Longtime community activist, author, and businesswoman Maureen F. Sullivan will today announce her candidacy for Alderman of Chicago’s 11th Ward. The declaration will take place at 6PM, Monday August 18th in a special location: the front of the embattled Ramova Theater near the corner of 35th and Halsted.
The campaign theme is “Fight For A New 11th Ward”.
Since 2005, Sullivan, a near-lifelong resident of the Bridgeport neighborhood, has been a firebrand standing up to challenge the political status quo in the very neighborhood that is the home of the Daley “machine”.
“I have never been associated with the machine nor with politics as usual in Chicago,” said Sullivan. “My father was a gas man for 48 years. Nobody in my family benefited from political clout or favors.”
Sullivan, an activist, author and small businesswoman with an art degree, represents a new wave of Chicago progressive challenges to the policies enacted by the City Council that favor school closings, privatization, TIF abuse, and sneaking legislation past residents.
“We’ve seen it all. Their record speaks for itself. The neglect by the leadership of the past seventeen years has led to blight, to poverty, heightened crime and a tremendous waste of some of the city’s best-located neighborhoods. We have had enough. It’s time for a change.” she said.
The announcement coincides with the launch of Sullivan’s campaign website at http://sullivan11thward.com .
In 2005, Sullivan and her chief policy and communications consultant Rob Warmowski founded the nonprofit Save The Ramova, agitating the city owner of the theater to act to restore it, successfully preventing its demolition and winning $330,000 in funding to hold the line on damage to the structure.
“When I got the theater petitions around in 2005, back at the beginning, the overwhelming question from the people in this community was ‘why don’t the powers that be do something?’, said Sullivan.
“Almost ten years later, with the same do-nothing Alderman in the chair, that question applies more than ever to the whole 11th Ward,” she said. “Why don’t they do something about the garbage and empty storefronts on Halsted? Why don’t they do something to protect parents and kids from school closings? Why don’t they stop pretending there’s no money when there’s always millions of tax dollars for sports stadiums, crooked charter schools and privatization?”
Sullivan’s first elected position in 2010 was as President and founder of the Palmisano Park Advisory Council. Her most recent elected position was to School Council at McClellan Elementary on Wallace and 35th.
“If you want a job done, you had better be ready to roll up your sleeves and get to work. That’s why I’m running.”