On April 1, a group of Fourth Ward residents launched fourthwardvotes.org, an informational website intended to allow citizens concerned about the appointment of a new Fourth Ward alderman to discuss their concerns and find resources regarding issues affecting the ward.
Former alderman Will Burns (A.B. ’95, A. M. ’98) stepped down early last March to work at Airbnb, and Mayor Rahm Emanuel will be appointing a temporary replacement alderman sometime this month. There will be an election for a regular-term alderman in February of next year, and the creators of the website are looking to find a candidate that will uphold the priorities of the Fourth Ward.
Until such a candidate is found, the focus of the community organizers is on educating and motivating citizens of the Fourth Ward to get involved in the process and discuss the issues that matter to them. The website has a library of links to websites about participating in community politics, as well as a number of public forums focused on specific issues, from police accountability to education policies and funding.
“We have to move fast, knock on doors, use social media, recruit students,” community leader and former Hyde Park Herald editor Gabriel Piemonte said. “We want to make sure people on the street are talking to other people about it.”
Sonia Schlesinger contributed reporting.