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ENDORSEMENT: Walter Burnett Jr. for 27th Ward alderman

27th Ward aldermanic candidate and incumbent Walter Burnett Jr. meets with the Sun-Times Editorial Board Jan. 23. | Rich Hein/Sun-Times

Near West Side, Near North Side

Ald. Walter Burnett Jr. is an advocate for affordable housing at a time when Chicago really needs it — as developers reshape pockets of land on the North, West and South sides. Burnett fought for an ordinance that requires developers in the ward to set aside 20 percent of their housing units for affordable housing, instead of the usual 10 percent. Burnett also helped turn around the now trendy West Loop, after the city neglected it for decades. His opponent, Cynthia D. Bednarz, believes TIF money should stop going to projects in that neighborhood since it’s thriving. She also believes improvements in the ward have been uneven, with not enough attention given to areas such as East Garfield Park, where she lives. Good points. On the whole, however, she couldn’t make a strong case for displacing Burnett, who is strongly endorsed. Responding to Bednarz’s accusation that he has not done much for East Garfield Park, Burnett pointed out in an endorsement interview that the Hatchery, a 67,000-square foot facility where budding food service businesses can set up shop, recently opened there. Burnett, who as a teen in the early 1980s went to prison for robbing a savings and loan, does outreach in the ward to steer men away from gangs and to jobs.


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