WBEZ | Brighton Park http://www.wbez.org/tags/brighton-park Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en A tale of two Kellys http://www.wbez.org/blogs/john-r-schmidt/2013-04/tale-two-kellys-106691 <p><p>Politicians love to get their names on things. So when a politician passes on, it&#39;s natural that the living politicians try to find something public they can rename to honor a departed colleague. In Chicago, this process can become quite creative.</p><p>Take Kelly High School and Kelly Park. They&rsquo;re across California Avenue from one another, just south of Archer Avenue. But each is named for a different Kelly.</p><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/04-29--HS%20and%20Park.JPG" title="Kelly High School, as seen from Kelly Park" /></div><p>Thomas Kelly was born in 1843. He got into Democrat politics and was elected alderman in the 28th Ward. He later became a trustee of the Chicago Sanitary District. Kelly was serving on the Board of Education when he died in 1914.</p><p>In 1928 a new junior high school opened at 4136 South California Avenue. Thomas Kelly had been on the school board and lived in the neighborhood, so the building was named for him. In 1933 it became a four-year high school, which it remains today.</p><p>The school also owned a parcel of vacant land across the street, on the east side of California Avenue. In 1947 the Park District signed a lease for the property with the idea of building a park. A number of adjacent home owners were forced to sell by court order, and their houses leveled. In 1951, Kelly Park was dedicated.</p><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/Kelly%20with%20future%20voter.jpg" style="width: 270px; height: 252px; float: right;" title="Mayor Ed Kelly cultivates a future voter (author's collection)" /></div><p>Meanwhile, Edward J. Kelly had just died. This Kelly had been Mayor of Chicago from 1933 to 1947, the longest tenure in the city&rsquo;s history. Today the signs at the park read &ldquo;Edward J. Kelly Park, established 1951.&rdquo; However, it&rsquo;s not clear when Ed Kelly&rsquo;s name was actually put on the park.</p><p>I had an older friend who grew up nearby. He said the vacant land on the east side of California was informally called &ldquo;Kelly Park&rdquo; as early as the 1940s. It was considered to be part of Kelly High School.</p><p>Maybe the Ed Kelly dedication did take place in 1951. Maybe it took place in 1991, when the Board of Education transferred its portion of the property to the Park District. Maybe it happened some time in between. The end result is a sort of cut-rate commemoration, two politicians for the price of one.&nbsp;</p><p>In any event, Ed Kelly now has his own bit of immortality. And as much as any Chicago politician, he deserves to be remembered. After all, he&rsquo;s still the longest-serving mayor whose name is not Daley. &nbsp;</p></p> Mon, 29 Apr 2013 05:00:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/john-r-schmidt/2013-04/tale-two-kellys-106691 Brighton Park, past and present http://www.wbez.org/blogs/john-r-schmidt/2013-01/brighton-park-past-and-present-105113 <p><p>Brighton Park is a Southwest Side neighborhood located about seven miles from the Loop along Archer Avenue. It is officially designated as Chicago Community Area 58.</p><p>There are at least three different stories on how Brighton Park got its name. What&rsquo;s agreed on is that settlement began&nbsp;in the 1830s, during construction of the Illinois and Michigan Canal.</p><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/Brighton--Spaulding.JPG" title="Welcome to Brighton Park!" /></div><p>The land itself wasn&rsquo;t very inviting. Much of the area was low-lying and marshy, with the occasional clay hole. Flooding was frequent. Still, a few truck farmers stuck it out.</p><p>Local businessman John McCaffery is called the Father of Brighton Park. Seeing possibilities where others saw swamp, he built a plank road along what is now Western Avenue and began subdividing the land to the west. In 1851 the Village of Brighton Park was incorporated.</p><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/2-5--Brighton%20Park%20Map.jpg" title="" /></div><p>Railroads entered soon afterward. Various industries were established. Brighton Park had a nail factory, a brickyard, a cotton mill, and even a stockyard. One of the biggest plants made blasting powder&mdash;until a lightning strike blew up the place.</p><p>Brighton Park became part of Chicago in the great annexation of 1889. Yet as it developed, the community was cut off from the rest of the city on three sides. On the north was the Sanitary and Ship Canal, successor to the Illinois and Michigan. On the west were the massive yards of the Santa Fe Railroad. On the south was an industrial park.</p><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/Brighton--Santa Fe.JPG" title="Santa Fe Railroad Yards" /></div><p>That isolation didn&rsquo;t halt the wave of settlement. The meatpackers were always hiring at the Union Stock Yards, only a short streetcar ride away. There were also plenty of jobs around locally, particularly after the Crane Plumbing Company opened its new plant in 1915. Cottages and two-flats began going up along the side streets. Archer Avenue became a thriving commercial strip.</p><p>The new people were mainly Poles, with a sprinkling of Lithuanians. The population of Brighton Park reached 46,000 in 1930. At that time 37 percent of the residents identified themselves as Polish, the largest concentration of that group in the city.</p><p>For much of the 20<sup>th</sup> Century, the community was solid and stable. True, the population was dropping every decade, and was recorded as 30,000 in 1980&mdash;a decline of one-third over the course of fifty years. That was explained as due to normal aging, and the vogue for smaller families. Brighton Park looked the same as always.</p><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/Brighton--Five Holy Martyrs.JPG" title="Five Holy Martyrs Catholic Church" /></div><p>In 1979,r a reigning pope came to Chicago for the first time. John Paul II was Polish, and he made it a point to visit his fellow countrymen at Five Holy Martyrs parish in Brighton Park. After he left, a portion of 43<sup>rd</sup> Street was renamed Pope John Paul II Drive.</p><p>Brighton Park began changing during the 1980s. The Crane plant had closed in 1977, and now other factories started&nbsp;shutting down. The railroads scaled back as trucking cut into their freight business. With the decline of heavy industry, most of the residents worked in clerical or service jobs.</p><p>There were other demographic changes. In 1980 about 15 percent of Brighton Park residents identified as Hispanic. By 2010 that figure had risen to 85%. The population count had rebounded to 45,000, near the historic high.</p><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/Brighton--Archer%20Avenue.JPG" title="Archer Avenue commercial strip" /></div><div class="image-insert-image ">Today the Orange Line &lsquo;L&rsquo; cuts through the edge of Brighton Park, giving the community easier access to the rest of the city. Some factories remain, while others have been replaced with new housing and new strip malls. There are fewer Polish restaurants, and many more serving Mexican food.</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">The neighborhood also faces the usual urban challenges. Crime and unemployment are too high. The housing stock is growing older. There aren&#39;t enough recreational facilities, and the schools could be better.&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">Would John McCaffery recognize Brighton Park? Probably not. But he&#39;d be proud of the place, just the same.</div><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/Brighton--Calmeca%20Academy.JPG" title="Calmeca Academy" /></div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><p>&nbsp;</p></p> Tue, 05 Feb 2013 05:00:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/john-r-schmidt/2013-01/brighton-park-past-and-present-105113 Chicago Democrats clash over Illinois House seat http://www.wbez.org/story/chicago-democrats-clash-over-illinois-house-seat-87408 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/story/photo/2011-June/2011-06-03/MendozaCityHallcrop.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>A top Chicago official is criticizing the way her party is filling her former Illinois House seat.<br> <br> Susana Mendoza resigned as District 1 representative last month to become city clerk. To replace her, the district’s Democratic ward committeemen chose Chicago police Sgt. Dena Carli.<br> <br> Party insiders say the plan is for Carli to exit the seat this summer, once a long-term replacement establishes residency in the district, which spans parts of several Southwest Side neighborhoods, including Little Village, Brighton Park and Gage Park.<br> <br> The sources say Carli’s replacement will be Silvana Tabares, a former editor of the bilingual weekly newspaper Extra. Tabares graduated last year from the leadership academy of the United Neighborhood Organization, a clout-heavy Latino group.<br> <br> UNO chief Juan Rangel says he doesn’t know anything about the plan but praises Tabares. “She would be, by far, the best candidate to fill the seat,” Rangel says.<br> <br> Mendoza doesn’t think so. She pushed for her replacement to be Evelyn Rodríguez, an aide to U.S. Rep. Luis Gutiérrez, D-Illinois.<br> <br> “Neither Carli nor Tabares is qualified,” Mendoza says. “The citizens and the residents of the First District were completely shortchanged in this process.”<br> <br> The Illinois constitution requires state lawmakers to live in their district for two years before their election or appointment.<br> <br> Tabares, listed at 4335 S. Spaulding Ave., says she’s lived in the district for “about two years” but claims she can’t remember the month she moved in.<br> <br> Tabares says she’s eager to serve in the seat but says she knows nothing about the plan for her to take it. She referred WBEZ questions about the plan to two of the committeemen: Chicago Ald. Ed Burke, Ward 14, and State Sen. Tony Muñoz, District 1.<br> <br> Burke and Muñoz didn’t return the station’s calls about the seat. Neither did Carli.</p></p> Fri, 03 Jun 2011 21:18:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/story/chicago-democrats-clash-over-illinois-house-seat-87408 West Side Aldermanic Races http://www.wbez.org/story/12th-ward/west-side-aldermanic-races <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/1_morfin_6.jpg" alt="" /><p><p><em>Updated At: 10:40 p.m.&nbsp; </em>New numbers from West Side wards, where runoffs seem likely in the 24th, 25th, 36th and 38th wards.</p><p><strong>Alderman Ward 12</strong></p><p>24 of 24 precincts - 100 percent</p><p>George Cardenas, (i) 2,680 - 55 percent</p><p>Jose Guereca, 911 - 19 percent</p><p>Jesse Iñiguez, 796 - 16 percent</p><p>Alberto Bocanegra, 321 - 7 percent</p><p>Maria Ortiz, 137 - 3 percent</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p><strong>Alderman Ward 21</strong></p><p>70 of 74 precincts - 95 percent</p><p>Howard Brookins, (i) 8,004 - 56 percent</p><p>Sheldon Sherman, 2,797 - 19 percent</p><p>Patricia Foster, 1,706 - 12 percent</p><p>Sylvia Jones, 1,537 - 11 percent</p><p>Jerome Maddox, 309 - 2 percent</p><p><br /><strong>Alderman Ward 22</strong></p><p>29 of 29 precincts - 100 percent</p><p>Ricardo Munoz, (i) 2,793 - 65 percent</p><p>Neftalie Gonzalez, 1,536 - 35 percent</p><p><br /><strong>Alderman Ward 23</strong></p><p>54 of 54 precincts - 100 percent</p><p>Michael Zalewski, (i) 8,581 - 53 percent</p><p>Anna Goral, 5,511 - 34 percent</p><p>Chuck Maida, 2,231 - 14 percent</p><p><br /><strong>Alderman Ward 24</strong></p><p>56 of 56 precincts - 100 percent</p><p>Sharon Dixon, (i) 1,783 - 20 percent</p><p>Michael Chandler, 1,197 - 13 percent</p><p>Vetress Boyce, 841 - 9 percent</p><p>Valerie Leonard, 697 - 8 percent</p><p>Shavonda Fields, 606 - 7 percent</p><p>Chauncey Stroud, 605 - 7 percent</p><p>Julius Anderson, 482 - 5 percent</p><p>Wallace Johnson, 477 - 5 percent</p><p>Wilbert Cook, 459 - 5 percent</p><p>Sondra Spellman, 435 - 5 percent</p><p>Melissa Williams, 369 - 4 percent</p><p>Frank Bass, 346 - 4 percent</p><p>Regina Lewis, 309 - 3 percent</p><p>Jeffery Turner, 203 - 2 percent</p><p>Donielle Lawson, 137 - 1 percent</p><p>Larry Nelson, 113 - 1 percent</p><p>Mark Carter, 44 - 0 percent</p><p>Jimmy Lee Lard, 37 - 0 percent</p><p><br /><strong>Alderman Ward 25</strong></p><p>31 of 31 precincts - 100 percent</p><p>Danny Solis, (i) 4,291 - 49 percent</p><p>Cuahutemoc Morfin, 2,451 - 28 percent</p><p>Ambrosio Medrano, 2,025 - 23 percent</p><p><br /><strong>Alderman Ward 26</strong></p><p>61 of 63 precincts - 97 percent</p><p>Roberto Maldonado, (i) 5,885 - 82 percent</p><p>Devon Reid, 1,263 - 18 percent</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p><strong>Alderman Ward 27</strong></p><p>59 of 59 precincts - 100 percent</p><p>Walter Burnett, (i) 6,606 - 71 percent</p><p>Tom Courtney, 2,056 - 22 percent</p><p>Gevonna Fassett, 655 - 7 percent</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p><strong>Alderman Ward 28</strong></p><p>60 of 61 precincts - 98 percent</p><p>Jason Ervin, (i) 5,557 - 85 percent</p><p>William Siegmund, 1,007 - 15 percent</p><p><strong><br />Alderman Ward 29</strong></p><p>44 of 49 precincts - 90 percent</p><p>Deborah Graham, (i) 4,884 - 52 percent</p><p>Thomas Simmons, 1,147 - 12 percent</p><p>C B Johnson, 1,075 - 11 percent</p><p>Mary Russell Gardner, 899 - 10 percent</p><p>Jill Bush, 636 - 7 percent</p><p>Beverly Rogers, 299 - 3 percent</p><p>Roman Morrow, 279 - 3 percent</p><p>Oddis Johnson, 168 - 2 percent</p><p><strong><br />Alderman Ward 30</strong></p><p>40 of 41 precincts - 98 percent</p><p>Ariel Reboyras, (i) 4,506 - 75 percent</p><p>Stella Nicpon, 595 - 10 percent</p><p>Chester Hornowski, 526 - 9 percent</p><p>Doug Cannon, 368 - 6 percent</p><p><strong><br />Alderman Ward 32</strong></p><p>52 of 52 precincts - 100 percent</p><p>Scott Waguespack, (i) 8,704 - 66 percent</p><p>David Pavlik, 2,290 - 17 percent</p><p>Bryan Lynch, 1,465 - 11 percent</p><p>Brian Gorman, 770 - 6 percent</p><p><strong><br />Alderman Ward 34</strong></p><p>61 of 61 precincts - 100 percent</p><p>Carrie Austin, (i) 9,170 - 65 percent</p><p>Henry Moses, 2,123 - 15 percent</p><p>Shirley White, 1,533 - 11 percent</p><p>Burl McQueen, 659 - 5 percent</p><p>Michael Mayden, 618 - 4 percent</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p><strong>Alderman Ward 35</strong></p><p>36 of 36 precincts - 100 percent</p><p>Rey Colon, (i) 4,451 - 51 percent</p><p>Miguel Sotomayor, 2,174 - 25 percent</p><p>Nancy Schiavone, 2,117 - 24 percent</p><p><strong><br />Alderman Ward 36</strong></p><p>55 of 55 precincts - 100 percent</p><p>John Rice, (i) 6,709 - 48 percent</p><p>Nicholas Sposato, 3,346 - 24 percent</p><p>Jodi Biancalana, 1,964 - 14 percent</p><p>Brian Murphy, 656 - 5 percent</p><p>Thomas Motzny, 650 - 5 percent</p><p>Bruce Randazzo, 628 - 5 percent</p><p><strong><br />Alderman Ward 37</strong></p><p>40 of 43 precincts - 93 percent</p><p>Emma Mitts, (i) 4,779 - 58 percent</p><p>Maretta Brown-Miller, 1,982 - 24 percent</p><p>Shanika Finley, 390 - 5 percent</p><p>Minerva Orozco, 389 - 5 percent</p><p>Steven Pleasant, 332 - 4 percent</p><p>Tommy Abina, 328 - 4 percent</p><p><strong><br />Alderman Ward 38</strong></p><p>53 of 53 precincts - 100 percent</p><p>Timothy Cullerton, (i) 5,795 - 48 percent</p><p>Tom Caravette, 2,699 - 22 percent</p><p>Bart Goldberg, 945 - 8 percent</p><p>Carmen Hernandez, 723 - 6 percent</p><p>Mahmoud Bambouyani, 704 - 6 percent</p><p>Sheryl Morabito, 672 - 6 percent</p><p>John Videckis, 402 - 3 percent</p><p>Ed Quartullo, 237 - 2 percent</p><p><br /><strong>Alderman Ward 39</strong></p><p>47 of 47 precincts - 100 percent</p><p>Margaret Laurino, (i) 7,735 - 76 percent</p><p>Mary Hunter, 2,392 - 24 percent</p><p><em>Updated At 9:38 p.m</em>. Incumbent 25th Ward Ald. Danny Solis will likely face a runoff to defend his seat. &nbsp;He won 49% of the vote with all precincts reporting.</p><p><em>Updated At: 8:55 p.m</em>.&nbsp; Incumbent 24th Ward Ald. Sharon Dixon is leading a tight race that is headed towards a runoff. With 96 percent of precincts reporting, Dixon has a slight edge over her closest competitor Michael Chandler.<strong><br /></strong></p><p>Here's a look at some of the races WBEZ is focusing on:</p><p><strong>12th Ward</strong><br />&nbsp;<br />Ald. George Cárdenas&rsquo; campaign staffers predicted a victory without a runoff, but the two-term incumbent looked nervous. During this month&rsquo;s blizzard cleanup, Cárdenas spent thousands of campaign dollars to bring in snow plows. He festooned them with reelection placards.<br />&nbsp;<br />This Southwest Side ward, mostly Latino, covers parts of Brighton Park, McKinley Park, Back of the Yards and Little Village. It&rsquo;s struggling with overcrowded housing, foreclosure filings, struggling schools and rising crime.<br />&nbsp;<br />Cárdenas won his first aldermanic election in 2003 with help from the Hispanic Democratic Organization, a roving campaign army that eventually dissolved amid a federal probe into patronage hiring by Mayor Daley&rsquo;s administration. Cárdenas won his 2007 reelection handily.<br />&nbsp;<br />But this year&rsquo;s race was tougher. The strongest of four challengers appeared to be Streets and Sanitation worker José Guereca, a former Army soldier who received tens of thousands of campaign dollars from State Sen. Tony Muñoz, the ward&rsquo;s Democratic boss. Muñoz, a former Cárdenas ally, was a fellow HDO beneficiary. Guereca also got support from Teamsters Local 700 and the Chicago Firefighters Union.<br />&nbsp;<br />Another tough challenger was coffee-shop owner Jesús &ldquo;Jesse&rdquo; Iñiguez, head of the United Southwest Chamber of Commerce who ran poorly against Cárdenas four years ago. This time he got help from Ald. Ricardo Muñoz (22nd Ward) and County Board Commissioner Jesús &ldquo;Chuy&rdquo; García (7th District), making the race a skirmish in a decades-old war between Southwest Side progressives and regular Democrats. Other important support came from the Service Employees International Union. Iñiguez campaign staffers predicted they would advance to the runoff as Cárdenas and Guereca competed for the same machine voters.<br />&nbsp;<br />But Iñiguez himself lost some votes to the Green Party&rsquo;s Alberto Bocanegra Jr., who raised a lot of money for the race. Bocanegra had backing from water district commissioner Frank Avila and immigrant rights organizer Jorge Mújica.<br />&nbsp;<br />Also on the ballot was María &ldquo;Chula&rdquo; Ortiz, a suburban bus employee with little money or visibility.<br />&nbsp;<br /><strong>24th Ward</strong><br />&nbsp;<br />Ald. Sharon Denise Dixon struggled to build a strong political organization after narrowly winning her seat in a 2007 runoff. When Chicago police officers arrested her on drunken-driving charges in 2009, some residents of her ward smelled blood. Seventeen got on the ballot to challenge her, making the contest the most crowded of any Chicago ward race in two decades.<br />&nbsp;<br />A judge determined the officers had no probable cause to arrest Dixon and, last month, she filed suit against three of the cops, saying they wrongly accused her. These developments didn&rsquo;t seem to give her big boosts. The mostly African American ward, which includes North Lawndale and parts of other West Side neighborhoods, is struggling with poverty, abandoned lots, unemployment and low high-school graduation rates.<br />&nbsp;<br />Three challengers seemed to have the most support or credibility. One, Ald. Michael Chandler, lost his seat to Dixon despite support from Mayor Daley. In the rematch, Dixon said Chandler ran straw candidates to help force her into a runoff. Chandler denied that accusation. Another strong challenger appeared to be Melissa Williams, a real-estate attorney who has worked for neighborhood housing groups and ex-offenders. She had backing from State Sen. Rickey Hendon. The third was Valerie Leonard, who uses her finance background to help social-service agencies gather government funding. She founded Lawndale Alliance, a community group focused on affordable housing, community development and quality schools.<br />&nbsp;<br />Several other candidates also seemed to have a decent shot: Wallace &ldquo;Mickey&rdquo; Johnson, a former NBA player and former Cook County sheriff&rsquo;s deputy who has a West Side business; Wilbert Cook III, who heads a nonprofit that works to reintegrate ex-offenders into the job market; Chauncey Stroud, who once served as chief of staff for former Ald. Jesse Miller (24th); Donielle Lawson, a Cook County Jail teacher and union delegate; and Frank Bass, who lobbied in Springfield for John Stroger, the late Cook County Board president.<br />&nbsp;<br />The weakest candidates seemed to be Martavius &ldquo;Mark&rdquo; Carter, Sondra &ldquo;Sam&rdquo; Spellman, Vetress Boyce, Julius Anderson, Shavonda Fields, Jimmy Lee Lard, Regina Lewis, Jeffery Turner and Larry Nelson.<br />&nbsp;<br /><strong>25th Ward</strong><br />&nbsp;<br />Ald. Daniel &ldquo;Danny&rdquo; Solís has been Mayor&rsquo;s Daley&rsquo;s closest Latino ally on the City Council for years. In 2007, nevertheless, Solís barely avoided a runoff. This year the incumbent seemed to have an even tougher race.<br />&nbsp;<br />Daley appointed Solís to the seat in 1996 to replace Ald. Ambrosio Medrano, who pleaded guilty in the Operation Silver Shovel scandal and served more than two years in federal prison. Solís was a player in the Hispanic Democratic Organization, Daley&rsquo;s most powerful campaign army until federal authorities started looking into City Hall patronage hiring. Solís also co-founded the United Neighborhood Organization, a group that now runs charter schools.<br />&nbsp;<br />Solís now chairs the council&rsquo;s powerful Zoning Committee. In that post, he helped broker a deal last year that could lead to several new Walmart stores in Chicago.<br />&nbsp;<br />Solís helped open gates to development and gentrification, which angered some residents of Pilsen, one of Chicago&rsquo;s oldest Mexican neighborhoods. The ward also includes Tri-Taylor, Chinatown, and an area near the University of Illinois at Chicago.<br />&nbsp;<br />Solís also took shots for withholding support for proposed city regulation of emissions from two coal-fired power plants, one of which stands in the ward.<br />&nbsp;<br />One of his challengers was Ambrosio &ldquo;Ambi&rdquo; Medrano Jr., a city Department of Transportation worker and son of the former alderman who went to prison. Medrano had backing from organized labor. The other challenger was construction contractor Cuahutémoc &ldquo;Temoc&rdquo; Morfín, an immigrant rights activist who came within a dozen votes of forcing Solís into a runoff in 2007.</p><p><strong>26th Ward</strong></p><p>The 26th ward has one of the youngest candidates on the ballot. 18-year-old Devon Reid is a studying at Wright College to be a high school history teacher. He says his love of history leads naturally to a love of politics. He's going up against an experienced politician, Roberto Maldonado. Maldonado spent 15 years on the Cook County Board of Commissioners before being appointed 26th ward alderman by Mayor Richard Daley in 2009. This is Maldonado's first election for alderman but he's got $200,000 to spend on the race. Reid has raised about $3,000 in cash and in kind contributions. He says most of that has come from his foster family.<br /> <strong><br />32nd Ward</strong><br /> <br />Scott Waguespack was elected to the city council in 2007 and was considered part of a group of new independents who would question and challenge the policies of Mayor Richard Daley. There weren't that many challenges, but Waguespack is one of the aldermen who voted against the now largely reviled parking meter deal. Waguespack says that deal crystalized for voters all the ways city hall isn't working. He says aldermen have focused solely on their wards to the detriment of the citywide issues.<br /> <br />Waguespack is facing a challenge from David Pavlik who currently works in the governor's office of management and the budget. Pavlik is getting support from 33rd Ward Ald. Dick Mell. That's a little awkward because Mell sits next to Waguespack in the city council. Mell says he likes Waguespack, whom he refers to as a &quot;young man,&quot; but Pavlik's mother used to work for Mell so Mell gave her the okay to siphon off any of his political workers who wanted to help her out. Mell's seat is safe because he has no challenger. Mell says he's also dispatched workers to the 41st and 43rd wards, and he's supporting Rey Colon in the 35th. In addition to Pavlik, Waguespack is also trying to fend off challenges from Brian Gorman and Bryan Lynch.</p><p><em>Chip Mitchell and Robert Wildeboer contributed to this report.</em></p></p> Tue, 22 Feb 2011 23:11:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/story/12th-ward/west-side-aldermanic-races