After speaking with family and longtime west end residents, I’ve decided to answer the call and run for Alderman of Evanston’s 5th Ward. The 5th ward is my home. It’s where my family and I have decided to raise our children, where I run my business, and where I met many of my lifelong friends.
Our story is one of resilience. Despite the impact segregation, redlining, and inequitable school integration has on the community, the 5th ward once had one of the highest percentages of black homeowners in the country. It has produced brilliant people who went on to inspire me and so many others.
They remind us to keep striving forward, and that together, we can achieve even greater heights than the ward’s most glorious days when thriving shops lined the business districts and Ald. Jourdain represented the ward with strength, brilliance, and an unflinching commitment to ward livability.
Like many predominantly black and brown neighborhoods that were overlooked for investment, the need for repair is visible. In the early 2000s, predatory lenders preyed on struggling residents and seniors. Growing up, I saw 5th ward students being bussed out of their community to other neighborhoods, which continues.
Covid-19 related issues, housing affordability and business disinvestment are but some of the challenges that we must overcome. I’m inspired by the efforts of our 5th Ward businesses and volunteers who have provided thousands of meals to Evanston's frontline workers, seniors, and our homeless during COVID-19.
They remind us that these moments of perseverance are rarely overcome completely by individual efforts, but instead, by the power of our collective resilience. So let’s meet these new challenges together, continuing to create a beautiful, restorative, and more vibrant 5th Ward for ALL residents.
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