Aldermanic races heat up for Lincoln Park residents

11 Jan

By Zoe Barker

Residents are circling February 22 on their calendars as the 2011 aldermanic election approaches. In Lincoln Park, they’re gearing up with two candidate forums this week for the 32nd and 43rd Wards.

As a “centralized location in the neighborhood,” the Lincoln Park Chamber of Commerce will host the forums at the DePaul University Student Center. Retired political reporter Andy Shaw, now with the Better Government Association (BGA), will moderate both forums.

These opportunities to get a closer look at the candidates are being held as an informal event and not a debate, according to Padraic Swanton, The Director of Marketing and Communications for the LPCC.

The first forum, on Jan. 13 at 6:30 p.m., will feature 43rd Ward candidates. They will have the opportunity to present their ideas for the area and answer a series of selected questions.

The questions have been finalized by the LPCC’s Government Affairs Committee and therefore, “Hopefully, residents can expect honest answers and frank conversations without attacks or negative rhetoric,” Swanton said. Though the questions themselves are being kept secret until the night of the event, she said to expect them to cover budget issues, business, development plans and more.

According to the Board of Elections Commissioners for the City of Chicago, as of Dec. 30, 2010, the 43rd Ward candidates are as follows: Jim Hinkamp, Tim Egan, Rafael A. Vargas, Bita Buenrostro, Charles E. Eastwood, Fred Christie, Michael “Mike” Jankovich, Michele Smith, Carmen Olmetti, Mitchell A. Newman and John M. Campos.

Key issues in the election include the future of the Children’s Memorial Hospital and Finkl Steel sites. “Both of these anchor institutions are leaving the Lincoln Park neighborhood and because of their strategic location and large footprints, much of the community will be affected by what takes their place,” Swanton said.

A balanced budget at City Hall, TIF Reforms, education, crime and parking solutions are also important issues for residents, according to Swanton.



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