By Bernadette Hoffman
Maria Hadden is currently campaigning against 49th ward Alderman Joe Moore to unseat him in the 2019 elections. A victory for Hadden means she will be the first black gay alderman to be elected in Chicago.
According to the Windy City Times, Hadden has worked with Rogers Park participatory budgeting since 2009. She’s now executive director of Our City Our Voice, which helps local governments develop their own participatory budgeting plans. Hadden decided to run for alderman because friends and colleagues often asked, “Maria, when are you running for office?”
In March of last year, she finally made the decision to run. Hadden is advocating for more affordable and accessible housing. Other issues she prioritizes include supporting public education, local business, and environmental sustainability.
Her opponent Ald. Joe Moore was first elected to City Council in April 1991 and has been re-elected six times. As a newcomer, Hadden says her biggest challenge will be name recognition and funds. With years of experience and political connections, Joe Moore already has a base of funders and donors
According to Hadden’s website, she describes her campaign as “community-centered.” She believes Moore hasn’t been listening to residents’ needs. Hadden says, if elected, she plans to “create new avenues and new opportunities for a real leadership development pipeline especially for our young people and to open up more civic space.”