50th Ward Follies proudly endorses Andrew Rowlas for alderman of the 50th Ward.
He is the opposite of Debra Silverstein.
Rowlas is committed to empowering the residents of the 50th Ward. Silverstein blocks resident input and initiatives.
- Participatory budgeting
- Zoning Advisory Board
- Economic Development Council
- Community Service Corps
- Community Cultural Arts Center
Silverstein opposes all five initiatives. She has said repeatedly that she does not support participatory budgeting. She will not even consider citizen input on zoning or economic-development. She has never organized volunteers–including students in need of community service credits–to engage in opportunities for community benefit, like shoveling snow from bus stops and street corners so bus passengers and pedestrians can move freely, or assisting elderly residents with shopping, pet-walking, or just chatting over iced tea on a hot summer day. She does not support creating a cultural arts center.
Rowlas believes in open and transparent democracy. Silverstein hides what she is doing from her constituents.
- An end to secret committees advising the alderman
- An end to the practice of conducting the public’s business via private email and website
- An open and transparent decision-making process, with frequent community meetings and opportunities for resident input on both Ward and City issues
- An end to governance by photo-op
Silverstein’s penchant for secrecy will disappear from the 50th Ward. Why is it necessary to hide public business from residents? What is it that residents are not supposed to know? What secret deals benefiting special interests are in the works? It will never be necessary to ask those questions of Andrew Rowlas.
Rowlas believes we must reform Chicago’s government. Silverstein is an old style, machine politician– a ward boss who is not accountable to her constituents.
- Term limits for mayor, aldermen, and committee chairs
- Reducing the size of the City Council
- Realigning aldermanic responsibilities so that aldermen focus on legislation rather than routine City service requests
Silverstein has arrogantly declared that her term limits come every four years, when she stands for re-election. As a loyal member of whatever Chicago machine is in power, Silverstein has no interest whatever in government reform. This will become even more obvious once a new mayor is elected and the boot-licking begins.
Andrew and I have talked extensively about his plans for the ward. He sees himself as a transitional figure, a one-term alderman who will, as he put it, “sow the seeds” for the Ward’s future. He believes strongly that empowering residents produces future leaders. As a former educator, he values the importance of giving our young people a stake in the future of the 50th Ward. Andrew would strengthen our Ward’s democracy by practicing democratic values.
Yes, his personal beliefs are on the left side of the ledger. But he understands that his role as alderman is to represent the values of his constituents.
Yes, he’s run a low-key campaign. That’s what happens when you raise small amounts of money from ordinary people. Silverstein received more than $200,000 from special interest groups and wealthy individuals. They are her real constituency, not the working families her expensive mailers claim she supports. Silverstein has no small donors.
No, Rowlas is not a dynamic, mesmerizing speaker. He expresses his ideas and opinions in a slow, measured cadence that reflects his Indiana upbringing. Rowlas is what we Irish call “comfortable in his skin.” If you’re looking for verbal fireworks you won’t find them with Andrew, but you will discover a thoughtful, reasonable man who is willing and able to consider other people’s viewpoints, and is open to suggestion and change. Authentic and sincere, he does not need the services of an image consultant. He spent a lifetime becoming who he is.
I’ve known Andrew for several years, and have enjoyed many conversations with him on political and other issues. Our discussions have been lively, to say the least, since he is a liberal Democrat and I am a moderate Republican. Andrew has two delightful pets–a dog and a cat–and he’s an accomplished cook–his baklava is to die for. Friends and associates can vouch for his loyalty and reliability.
The 50th Ward is desperately in need of leadership.
I believe Andrew Rowlas is the best choice for Alderman of the 50th Ward. I hope you’ll vote for him.