Top 10 Reasons Not to Re-Elect Debra Silverstein

  1. She has failed the same transparency test she imposed on Bernie Stone four years ago. Despite promises during her first campaign, she has kept residents in the dark about any and all plans she and the commercial interests have for the ward.


  1. The “real progress” she describes in her campaign literature isn’t progress at all. It’s just a PR spin on activities that are minor, at best. Sponsoring forums and seminars and school bag giveaways is administrative work for office staff, not full-time work for an alderman. We pay her to do the important things, like write economic development plans.


  1. She fails to acknowledge her mistakes, let alone learn from them. One example: The Devon Community Market. Wrong name, wrong location, not enough funding. The fantasy of 4,000 visitors to the 2014 market must have come after eating a bad melon.


  1. She has failed to tackle the ward’s major problems, such as its dying commercial districts, increased crime, etc. in favor of timewasters like driving every street in the ward “multiple times” looking for potholes. Don’t we pay a ward superintendent upwards of $70,000 per year to do that?


  1. She has permitted commercial property owners to neglect their buildings. Many storefronts have crumbling facades, filthy windows, and outdated signage from businesses gone for years. Try letting your house go a little and see how long it takes for the building inspectors to show up.


  1. She took an elderly woman to court to force the sale of the woman’s rundown commercial property on Touhy Avenue, hailing her court win as a victory for the community. Even with a new owner, the property continues to sit vacant. Yet she has failed to take any action at all against the owners of any of the vacant or boarded-up buildings along Devon Avenue. She just used the courts as a tool in a phony re-election stunt.


  1. She has permitted storefronts that once housed revenue-producing businesses to become homes to nonprofit organizations, religious institutions, or professional offices, none of which generate sales tax revenue and some of which result in the property being removed from the tax rolls. Have you looked at your property tax bill lately? Somebody has to make up the difference, and it’s you.


  1. Silverstein noted when she ran four years ago that her work in the committeeman’s office made her aware of how disaffected residents and businesses were with the alderman. But now that she’s the alderman and her husband is Ward Committeeman, where are citizens supposed to take their complaints against her lack of effectiveness? When all political power is held by one family, there’s no system of checks and balances, no way to curb abuses of power, and no way to organize an effective opposition.  This is not democracy.


  1. She takes credit for “filling storefronts” but does not know the difference between filling storefronts and creating viable business districts. A solid economic base is not built on sales of phone cards, bottled water, and lottery tickets but on shops selling shoes, clothes, toys, gift items, and winter coats..


  1. Four years ago Candidate Silverstein told the Chicago Tribune that “On any given commercial street there are numerous empty store fronts and for rent signs. People can blame the economy; however, there has never been a spirited economic plan for Devon, Western, and Touhy Avenues. My major priority is to begin the development of these areas.” [Emphasis added]  Four years later, Ald. Silverstein has failed to produce that plan–or any other—and our business districts continue to die.


4 thoughts on “Top 10 Reasons Not to Re-Elect Debra Silverstein

  1. A drum roll would be in order for this list if only it wasn’t so abysmally accurate. Although there is a bright spot in this turd sandwich, she did champion that Bed Bug legislation…so, to paraphrase Billy Murray from Caddyshack – we’ve got that going for us, which is nice. Respectfully however #5 is not entirely accurate. Alderwoman Silverstein didn’t win this court case, it was dismissed. I always wondered why she made the case against this woman such a public episode yet she never went after any other property owners along Touhy or Devon or Western. Was the Alderwoman hoping to stake her entire reelection on this one case? Or could it be this owner never contributed to her campaign kitty? Furthermore, that building was for sale before Debra got involved. The Alderwoman only got in the way and held up the sale. That entire episode was exactly as you stated, nothing but a farcical stunt on Silverstein’s part. Avy Meyers has posted a scathing editorial of why Alderwoman Bed Bugs and her husband have to go. If what he says about her is accurate then the way she runs and treats the residents and the businesses in this ward isn’t very becoming of a supposed mensch. It’s worth checking out at


    • Thank you for the correction. The way she worded it in her newsletter it sounded like a court victory. I should have known beter. I’d heard that there was an impending sale but couldn’t verify it. Thank you for confirming. I read what Avy Meyers had to say and couldn’t agree more. It’s just a shame that these two hold all the power in the ward. We have to change it. Thanks for reading! And thanks for your help.


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