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Ald. Patrick O'Connor, Who Opposed Harold Washington As A Member Of The Vrdolyak 29 And Went On To Act As Council Floor Leader for Richard M. Daley And Rahm Emanuel, Gets 21-Year-Old Nigerian Challenger Who Worked On Chuy And Bernie Campaigns

Ugo Okere, a 21-year-old community organizer in the Budlong Woods neighborhood and a senior at Loyola, announced his candidacy for alderman of the 40th Ward at an event Saturday evening celebrating millennial political power.

"As a lifelong resident of Budlong Woods, and a millennial inspired by this political moment, the time is now for a new generation of leadership in the 40th Ward and across Chicago" said Okere. "I am running for alderman of the 40th Ward because after 35 years of disconnected leadership, it's time for a new, progressive change."

An immigrant from Nigeria, and son of a taxi driver and factory worker, Okere's family moved to Chicago and settled on the North Side when he was 3 months old. A graduate of Budlong Elementary and Lane Tech High School, Ugo will receive his diploma from Loyola University this spring. Today, Ugo serves on the Loyola University Senate, and is chair of Fuerza del Sol, a youth community organization that works in issues of immigrant rights and violence prevention.

"As alderman of the 40th Ward, I will fight for ordinances that ensure the rich pay their fair share, and the City of Chicago does not balance its budget on the backs of those of us who have the least to give," said Okere. "I believe that Chicagoans rise and fall together. I will support and craft policies that lift up those most at the margins and bring the city up as a whole."

Okere's governing tenets include co-governance through initiatives such as participatory budgeting and a community-driven zoning process, and a belief in equitable policies that support the most marginalized communities. Ugo supports policies that would benefit the 40th Ward and all of Chicago, including an elected school board, true civilian police accountability through CPAC, increased affordable housing, and a ordinances that support a powerful working class.

"From being on the wrong side of the Council Wars in the 1980s, to being on the wrong side of the Presence corporate subsidy just last week, the incumbent alderman has misrepresented our communities for 35 years," said Okere. "I plan to bring a new and progressive vision to City Council, one that recognizes that the struggles of all people in Chicago are interconnected, regardless of whether you live on the North, South or West Side."

Ugo is a veteran of the Chuy Garcia for mayor and Bernie Sanders campaigns. He has also worked in constituent services for U.S. congressman Mike Quigley, and for the Chicago Federal Executive Board.


See also:

* 2015 interview: Ugo Okere, Loyola's Brighter Tomorrow.

* 2017: Importance Of Organizing In The Trump Administration.

* Tribune: He Zones. She Sells.

* Ugo on Twitter.


Comments welcome.


Posted on January 29, 2018

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