Kosovo War.
Ald. Waguespack sits on the City Council Committees on Finance; Budget and Government Operations; Committees, Rules, and Ethics; Education and Child Development; License and Consumer Protection; Human Relations; and Special Events.
He lives in Bucktown and his wife, Jade, and two young sons, Marc and Brandt.
Alderman Rossana Rodriguez was elected to the 33rd Ward Alderman on April 2nd, 2019. Alderman Rodriguez is a mother and resident of the Albany Park neighborhood. Prior to becoming alderman, Rossana worked as a youth educator and was involved in community groups as an activist and organizer.
Her interests as alderman include protecting neighborhood affordability, supporting our ward’s immigrant population, young people, and diverse communities, and creating more democratic processes so that ward residents are involved in the decisions that impact their lives.
Originally from Puerto Rico, Alderman Rodriguez has been a lifelong advocate for public education, labor rights, and the wellbeing of youth and families. Her career as an educator includes eight years as a director and mentor in a nationally acclaimed youth theater company in Albany Park, where she guided high school students to fulfill their artistic and academic potential.
Alderman Rodriguez is the first Latinx alderman to represent the 33rd Ward. She serves as chair of the immigration committee on the City Council’s Latino Caucus and is a member of the Progressive Caucus.
She serves on the City Council’s committees on Education and Child Development, Environmental Protection and Energy, Ethics and Government Oversight, Health and Human Relations, Pedestrian and Traffic Safety, and Committees and Rules.
Alderman Carlos Ramirez-Rosa, 35th Ward
Carlos Ramirez-Rosa is a lifelong Chicagoan who has dedicated his life to public service. As a community organizer, former congressional caseworker, and now 35th Ward Alderman, Carlos has always put our families and our neighborhoods first.
As a community organizer with the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights (ICIRR), Carlos worked to keep families safe from deportation and win President Obama’s historic executive action to fix immigration. Prior to ICIRR, he served as a congressional caseworker in the office of U.S. Congressman Luis Gutierrez. There, Carlos spearheaded successful constituent service efforts that helped families, seniors, and veterans cut through government red tape and solve their government problems.
Carlos worked to keep schools open, raise the minimum wage, support public employees, and expand LGBT equality. He served as an elected Community Representative to the Avondale-Logandale Local School Council. As a former mentor at Erie Neighborhood House and a high school debate coach for CPS students, Carlos helped our youth develop leadership skills and set them on a path to college.
Carlos is a proud graduate of our Chicago Public Schools and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. At the University of Illinois, he worked to secure unprecedented funding for women and LGBT programs. Carlos is the first openly gay Latino elected to Chicago City Council.
Alderman Andre Vasquez was elected to the 40th Ward Alderman on April 2nd, 2019. Alderman Vasquez is a father, husband, organizer, Democratic Socialist and former hip hop artist who was elected to the City Council after defeating a 36 year incumbent with a million and a half dollar campaign.
Alderman Vasquez ran on a vision of Open Government that is Accessible, Transparent and Accountable, affordable housing, ethics reform, campaign finance reform, and police accountability.
Alderman Vasquez is currently the Vice Chair of the Committee on Special Events, Cultural Affairs and Recreation, the Secretary of the Chicago Progressive Caucus, and a member of the Latino Caucus.
Alderman Matt Martin was elected to the 47th Ward Alderman on April 2nd, 2019. Matt is a lifelong progressive. Before being elected to City Council, he served as a civil rights lawyer in the Illinois Attorney General’s Office, where he focused on issues including police reform, workers’ rights, healthcare, LGBTQ rights, reproductive rights, and immigration. Through his work, he helped draft the consent decree to hold the city accountable in reforming our police department, and worked on the front lines fighting back against Trump’s disastrous immigration policies.
Matt also served on the local school council at McPherson Elementary, which his son Isaac attends, co-founded the Heart of Lincoln Square Neighbors Association, and served on Alderman Pawar’s Zoning Advisory Council. He lives in Lincoln Square with his wife Katelyn, their four-year-old son Isaac, and their newborn daughter Ameena.
Matt knows that there are too many people in our city who work hard and still struggle. He ran for alderman because everyone deserves a life of dignity and respect, and is grateful for the opportunity to be working for the people of Chicago and the 47th Ward making sure that happens.
As Alderman, Matt talks to people every day who share this simple but bold vision: we can take on big challenges like affordable housing, fully funding our schools, and reforming our police department. Matt’s proud to serve as an independent, progressive leader standing together with neighbors to fight for all of our interests, not just the wealthy and well-connected
Alderwoman Maria Hadden was elected to the 49th Ward Alderman on February 26th, 2019. Maria is one of the first Black Aldermen on the north side of the city as well as the first openly gay women of color on Chicago’s City Council. In addition to the Progressive Caucus, Ald. Hadden sits on the Chicago Aldermanic Black Caucus, the Women’s Caucus, and the LGBT Caucus.
Previously, Maria was the Executive Director of Our City Our Voice, a nonprofit organization supporting civic engagement processes for transformative social justice. Maria is a founding board member of the Participatory Budgeting Project and from 2010 – 2018 led their technical assistance work in the Midwest and Southern United States.
She earned her B.A. in International Peace and Conflict Studies from The Ohio State University before moving to Illinois to serve as an AmeriCorps VISTA. Maria’s interests in community voice and the role of civil society were the focus on her graduate studies at DePaul University where she earned an M.S. in International Public Service Management. Maria serves on the board of directors for Voqal, and she lives with her partner and their two dogs in Chicago, IL.