About the Candidate
Name: Leslie A. Hairston
DOB: July 17, 1961
Occupation: 5th Ward Alderman
Political Experience: Alderman 1999-2019; Democratic Committeeman 2000-2020.
Website: In process ...
I’m Leslie Hairston and I’m running for re-election as 5th Ward alderman.
I’m proud to be a member of the Progressive Reform Caucus, in the City Council.
Although in the minority, we have stood up against privatization, public school closings and stagnant wages for working families.
Three years ago, I was one of the first aldermen to praise community protestors for the Chicago police superintendent’s firing and urged the mayor to clean house.
A few months later, I introduced an ordinance calling for the creation of a truly independent police oversight agency that would abolish the Independent Police Review Authority and replace it with a credible civilian agency to investigate police shootings and other misconduct. Although, the Civilian Office of Police Accountability was created to replace IPRA, we still don’t have an independent community police oversight board.
In an open letter, last year, I urged the Obama Foundation to forge a working relationship that’s transparent, honest, respectful, productive and protective of neighboring residents, surrounding communities and the presidential center.
Knowing a community is key to moving it forward. That’s why I’ve worked so hard exposing the 5th Ward’s natural assets and beauty to people outside the ward. Consequently, it’s become a destination location for a number of annual recreational and entertainment activities. More businesses are moving to the 5th Ward—including two new grocery stores—and educational choices are improving.
An interviewer once asked me what I like most about the 5th Ward. Without hesitation, I answered, “the diversity,” its people, natural and cultural resources and housing choices. Balancing the different needs is a challenge…and I love it.
I’m running for re-election on February 26, 2019, and I need your vote to continue the multiple projects we’ve worked so hard to attract to the 5th Ward.
What is your vision for this office?
Short range: continuing economic development broadening access to quality schools, improving our housing stock, addressing crime/nuisance behavior, and fostering opportunities for residents, as well as visitors, to enjoy the ward’s many assets. Longer term: Mechanisms in place to ensure full accessibility of resources to our very diverse constituents, a job intake and training center and a neighborhood stabilization (funded) program to address costs due to redevelopment.
What is the most pressing issue facing constituents, and how can you help address it?
The short-range goals noted above are intended to address issues that are tied together, particularly jobs people can afford to live on and safety.