Rogers Park resident Maria Hadden, 37, is running for the 49th ward alderman position against Joe Moore, who has held the seat since 1991.
According to Loyola Phoenix, Moore has served seven consecutive terms as the 49th ward alderman, winning several elections by a wide margin. If Hadden wins in the 2019 election, she will be the first Queer, Black Chicago alderman.
Hadden was a community representative in the first participatory budget process in 2009 and continued her work as a project manager.
Now, as the executive director of her new organization, Our City Our Voice, Hadden helps other cities and local governments develop their own participatory budgeting plans.
Participatory budgeting, first introduced in the United States by Moore, allows residents to voice opinions about how to spend a part of the neighborhood’s budget, which is approximately $1.3 million in Rogers Park. Hadden claims to continue this practice if elected alderwoman.
Joe Moore supports The Concord at Sheridan construction, which is set to be an apartment development along with a Target store. After speaking with seniors who oppose the development, Hadden believes that Moore is insensitive to the needs of Rogers Park residents.
Hadden wants to create more opportunities for resident involvement, such as forming committees for zoning, safety and sustainability, as well as starting an aldermanic youth council for high school and college students.
Hadden told the Loyola Phoenix, “I definitely want to use the role of alderwoman to not be the only leader in the ward but to create new avenues and new opportunities for a real leadership development pipeline.”
The policy issues Hadden wants to focus on include strong neighborhood schools, accessible and affordable housing, safe and healthy community, sustainable local economy and a protected environment, according to her campaign website.