Rowlas Wins Lightfoot Endorsement

Andrew Rowlas has been endorsed for 50th Ward alderman by mayoral candidate Lori Lightfoot, who cites his commitment to reform and transparency as major reasons for her belief that he is the best candidate to represent the 50th Ward.

Rowlas is an educator and community activist. A member of the LEARN Coalition, Rowlas was part of the team that suggested building the new library on Western Avenue. He worked for months obtaining signatures on the citizen petition that resulted in the new Northtown Library. He has advocated for longer library hours and is presently obtaining signatures on the petition to transform the old library building into a community cultural center. Last year, as president of the West Ridge Community Organization, Rowlas helped create the Warren Park Advisory Council.

Committed to citizen participation in Ward governance, Rowlas has promised to bring participatory budgeting to the 50th Ward. He also plans to establish a citizen Zoning Advisory Board and promises to build a partnership between residents and business owners to  work together to develop a far-reaching economic and community development plan.

Unlike the alderman, who likes nothing better than to pose in a hard hat with a shovel in her hands but skips the actual hard work of building coalitions and gaining public support for economic and community development projects, Rowlas works well with community residents and businrss owners and listens to and reasons with opponents. He is a team builder and does not claim solo credit for team efforts.

I don’t agree with his views on many issues, but I see him as a leader willing to work with the community for the common good, willing to listen and consider other viewpoints, and committed to the kind of good government–open and transparent–that this Ward desperately needs. Most importantly, he is absolutely committed to developing future leaders for the 50th Ward. Unlike Silverstein, who shuts the community out of ward business and is committed to keeping herself in power, Rowlas believes that engaging with the community in civic matters will create an active, invoved citizenry and produce future leaders committed to public service.

For more information about what Andrew Rowlas believes and what he would do as alderman, visit his website at

Volunteer for his campaign by contacting Andrew at

Don’t forget to attend the two aldermanic forums to meet the candidates in person and hear what they have to say. The first is set for next Thursday, February 7, at 7 p.m. at Devon Bank, 6445 North Western Avenue. It is sponsored by the West Ridge Community Organization.

The second forum is on Sunday, February 10, at 2 p.m. at the Bernard Horwich Center, 3003 West Touhy. It is co-sponsored by the Jewish Neighborhood Development Council, the West Ridge Chamber of Commerce, and the League of Women Voters.

Lori Lightfoot, a former prosecutor and head of the police review board, was one of the original challengers to Mayor Rahm Emanuel. She has a long record of public service accomplishments, and is committed to reforming Chicago’s corrupt political system. You can learn more about Lori Lightfoot and her ideas and plans through her campaign website,


6 thoughts on “Rowlas Wins Lightfoot Endorsement

  1. You make a good point here, Follies: “I don’t agree with his views on many issues, but I see him as a leader willing to work with the community for the common good, willing to listen and consider other viewpoints, and committed to the kind of good government–open and transparent–that this Ward desperately needs.”

    I am disappointed in Andrew’s silence about the huge unfunded liabilities that the city faces in its public-employee pension funds. Those obligations foreshadow huge increases in taxes on city residents and property owners.

    But then Debra hasn’t confronted the issue, either. And if I take Andrew at this word, at least he’ll listen to a variety of people who have solutions to offer.


    • Good points Dan. The problem with the pensions is that nobody has a solution and when they do it isn’t a legal fix. I would be happy just getting a different voice calling the shots.


      • aug76: the No. 3 candidate, the very low-profile and under-funded Zehra Quadri, at least recognizes that an amendment to the Illinois Constitution offers us a chance of saving Chicago from bankruptcy: “I support amending the Illinois Constitution to allow union representatives and the city to voluntarily negotiate a settlement which will allow the current and future retirees to collect the overwhelming majority of their pension and benefits.”

        And she almost summons the courage to pledge that new revenues from the grab-bag of fees, income tax increases, etc. be channeled to repairing the pensions. After the pensions are repaired, she says, “the tax increases or fees increases should be ended or reversed.”

        Two sound policies.


      • A constitutional amendment would take time. There is also the question of overturning the precedent of the Illinois Supreme Court in its ruling that pension deals are contractual obligations and therefore “inviolate” Another $270M payment is coming due. Where will this money come from?


      • Gov. Pritzker will move to open the state constitution to amend it for permission to levy a graduated income tax. The price for enabling that process should be enabling a rewrite of the portion that has prevented public employee pensions from being “diminished or impaired.”


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