Sunday, February 12, 2023

We've Seen Enough - Uptown Update Endorses Kim Walz

Not to steal Dave Wasserman's thunder, or his signature line, but we are convinced:

Kim Walz is the best choice for the open aldermanic seat in the 46th Ward.

Since filing date passed, we have watched every available forum, read the campaign literature, studied the candidates in detail. We have been impressed by several of the candidates, including Ms. Walz, Mr. Nagle, and Ms. Williams. We think that any of the three will make a good alderperson for the 46th Ward. But the one candidate that stood above the others (and garnered the most votes in our internal poll) was Ms. Walz. 

Ms. Walz has received an impressive slate of endorsements from Governor Pritzker, Senator Dick Durbin, Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky, Congressman Mike Quigley, Senator Sara Feigenholtz and State Representative Ann Williams, Alderman Tom Tunney, and others in local government. She is connected with the folks who make things happen, and as we have seen, that is important and often necessary in getting the 46th Ward (Uptown's largest) the funding and services needed. However, she also has an impressive interest in governmental reform, with a history of real world accomplishments in the ethics and budgetary realm.

Beyond her experience in government and connections, our editors believe that it is important to have a socially responsible and forward thinking candidate. It is clear Ms. Walz has the social and personal bona fides, espousing a bevy of good ideas coupled with a long history of real world work on social issues that affect the 46th Ward

Of particular relevance to the 46th Ward, Ms. Walz knows the challenges of substance abuse and mental illness firsthand, with a close family member struggling with those challenges, and she knows the ins and outs of the system well. She has worked on extending health insurance to low-income working families and the uninsured as part of her work (in a high level position) in a non-profit health insurance co-op. She has been an active volunteer with the House of Good Shepherd (supporting mothers and children living at the shelter), serves on the board of Kids Above All, a non-profit helping children and families who have survived trauma, and is a member of the leadership council of the Haymarket Center, a group that helps individuals and families suffering from the effects of substance abuse and mental illness. And in her professional life, where she serves as a liason between Walgreens Corporation and local governments, she has a real life track record of work that helps advance public health, equity for people of color, non-English speakers, and the undocumented population.

What about the others? Patrick Nagle got one vote in our internal poll. We think that Mr. Nagle has good potential, a long track record of civic service, and would make a good alderman. Ms. Walz ultimately got more votes because our editors believe it is time for a female voice to lead the Ward.  

Like Mr. Nagle, Ms. Williams received a single vote in our internal poll. She is an impressive candidate with an interesting background and some important endorsements. We expect that she would do well as Alderwoman even if we didn't end up voting for her. 

Neither Marianne Lalonde nor Angela Clay garnered a vote in our internal poll. We still remain gobsmacked about how Ms. Lalonde conducted herself in the last campaign, including refusing to concede the election to James Cappleman. We expect that from candidates in the Republican party, but it was a petty move and provided a good window into Ms. Lalonde's psyche. 

For her part, Ms. Clay has little track record and has bound herself closely to former Alderman Helen Shiller, who was on hand when Ms. Clay announced her candidacy. Ald. Shiller is effectively looking for someone to pass the baton. In our view, a vote for Ms. Clay is effectively a vote for Helen Shiller and her favorite organizations to regain power in the 46th Ward

We have witnessed a neighborhood that has made tremendous strides in public safety and livability over the past 12 years under Alderman Cappleman. If you asked us what we expected to see in 2011 when he was sworn in for the first time, we were most hopeful for a change from a status quo that was willing to accept regular gang shootings and street crime as part of the "fabric" of the neighborhood. That change has happened, in large part, due to the work of police, the Alderman and his office, neighborhood groups, and Uptown's citizens, who have worked together to make Uptown a safe, clean and desirable location. 

We started this blog in 2007 because we were sick of the way Uptown was in the thrall of special interests who had no interest in the neighborhood ever improving. The status quo (and worse) were acceptable, as was the loss of life and subhuman living conditions that accompanied it. We don't want to return to the way things were under Helen Shiller, which is what a vote for Ms. Clay (or Ms. Lalonde) would bring. 

In 2007, we would have never envisioned an Uptown that now makes worldwide best neighborhood lists, and we want the neighborhood to continue to progress, rather than regress, over the next 4 years. Our editors think Kim Walz is the best choice to move the 46th ward forward, while ensuring no one gets left behind

We encourage you to read more about her impressive resume at her website or in the Tribune's interview before you vote in the upcoming election.


  1. You skipped the electoral demon Cortez. I guess minimal effort should be put into a campaign before mentioning him in an endorsement piece.

    "We may never be able to know the true winner of this election," Lalonde said.

    Only one of these candidates I dislike is Lalonde. She's not going to like the results of round one. I don't expect her to make the runoff. I could be wrong. What she lacks in decency and personality she makes up for in a tremendous work ethic.

    I biked by Golden House yesterday and Chuy was being interviewed by a TEEVEE station. Cortez seems to have tied his election chances to his. Not gonna work in this ward. I did see some Cortez campaign signs out there with Chuy's. I guess that counts as "effort".

    I looked at the campaign finance reports of all the candidates except Cortez last week. This is gonna be interesting. They all seem to have 50K or more in money to spend. $1000 plus donations since January seemed to stop for Nagle so his supporters are tapped out or figure he's a goner.

    I don't know. I expect Walz to be well ahead of anyone else because of money and support, but the race for the runoff spot will be interesting which will be very likely anti climatic with Walz winning.

    I won't be voting for Nagle because he has that hungry Irish look about him. He gets elected alderman and next thing you know he's running for States Attorney, or Congress or even "Mare".

    Walz just had a baby so she'll probably be fine with just being an alderman for a few terms. She strikes me as competent and sane.

    Williams is great and extremely quick with a quip, but lacks the name recognition to win. Still she'd be a fun alderman to watch.

    Clay is Shiller with a smile, but has a great Uptown story.

    Lalonde--well maybe she can assist NASA in repelling the coming alien invasion the USAF has been dealing with.

    Cortez better stick to his other gigs.

    16 days until round one.

  2. Totally agree! Kim Walz is by far the best choice.

  3. Irish Pirate, I just can't understand why you don't want to be a 46th ward lab rat in one of Marianne's experiments. I'm sure it would go swimmingly :)

  4. BPG,

    I hadn't thought of it that way. Amusing.

    Lalonde standing above the 46th ward wearing a white lab coat, safety glasses and wearing rubber gloves while mumbling under her breath:

    "I'm good enough, I'm smart enough, and doggone it, people like me. I won in 2019. Really I did."

  5. I think Cappleman did a fine job over his 12 years as Alderman of the 46th. I was an Uptown kid from wayback before the progressive changes started taking hold. Born here in '54, I have a vast memory of Uptown's SRO and "down and out" times of old. Had many great memories of poorer times here and loved the Appalachian people who were here during those times, too. But, times moved on....and the positive growth of Uptown has been remarkable. Hats off to Mr. Cappleman and the remarkable work he's done to help move Uptown onward through the New Millennium. Uptown is STILL a good place to live, and come what may....I'll always be proud of where I came from here.