Candidate for Chicago City Council

About the Candidate

Name: Alexandria Willis
DOB: Oct. 11, 1987
Occupation: Strategy and Innovation Analyst
Political Experience: Nursing Home Safety Advocate, testified the Illinois Nursing Homes Safety Taskforce.

Candidate Statement

Hi! I’m Alexandria Willis and I have a vision for the future of Chicago. 2019 is a very important year for us. We have a new Governor, we will elect a new Mayor, and we have the opportunity to elect new aldermen. I’m running to represent the 3rd Ward in City Hall. I don’t want the 3rd Ward to be the tale of two cities, where only the rich get richer and the poor get poorer and displaced. Chicago continues to lose thousands of residents every year because our current elected officials put profit and politics over people. THIS. MUST. END.

The 3rd Ward contains many communities, the South Loop, The Gap, Motor Row, Douglas, Grand Boulevard, Bronzeville, Fuller Park, and little portion of Washington Park. Although these communities differ, a few concerns are the same across the ward. Crime, economic development, school choice, and transparency in government are issues important to every household in the 3rd Ward.

The 3rd wards needs a leader who will pull seats to the table, roll up her sleeves, and get to the hard work of making the entire 3rd Ward a great place to live, work, and play. I respect the diversity of the South Side, each community has its own history, culture, and unique needs. I’m comfortable managing and prioritizing action. As a nurse, population health specialist, and innovator, I have a unique set of experiences to draw from. I believe the Alderman’s office should be a hub of information and community action.

The hardest aspect of my candidacy has been convincing neighbors that they have the power to change their community. Each one of you watching, has a voice, that deserves to be heard. If you are 18 or older, I ask that you use your voice to vote for me, Alexandria Willis-your future third ward Alderman.

Thank you WTTW for allowing me to introduce myself to your audience. As a long time supporter, it is a great honor and pleasure to be here.

Candidate Q&A

What is your vision for this office?

I envision the 3rd Ward Alderman’s office as the central hub for the Ward. My office will house the organizing efforts for the Ward and maintain a central information repository. Within my office we will host participatory budgeting of the menu money, empower residents to be regional leaders and representatives for their block or precinct. I plan to work in a collaborative manner with established not for profits, faith leaders, community groups, and engaged citizens. Together we will create community centric plans for violence reduction, economic development, and academic enrichment for our students. I believe the alderman’s office should be accessible to all residents and considered a safe place for innovation and collaboration to address the needs and concerns of residents.

What is the most pressing issue facing constituents, and how can you help address it?

The most pressing issue facing constituents is crime and violence. Violent crime and robberies in the area diminishes the quality of life of all residents. As alderman, the first thing I will do is index and organize the available resources in the ward for youth and workforce development. It’s important that the youth in our community feel represented and included in activities. I will sponsor leadership opportunities through a youth council where youth can advocate for the things they feel are important. Workforce development is critical in crime and violence reduction as the number one reason given by loiterers and drug dealers is “I need a job”. Job placement is particularly difficult for this population because they often lack the soft and hard skills needed to maintain employment. Partnerships with local businesses and workforce development organizations will increase job opportunities and placement. I will advocate for pipeline program creation within awarded contracts so that my residents can move beyond unskilled labor only jobs to management, careers, or eventual entrepreneurship.