Andrew Rowlas, a community activist and former educator, has announced his candidacy for alderman of the 50th Ward, challenging two-term incumbent Debra Silverstein.
Rowlas is campaigning on a progressive platform of economic development centered around small businesses, improved educational opportunities for neighborhood students, and civic engagement by neighborhood residents.
His goals are in sharp contrast to Silverstein’s eight years of inertia. The ward still waits for the economic development plan she promised in 2011. Her lack of transparency and refusal to engage with her constituents are near legendary, even for Chicago. She is one of the Mayor’s most dependable stooges, a reliable member of the rubber-stamp brigade in the City Council.
Rowlas has served as president of the West Ridge Community Organization, is a leading member of LEARN–the coalition of community members and organizations that led the charge for a new library– and has worked extensively to foster communication and cooperation between and with all ethnic and religious communities across the ward. He was instrumental in the formation of the Warren Park Advisory Council, which gives local residents a voice in Park activities.
It’s worth noting that, after nearly 8 years in office, Silverstein had never shown any interest in connecting the north side’s largest park with its nearby residents. Rowlas saw the need to do so and rallied other activists to make it happen. Just imagine the great things that could happen in the 50th with a proactive alderman!
Rowlas spent 38 years as a teacher, counselor, and principal. He would be a strong voice for increased quality educational opportunities both in the ward and across Chicago.
Support the Rowlas campaign by volunteering or donating via the campaign Web site, rowlasforward50.com.
Silverstein will not be able to run a Rose Garden campaign this year. I look forward to the coming debates. And so should you.