About the Candidate
Name: Colin Jamal Bird-Martinez
DOB: Jan. 11, 1986
Family: Husband, Joshua Michael Bird-Martinez
Occupation: Automotive Analyst and Market Researcher
Political Experience: I co-founded Hermosa Neighborhood Association to bring about positive change in the community, serving as the president and board member from 2014 to 2018. During this time, the nonprofit held countless public events to help inform area residents, advocate for affordable housing in new developments, secure upgrades to vital local infrastructure, and cosponsor the blocking of charter school expansion. I also founded the 31st Ward Independent Political Organization which actively campaigned for multiple judicial candidates in the 2018 primary.
I have also served as an active member of the Local School Council (LSC) for William P. Nixon Elementary School in Hermosa since 2015. I have helped raise hundreds of thousands of dollars for school improvements and have seen first-hand how schools with large vulnerable populations are routinely targeted for divestment.
I have also been a member of The People’s Lobby (TPL) since 2015. Through TPL, I have been heavily involved in electoral reform, fighting for the Chicago Fair Elections Ordinance, which would match small donations to increase the viability of progressive candidates and increase voter participation. I am also very passionate about criminal-justice reform and have participated in TPL actions regarding ending pay bond. I am also a member of Reclaim Chicago, and have helped get multiple progressive candidates elected.
Hi, my name is Colin Bird-Martinez and I am running for 31st Ward Alderman. I am a husband, a community organizer, and a progressive leader in Hermosa, and I am running for alderman because this is my home. For decades, my community has been neglected by elected officials who first and foremost care about themselves, and who put profits over people. The ward is being gentrified on one end, and ignored on the other. Public schools are threatened to be closed, and working class people have to leave the ward to get access to the everyday services necessary to live. I am running on a platform that puts Community First. To me, Community First means focusing on solving the problems that affect working families every day.
In 2014, I co-founded the Hermosa Neighborhood Association to bring about positive change in my community. Through this, I have worked with my neighbors to advocate for affordable housing in new developments, organized against the expansion of privately-run charter schools, and hosted multiple community engagement events. I am also an active member of the Local School Council for William P. Nixon Elementary, where I have seen first-hand how schools with large vulnerable populations are routinely ignored and underfunded.
My neighbors in the 31st ward are some of the most hardworking and honest people that I have met. They value the unity that comes from helping one another and working together to make our neighborhoods better. We need elected officials that put community first, to tackle the greatest issues facing our city and neighborhoods. Only then will everyone in our city feel safe and will we all feel empowered to pursue meaningful lives. Together, we can make this dream a reality. My name is Colin Bird-Martinez, and I am running for 31st Ward Alderman to be a progressive leader for my neighbors, for my community, and for Chicago.
What is your vision for this office?
My vision is for all of us to live in a city that puts the needs of the Community First. To me, Community First means focusing on solving the problems that affect working families every day. The neighbors that I have met in the 31st Ward are hardworking and honest. They value the unity that comes from helping one another and working together to make our neighborhoods better. We know that we are only truly free when we feel safe walking around in our own community, and we need elected officials who put Community First by tackling the most important issues facing our city and neighborhoods.
What is the most pressing issue facing constituents, and how can you help address it?
There are so many pressing issues in the 31st Ward, most of which come down to disinvestment from the City, but one of the most pressing issues today is lack of resources and investment in our educational system. I can help address this on city council by fighting to fully fund all of our neighborhood public schools, as well as advocate for an elected school board, free full day preschool, and free community college for all. I will also advocate for dual language programs in our neighborhood schools and stopping charter school expansion, to support the 31st Ward’s majority Latinx community families.