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ENDORSEMENT: Gabriel Piemonte for 5th Ward alderman

5th Ward aldermanic candidate Gabriel Piemonte. | Rich Hein/Sun-Times

Hyde Park, South Shore, Grand Crossing

This ward is ripe for a shakeup after two decades under incumbent Ald. Leslie Hairston. She has served the ward fairly well, but her outspoken, independent voice in City Hall has become muted and she’s less responsive to constituents. Challenger and former community newspaper editor Gabriel Piemonte, who says his campaign motto is “Be Heard,” is our pick to to step up the pace and boost citizen engagement. Piemonte has an excellent track record of meaningful community service, such as helping to found a local credit union, serving on not-for-profit boards, and organizing forums on civic issues. He’s solidly progressive — a tradition in this ward for generations — but also practical. He understands, for instance, that problems with petty crime and crumbling infrastructure must be addressed first if struggling South Shore is going to attract new businesses. There are no easy, idealistic answers here. Activist William Calloway is also running.


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