About the Candidate
Name: Erika Wozniak Francis
DOB: Aug. 12, 1982
Family: Husband Brian, Dog Miley
Occupation: Chicago Public School Teacher, 5th Grade
Political Experience: CTU union delegate; outspoken advocate against the misuse of public tax increment financing (TIF) dollars; campaigned for Will Guzzardi, Chuy Garcia, Brandon Johnson, Susan Sadlowski Garza, Kim Foxx, and Carlos Ramirez Rosa
My name is Erika Wozniak Francis. I’m running for alderman of the 46th Ward.
I’ve been a Chicago public school teacher and a steward of the Chicago Teachers Union for more than 14 years. I’ve been on the front lines of the statewide efforts to protect our public colleges and universities. I’ve lead efforts to expand voting rights in Chicago and Illinois. I’ve demanded responsible use of our TIF dollars. I’ve elevated the voices of my fellow women through my work at the girl talk, which I helped create. I’ve been nationally recognized as a teacher for my work advocating for Chicago’s students.
As a teacher, I’ve worked in schools that are starved for resources. I know first hand impact of city council.
Whether it is affordability, lack of funding in our schools, addressing public safety, or economic development -- we have had the wrong priorities and the only way we’re going to change that is with new leadership on every level of government.
We know what the problem is. Too many elected officials put the interests of big corporate developers, wealthy campaign donors, and the politically connected ahead of the needs of their constituents.
As alderman, I will continue to be a fierce advocate for our neighborhood public schools. I will ensure our neighborhood is affordable, and I will work hard to make our streets are safe.
Our community needs and deserves principled, progressive leaders who will stand up for all of our residents and ensure the 46th Ward is a place where everyone can thrive.
It is my long history of activism that gives people confidence in my campaign and my leadership. And it is unwavering advocacy that I will bring to the 46th Ward and City Council.
What is your vision for this office?
The power to shape our ward's future should be given back to the people. As alderman, I would be committed to putting the needs of the residents of Uptown and Lakeview above the interests of big corporations, amplifying the voices of the marginalized, ensuring ethical development without displacement, and preventing crime before it happens through well-resourced public schools and a robust social safety net for all people.
What is the most pressing issue facing constituents, and how can you help address it?
Unethical development and resulting displacement of 46th Ward residents and inequity that perpetuates crime. I will advocate for participatory budgeting, appropriate public use of public tax dollars (TIF reform), an overhaul of the ARO (Affordable Requirements Ordinance) and much stronger affordable housing requirements for developers. I will be a fighter for Chicago's working individuals and families as well as union labor.