Candidate for Chicago City Council

About the Candidate

Name: Amanda Yu Dieterich
DOB: Oct. 6, 1978
Family: Husband Ben, children Lawrence, Odin, and Astrid
Occupation: Small Business Owner - Graphic Design and Marketing
Political Experience: LSC member, Monroe Elementary

Candidate Statement

My name is Amanda Yu Dieterich, and I am running for alderman of the 35th Ward.

I am an immigrant. I came to the US from Taiwan when I was nine years old, not knowing a word of English.

I am a mother with three kids. I am currently in my second term of our local school council at Monroe and my kids are currently enrolled in CPS.

Communities flourish when we put the work into supporting them. I am present in my community, and I see the inequity and lack of representation facing us.

I am running because we need to make Chicago an affordable city, an accessible city, and an accountable city.

We need affordable housing for our families. We need to provide accessibility by improving our infrastructure. We need an elected school board and transparent, accountable oversight of police.

We need a representative who will show up to do their job and be present in our ward.

Most importantly, we need to evaluate our policies through the lens of equity by looking at who is bearing the costs and who is seeing the benefits.

I believe that belonging, the feeling that we belong, is the foundation of an inclusive community. When our elected officials are NOT present, when they do not respond to emails or phone calls, when they do not care enough to show up and vote for legislation to support us, they are telling us that we do not belong. And that undermines our community.

Now, more than ever, we need to know we matter and we belong.
It is necessary for immigrants to have a seat at the table.
It is necessary for women, and women of color, to have a seat at the table,
It is necessary for mothers to have a seat at the table.
And it is necessary for all of us to have representatives who will do their job.
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Thank you.

Candidate Q&A

What is your vision for this office?

The alderman’s office is uniquely positioned to build community. My vision of a successful 35th Ward is one where neighbors know one another, which is the foundation for a safe community. Because our ward is part of five neighborhoods, I believe in a renewed effort to partner with neighboring wards to develop community-based plans to attract and support small business development, bringing jobs and convenience to all our neighborhoods. Because issues facing our community are not unique, I believe in working and building coalitions with aldermen across the city to develop and pass progressive legislation, actually making progress on things that can improve the lives of everyone in Chicago. In short, my vision is of an accessible and present alderman who is actively working to represent her constituents.

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

Specific to the 35th Ward, constituents are not receiving service from the current alderman. Calls go unanswered, ward night became less frequent, and the alderman makes little effort to reach out to residents in all parts of the ward. In order to get attention from the office, residents must organize and petition to get even routine maintenance requests heard. I will address this by first ensuring that my office hours are working-family friendly so that my office is accessible at their convenience. My staff will be trained in how to do their jobs, and we will be proactive in assessing the infrastructure needs of the ward so that residents don’t have to navigate the system on their own.

On a policy level, the most pressing issue is affordable housing. I will work with other members of City Council to enact legislation to protect and expand our existing housing stock, to incentivize investments in 2-4 flats, and to ensure that the affordable housing made available meets the needs of our families both in the ward and in our city.