Two North Side wards, two retirements — and 16 choices for voters

Ten people are elbowing for position in the 48th Ward, angling to succeed Ald. Harry Osterman, and six are eyeing the neighboring 46th Ward, hoping to succeed Ald. James Cappleman

SHARE Two North Side wards, two retirements — and 16 choices for voters
Candidates running in the 48th Ward, (top row, left to right) Larry Svabek, Nick Ward, Joe Dunne, Andre Peloquin, Brian Haag. (bottom row, left to right) Isaac Freilich Jones, Leni Manaa-Hoppenworth, Roxanne Volkmann, Andy Peters, Nassir Faulkner.

Candidates running in the 48th Ward, (top row, left to right) Larry Svabek, Nick Ward, Joe Dunne, Andre Peloquin, Brian Haag. (bottom row, left to right) Isaac Freilich Jones, Leni Manaa-Hoppenworth, Roxanne Volkmann, Andy Peters, Nassir Faulkner.

Photos provided to the Chicago Sun-Times

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North Side residents of two lakefront wards will choose new City Council members to represent them for the first time in 12 years — and they’ve got a combined 16 candidates to choose from.

The scramble was sparked by the decisions of Ald. James Cappleman (46th) and Ald. Harry Osterman (48th) not to seek re-election, part of an exodus that will result in leadership turnover in nearly a third of the city’s 50 wards.

Ten people are elbowing for position in the 48th Ward, while six are eyeing the 46th in the election now just over two weeks away. A candidate needs a majority to win, or else the top two vote-getters head to an April 4 run-off.

In both wards, candidates say residents are mostly worried about three intertwining issues: the sharp rise in crime since 2019, vacancies in the neighborhoods’ historically vibrant corridors, and affordable housing.

“Public safety to me means addressing our basic human rights,” said 48th Ward candidate and small business owner Leni Manaa-Hoppenworth.

“Finding people housing first and then providing the wraparound services, including health care and mental health care … job opportunities, domestic violence support, childcare,” she said. “All of those things we need to provide as a society to have a healthy community.”

48th Ward: Andersonville, Edgewater, Uptown

When Osterman, 55, announced his retirement last year, affordable housing developer and lifelong Edgewater resident Joe Dunne said many neighbors urged him to run for the seat.

Last month, Dunne, 50, received Osterman’s endorsement and a $4,000 campaign contribution from him.

Manaa-Hoppenworth, 53, hopes to make City Council history as the city’s first Filipina alderperson.

Ald. James Cappleman (46th) (left) in September; Ald. Harry Osterman (48th) (right) in 2021. 

Ald. James Cappleman (46th) (left) in September; Ald. Harry Osterman (48th) (right) in 2021.

Pat Nabong; Ashlee Rezin/Sun-Times file

She and rival candidates Nick Ward, 41; Nassir Faulkner, 28, a communications manager for the Illinois Comptroller’s Office, and University of Chicago political science lecturer Larry Svabek, 29, are focused on tackling root causes of crime and exploring alternatives to deploying more cops to neighborhoods.

Ward said the city needs to immediately invest more in education, jobs, mental health and violence prevention.

“I think that the neighborhoods that are safest are those with the most resources,” said Ward, a former booking manager at Young Chicago Authors who has the backing of the Chicago Teachers Union and Democratic Socialists of America among a number of community groups.

Dunne, along with Roxanne Volkmann, 53, a regional deputy director for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development; Isaac Freilich Jones, 36, an assistant Illinois attorney general; real estate agent Andre Peloquin, 35; and small business owner Andy Peters, 35, propose either hiring more police officers or reinstating beat cops as immediate solutions to crime and to improve community relationships with police.

Candidates running in the 48th Ward (top row, left to right) Andre Peloquin, Leni Maana-Hoppenworth, Nassir Faulkner, Isaac Freilich Jones and Nick Ward and (bottom row, left to right) Larry Svabek, Brian Haag, Andy Peters, Roxanne Volkmann and Joe Dunne.

Candidates running in the 48th Ward (top row, left to right) Andre Peloquin, Leni Maana-Hoppenworth, Nassir Faulkner, Isaac Freilich Jones and Nick Ward and (bottom row, left to right) Larry Svabek, Brian Haag, Andy Peters, Roxanne Volkmann and Joe Dunne.

Provided photos.

They do, however, agree that sending more cops to neighborhoods isn’t enough.

Also running for the 48th Ward seat is Brian Haag, 60, who owns Green Element Resale and advocates for environmentally sustainable solutions to infrastructure.

46th Ward: Uptown, Buena Park, Lakeview East

Immediately to the south of the 48th, Marianne Lalonde forced Cappleman, 70, into a runoff in the 46th Ward four years ago, losing the April face-off by just 25 votes. Angela Clay also ran, but failed to make the run off.

Both are seeking the seat again, still boasting progressive campaigns that emphasize a need for more inclusive representation.

Joining them is Kim Walz, backed by established Democratic Party leaders such as Gov. J.B. Pritzker, U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin, U.S. Representatives Mike Quigley and Jan Schakowsky. She was chief of staff for Quigley during parts of his time as Cook County commissioner and as a member of Congress.

Walz, 47, now a Walgreens regional director for state and local government relations, said her decision to run was “personal.” Her brother was diagnosed with schizophrenia about 30 years ago, and ever since she and her family have exhausted ways to seek help.

“There’s so many individuals and families going through this in the 46th Ward, and we have to change the system to make it better,” Walz said, noting that she wants the city to reimagine long-term mental health care options rather than sending people in crises to emergency rooms or jail.

Candidates running in the 46th Ward (top row, left to right) Angela Clay, Kim Walz, Patrick Nagle, (bottom row, left to right) Roushanda Williams, Michael Cortez and Marianne Lalonde.

Candidates running in the 46th Ward (top row, left to right) Angela Clay, Kim Walz, Patrick Nagle, (bottom row, left to right) Roushanda Williams, Michael Cortez and Marianne Lalonde.

Photos provided to the Chicago Sun-Times. Marianne Lalonde photo by Nicole DeFilippis.

Lalonde and Clay agree that a new approach is needed, such as the Treatment Not Trauma ordinance that would create a 24-hour crisis response hotline for mental health-related emergencies and reopen mental health clinics.

“We are very invested in making sure that not only are we safe walking around our ward, but we are also protecting our neighbors who may be experiencing mental health crises and trying to set them up for success instead of just relying on our police officers to respond,” said Clay, 31, a housing organizer.

An energy efficiency consultant, Lalonde is a strong advocate for restoring the city Department of Environment, which shut down in 2012.

“I think the city really needs to reprioritize thinking about climate change resilience in terms of infrastructure,” said Lalonde, 36.

She’s aware of the ward’s problem when heavy rains and overwhelmed sewers cause flooding in streets and basements. The alley of her previous apartment faced that problem until it was converted into a “green alley” with permeable pavement for drainage – one of many projects she’d propose to prioritize sustainability and climate change mitigation.

Also running are labor union-supported Roushaunda Williams, a 55-year-old bartender at a Loop hotel and a former social worker; Patrick Nagle, 53, chief judge of the Social Security Administration and a former federal prosecutor; and 60-year-old real estate broker Michael Cortez.

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