Chicago Green Party Endorses Sullivan Over Water Commissioner Opponent
Winning the Chicago Green Party endorsement in the race for 11th Ward Alderman over her opponent Metropolitan Water Reclamation Commissioner Patrick Daley Thompson is Maureen Sullivan, parks leader, public health activist, author and businesswoman.
Sullivan’s resume on environmental issues is strong. She is the three-time elected President of the Palmisano Park Advisory Council. She has been highly active on environmental and public health issues in the ward, including leading the volunteer effort called Bridgeport Clean And Green (click here for details). Sullivan was also highly active in the multi-neighborhood effort to end the health hazard of the nearby coal plants (click here for details.) She also created and manages the annual summer festival Bridgeport Air And Water Show in Palmisano Park. She has spearheaded capital and safety improvements to the park and to its sister McGuane Park.
In the wake of the Illinois Green Party’s announcements earlier in the month, the Chicago Green Party (CPG) announced their endorsements this week which included Mayoral Candidate Bob Fioretti, who Sullivan has appeared with on the campaign trail.
“Stewardship of our water and air is critically important to me, and I am proud to accept this latest Green Party endorsement in recognition of my hands-on work,” said Sullivan. “The balancing act needed to protect our environment in a densely populated Ward is one my record shows I am uniquely qualified for.”
Michelle Fennessy, Viaduct Activist, Sullivan Supporter Honored
The UIC Flames basketball game today will take time out to recognize the work of Michelle Fennesy, the University Village community organizer, Ph.D. and registered nurse who has been at the forefront of addressing the public health problem of filthy viaducts on Halsted St.
If there’s one thing that characterizes an activist who’s a Maureen Sullivan supporter, it’s that they don’t wait around for someone else to do a good thing in the neighborhood. Instead, they get on the case — and they get WOW-level results for their neighbors.
Take the problem of filthy and dangerous viaducts in our community. Community activist, PhD. and registered nurse Dr. Michelle Fennessy of University Village lives near the unhealthy eyesore where Halsted St. passes under railroad tracks owned by the BNSF Railway.
She pushed and pushed Alderman Balcer for a fix and got nowhere.
Other suggestions came along the lines of getting an unrelated corporation to fund the viaduct. Patrick Daley Thompson suggested that Google be contacted to sponsor the property and its cleanup.
“What about the tax money I already paid for this purpose?” thought Michelle (and everybody else who hears these kinds of classic answers that push privatization.)
And she took to Twitter. You can follow her here.
You won’t believe the results she got.
TRAIN EXECUTIVE GETS ON A PLANE
A major problem with viaducts is the fact that the city and the railroads that run over them both believe the other is responsible for the upkeep of the walkway and throughway. Michelle had seen this finger pointing between the city and the BNSF Railroad for a long time.
So she did some research. And she found out that BNSF railroad is owned by none other than billionaire investor Warren Buffett.
So she tweeted him. And he responded, sending BNSF’s Director of Public Affairs from his office in Texas to fly to Chicago to inspect the viaduct along with the company’s Supervisor of Chicago structures.
The viaduct cleanup is underway now. Results!
FENNESSY, A SULLIVAN SUPPORTER, TALKS INTERVENTION
Why does an effective activist like Michelle Fennesy support Maureen Sullivan for 11th Ward Alderman? “Maureen is going to be action-oriented, she has a history of it and I see her as someone who is not afraid to challenge the status quo. We need more of that! In the words of Elvis [Preseley], ‘too much conversation and not enough action.'”, Fennesy said.
“Now I realize Elvis meant other things, but I see it in nursing terms as “intervening” to make something happen. Maureen = intervention and the 11th ward needs a real advocate for our community,” she added.
We couldn’t agree more.
[Photo Credit: DNAInfoChicago]
Maureen Sullivan Fundraiser: Moxee Kitchen Sunday Oct 19th
University Village’s finest barbecue and brewery plus the next Alderman of the 11th Ward Maureen Sullivan. What’s not to love? Come on by for the Maureen Sullivan For 11th Ward Alderman Fundraiser at Moxee Kitchen at 724 W. Maxwell St. on Sunday night October 19th from 6 to 8:30. $25 suggested at the door. Free appetizers and tastings of their excellent menu along with a cash bar.
Big Turnout At Maureen Sullivan’s Town Hall Meeting In University Village
At Wednesday night’s town hall meeting, Maureen Sullivan addressed a crowded house at Powell’s Books, touching on the special issues of University Village including development, the homeless, architectural and historic preservation, transportation, dog parks and others. She took a wide range of questions from a lively group interested in the political future of their ward in the era after redistricting.
The University Village area along with University Commons and UIC now lie in the boundaries of the 11th Ward, after the 2012 redistricting. These areas extend the 11th Ward to the north along Halsted St. to Harrison. Questions about redevelopment along the entirety of South Halsted (from Harrison to 47th) were answered and issues such as abuse of TIFs and SSAs and the right way to create sustainable economic development were touched on.
Sullivan Town Hall Meeting At University Village: Powell’s Books
Mark your calendars! Maureen Sullivan and her campaign team are holding a Town Hall meeting to discuss issues specific to University Village and Pilsen.
It will be on Wednesday September 24th, 7pm at Powell’s Books at 1218 S. Halsted in University Village. Please join us – the meeting is open to the public, and everyone is encouraged to attend. The New 11th Ward now includes UIC, University Village and East Pilsen – come on out to meet Maureen and talk about the issues facing your community.
Powell’s Books: (312) 243-9070
NDFA Endorses Maureen Sullivan For Alderman
On Thursday night before a packed house at Chief O’Neil’s, Maureen Sullivan received her first major endorsement in her campaign for 11th Ward Alderman. Progressive political action committee Democracy For America‘s North Side chapter cast 35 votes to endorse Maureen amid wild cheers and applause.
Sullivan, who had addressed NDFA the month before, missed a unanimous vote by only one delegate who abstained for not having seen her address to the group.
At the endorsement, supporters spoke in favor of her campaign and even had some choice words for a competitor whose late-entry platform had been noticed to have striking similarities to her own. Maureen has received campaign training from DFA’s national team in the past and has worked on NDFA-endorsed candidacies including that of Rob Martwick (IL-19th) and Jay Travis.
Democracy For America is a progressive political action committee headquartered in South Burlington, Vermont and was founded by former Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean.
Said Sullivan: “I’m thrilled to accept this endorsement and I’d also like to mention another candidate who was also endorsed that night. My congratulations go out to CM Winters, who is running for 21st Ward Alderman. She’s a friend, a fellow South Sider and a big part of the progressive wave coming to retake the City Council in February.”
Congratulations To Bob Fioretti On His Announcement Today
Today, I want to extend congratulations to my friend and fellow progressive traveler Bob Fioretti on the occasion of his throwing his hat into the ring for Mayor. It was a long time coming, and I’m glad to see it happen.
I don’t know for sure, but it’s my guess that CTU President Karen Lewis will make a similar announcement soon.
If she announces, it would mean that the Rahm Emanuel administration’s terrible treatment of public schools and working families will have created two credible opponents. Two serious challengers who have both put in years of hard work standing up against school closings and for hard-hit families. Two true friends to parents and students. Two hard-fighting South Siders who see the city as one.
That’s a lot to like.
Maureen Sullivan: Progressive Activist Poised To Beat The Daley Machine
Curtis Black‘s profile piece published today in the Chicago Reporter says it all: Maureen Sullivan is the popular progressive activist poised to beat the downtown Daley machine on its own turf.
In the first major piece on her Aldermanic race, Sullivan’s clear alternative to the 11th Ward leadership and its tendency to do nothing but claim credit is illustrated by Black:
“Bridgeport native Maureen Sullivan, who has founded civic, business and park groups, and organized against school closings in Bridgeport, describes a local political elite that has become too comfortable with the status quo and neglected the neighborhood.
Sullivan may represent an approach we’ll see from more aldermanic candidates this year: emphasizing the local impact of citywide policy issues like education and TIFs along with ward service concerns — and tapping into the growing sentiment against Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s policies.
She calls the mayor “a Wall Street banker from Wilmette who wants to help his friends become even wealthier at our expense” and attacks the “rubber stamp City Council” including retiring Ald. James Balcer, who’s backed Emanuel in 100 percent of contested council votes.”
“Balcer announced his retirement shortly after Sullivan entered the race, throwing his support to Patrick Daley Thompson, grandson of the original Mayor Daley and a commissioner of the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District since 2012. Thompson’s name is featured prominently, along with Balcer’s and that of his uncle’s, ward committeeman John Daley, in the windows of the 11th Ward Democratic Party building at 36th and Halsted.
A downtown corporate attorney who handles property tax appeals and represents developers seeking TIF money, Thompson said his real estate and development experience would be an asset to the ward. But it didn’t seem to help a few years ago, when the Better Government Association identified Thompson as one of several politically-connected individuals who’d been granted homeowner exemptions for investment properties. Thompson pled ignorance and paid the back taxes.”
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.”
Maureen Sullivan Declares Candidacy For 11th Ward Alderman
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.”