Pilsen activist Byron Sigcho-Lopez for Alderman of the diverse 25th Ward
March 30, 2019

Byron Sigcho-Lopez.

In the Feb. 26 election, there were five candidates vying for the seat abandoned by long-time Alderman Daniel Solis. Solis was found to be wearing a wire for two years, working with the Federal Government to record conversations with 14th Ward Alderman Ed Burke, long-time head of the City Council’s powerful Finance Committee, and who knows how many other politicians, lobbyists, and business people trying to wheel and deal influence within the City Council, City Hall, and in Springfield.

They say all politics is local and this is certainly the case in the 25th Ward. With a public outcry seeking political reform throughout the City, and Solis in hiding since he was exposed for working with the Feds, this is a golden opportunity for the residents of the 25th Ward to elect a new representative to the City Council that will finally be looking out for their best interests. Solis spent too much time in recent years looking out for the needs of developers, and less so for his constituents. This certainly was a factor in helping to push 10,000 residents out of Pilsen since 2000.

This race comes down to two challengers in the run-off:  Alex Acevedo and Byron Sigcho-Lopez. Acevedo is a registered nurse and son of former State Representative Edward Acevedo. Sigcho-Lopez was the longtime executive director of the Pilsen Alliance and has been a welcome thorn in the side of Solis in recent years, advocating for the needs and rights of 25th Ward residents too often left at the curb by an alderman who gained too much power and lost his way.

Gazette Chicago endorsed Sigcho-Lopez in the Feb. 26 election, and did its due diligence and interviewed all five candidates leading up to that decision. We shared with you the results of our interviews in our Feb. 1 issue so that you could be better prepared to make your decision at the voting booth. That should be the role of your community newspaper. So, imagine our dismay, when after repeated attempts to interview Acevedo for this issue, our calls went unreturned leading up to press time. This is disappointing—not only for us—but also for the residents of the 25th Ward, and for the lack of importance Acevedo finds in not speaking with the only English-speaking media outlet representing a large percentage of potential voters in the 25th Ward. No matter how busy he must be on the campaign trail, Acevedo should have found the time to speak to Gazette Chicago, a media outlet and paper of record in this community that serves as an important vehicle for him to get his message out to potential constituents. Sigcho-Lopez found the time.

Regardless of Acevedo’s decision not to speak to us, Gazette Chicago sees no reason to change its mind in this run-off.

Sigcho-Lopez is on the right side of history, calling for a curb or ban on TIFs as they are being currently used; is for the lift of the ban on rent control and was a co-founder of the Lift the Ban coalition; has a green agenda for residents in the community who for too long paid the price of having to put up with area polluters; wants to immediately address lead in our public water drinking system; and wants to ensure that developments such as the El Paseo Path, the 78 in the South Loop, and Roosevelt Square along Taylor Street all have a Community Benefits Agreement related to hiring of local employees and contractors. We also like his stand on property tax exemptions for long-term resident.

Sigcho-Lopez also wants to see one alderman, not three, represent the Little Italy community. Well, all this is certainly a breath of fresh air.

Sigcho-Lopez has been a very effective community activist. He will provide hope for long-time residents trying to cling to their community and he will fit well with a change in leadership in City Hall under Lori Lightfoot as Mayor. Gazette Chicago strongly endorses Byron Sigcho-Lopez for Alderman of the 25th Ward.