Alderman Balcer Steps Aside
Jay Levine at CBS2Chicago.com reports that 11th Ward Alderman Jim Balcer will not run for re-election, owing to health issues stemming from his service in Vietnam.
Balcer tells CBS 2 Chief Correspondent Jay Levine that he’s stepping down to pursue treatment for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder stemming from his military service in Vietnam.
Balcer, a former Marine, was awarded a Bronze Star for heroic acts during combat.
Upon hearing the news, Maureen Sullivan, candidate for 11th Ward Alderman, issued a statement:
“Along with so many in our Ward, I salute Jim Balcer for his distinguished service to our country and for his sacrifice of his health. I am saddened that he faces this personal challenge today and it is my sincere hope that he recovers as soon as possible. Get well, Jim.”
Above: In happier times: Maureen Sullivan and Alderman Jim Balcer share a copy of Maureen’s new book at a 2012 CTA Board meeting. Both addressed the board that day on the topic of the 31st St. bus.
Photo: Josip Trutin
Gathering Volunteers, Petitions And Momentum
The popular progressive challenger receives a sharp expansion of support, gathers volunteers
After kicking off her bid for 11th Ward Alderman one week ago, Maureen Sullivan‘s campaign is already reaching thousands of voters.
Gathering dozens of cheering supporters in front of the ailing Ramova Theater last Monday, Sullivan started things off by calling for a major change in the local political leadership, unveiling her campaign platform and promising to bring accountability to the Alderman’s office.
The message is very well-received. Online engagements are off the charts for the campaign, says campaign Communications and Policy Director Rob Warmowski.
“We’ve reached nearly ten thousand people in only the first week,” said Warmowski. “Social media, web and community channels are buzzing about her candidacy, and the conversation is in her favor. People in the 11th Ward are already excited about her thanks to her many years of community service, and people who are just learning about her are impressed by her record and platform. She’s inspiring volunteers to stand up and ask to help.”
Gathering Volunteers On The Eve Of Petition Circulation
Snagging over 600 likes on Facebook right out of the gate is great, but the campaign runs on real-world support — and that means showing up and helping out.
The campaign’s volunteer force will be hitting the streets starting this week to gather signatures for Sullivan’s position on the February 24th election ballot. Readers wishing to join up and help Sullivan get on the ballot can sign up at the campaign volunteer page.
How many volunteers does the Sullivan campaign have currently?
“Dozens and growing every day” says Warmowski. “But there’s always room for more.”
Sullivan Kicks Off Campaign In Front Of Ramova Theater
Casey Cora’s DNAChicago piece yesterday really did justice to our kickoff rally yesterday in front of the Ramova Theater. Way to pick up on the symbolism, Casey!
BRIDGEPORT — Maureen Sullivan, the homegrown activist, author, organizer and neighborhood historian, has announced her candidacy for 11th Ward alderman.
At a campaign kickoff event outside the shuttered Ramova Theater on Monday, Sullivan came out swinging against sitting alderman James Balcer and the Daley clan — political heavyweights who she said have an icy grip on the city’s oldest neighborhood.
Choosing the rundown theater as the backdrop couldn’t be more poignant.
The city-owned building is surrounded by boarded-up storefronts on an ailing stretch of Halsted Street, and it’s also located within eyeshot the 11th Ward offices and next to Cook County Commissioner John Daley’s private insurance business.
On Monday, about 50 supporters gathered outside the theater to back Sullivan’s candidacy.
Among them were Kieran Delaney, 40, a graphic designer who said he’s been frustrated with Balcer for about a dozen years.
“When we ask the alderman for anything it feels like we’re imposing,” he said.
Sullivan said she’s hoping to turn that pent-up frustration into votes.
“I know I can win. When I knock on doors in this neighborhood, this ward, people already know who I am. We went to the same schools, the same church … I love to talk directly to my neighbors. I’m not afraid to knock on doors. Knocking on doors and engaging neighbors is exactly what we’re missing in this ward. That’s how I plan to win this race,” she said.
Read the entire article here.