About the Candidate
Name: Andre Vasquez
DOB: May 21, 1979
Family: I’m running for alderman because I care deeply about Chicago and my community. I didn’t grow up in a political family. As the son of two Guatemalan immigrants who worked harder than anyone should have to in order to give me a better life, I experienced what it meant when government isn’t working for the people.
My family was priced out of five neighborhoods when I was growing up. This was an incredibly difficult experience for myself and my family. I was able to succeed in spite of that, but I believe that no one in our city should experience that kind of housing instability. We all deserve to live in safe, stable, and pleasant neighborhoods, not just the wealthy. After my wife and I had our two sprouts, I couldn’t help but evaluate my experiences and what type of society we are building for the future.
Occupation: AT&T Statewide Area Manager
Political Experience: I got seriously involved in organizing around the 2016 primary elections. I hosted a fundraiser for Bernie Sanders after meeting him, and immediately began organizing for his campaign by traveling out of state to talk to undecided voters, and hosting door-to-door canvasses.
I became the Chair of the Reclaim Chicago North Chapter, leading canvasses, strategy, and establishing monthly community events (popular education workshops, social nights, chapter meetings). Through my leadership, I built people-power by hosting door-to-door canvassing and phone banks out of my backyard and basement for both Daniel Biss and Ram Villivalam.
My name is Andre Vasquez and I am running to be the next 40th Ward Alderman. I am a father, husband, management professional, former battle rapper, comic book geek, and a community organizer.
I was born and raised here. My parents are Guatemalan immigrants who worked tirelessly to provide a foundation for my brother and me. Growing up we were priced out of 5 neighborhoods and I went to 4 different Chicago Public Schools. What I knew, even then, was that I lived in a system that didn’t consider me an equal. I rose up from my first job cashiering at a strip mall to now managing a statewide operation for a global utility company.
Meeting my wife, Valerie and having our two sprouts, Avery and Parker, led me to becoming a community organizer - listening and addressing problems.
Neighbors want an Alderman who will provide effective constituent services while fighting to make sure every neighbor feels connected - from retirees living on fixed incomes, to new parents raising families, to partners who want to grow old together - WE want a city where we are ONE CHICAGO for the People.
As your next 40th Ward Alderman, I will manage a ward office that is accessible, accountable, and committed to our entire community. I commit to holding regular town halls and bringing together block clubs from across the ward. I’m for equitable community investment, sustainable solutions, and open government instead of the closed door dealings, denying us ALL our seat at the table.
We will bring city hall to the people, where it belongs. February 26th is the time where we can vote in a BRAND NEW COUNCIL.
My name is Andre Vasquez and I am asking for your vote.
It’s our Ward and Our Moment!
What is your vision for this office?
I am running for alderman to build a city where every child receives an excellent education, where people feel safe on every block, and where all residents are invested in - where everyone who calls Chicago their home feels that as a neighbor they are supported, celebrated, and part of a larger community. I believe that by ushering in a Brand New Council, we can create a city that works for the people instead of at their expense.
One thing that is severely lacking across the city is an entity that welcomes political outsiders and breaks down the landscape so that more people participate in democracy. One of the first things I will do regardless of the outcome of the election is to create an Independent Political Organization. I believe an IPO that focuses particularly on the ward is crucial to both hold me accountable to my campaign promises and to build support for progressive issues both within and outside the ward.
What is the most pressing issue facing constituents, and how can you help address it?
On a public policy level, affordable housing is the number one issue that I hear from neighbors who are being priced out of this ward every day when I knock doors. I support the creation of affordable housing in my ward and across the city in a lot of different ways: rent control, greater investment of public dollars in housing stock and rent subsidy, and protection of existing affordable housing. I would support:
- Guarantees that some of the foreclosed properties saved through the Neighborhood Stabilization Program are made affordable to families at 40% and 60% of Area Median Income.
- A change to the ARO that would require 30% affordable housing, no loopholes for developers to opt out, and requiring any offsite units to be built within the ward so that we can achieve more equitable affordable housing across the city.
- The Homes for All Ordinance which would establish an automatic approval process for affordable housing applications if not acted upon within 90 days.