New Alderman Chosen for Chicago’s 24th Ward


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Chicago’s 24th Ward Has a New Alderman

The West Side’s 24th Ward has a new alderman. Mayor Lori Lightfoot picked Monique Scott to replace her brother, Michael, who stepped down to take a job at the clout-heavy film studio Cinespace Chicago.

Creative Scott, a small business owner and political outsider, says he’ll tackle issues like violence, education disparity and economic development. He also wants to bring trades back into public schools.

Issues

Two West Side aldermen facing challenges in their re-election bids. Monique Scott, who was appointed to replace her brother Michael, is in a runoff with small business owner Creative Scott (no relation). Both Scotts cite anti-violence programs as key issues for the 24th Ward, which includes North and South Lawndale neighborhoods.

Creative Scott says he can bring his business expertise and his lifelong ties to the community to the job. He also wants to address crime by building bridges between police officers and residents. The Sun-Times is reporting on this race as part of a national Report for America project. Click for full coverage.

Alderman Monique Scott

Monique Scott, 51, was appointed by Mayor Lori Lightfoot to the 24th Ward seat after her brother’s resignation. She was one of several candidates vetted by a committee of community leaders in North Lawndale.

She says her family history and deep roots in the ward make her uniquely qualified to address the district’s challenges. She has focused on new community development and worked closely with the city’s Invest South/West program.

Her opponent, Creative Scott, 50, owns a barbershop on the West Side and runs a youth barber training program. He has also been a firearm safety instructor and believes his experience can help him tackle violence in the neighborhood.

Alderman Michael Scott

When the West Side alderman’s seat opened up, Scott decided to run. He said the pandemic and unrelenting violence in the 24th Ward led him to decide it was time for a change.

He plans to focus on jobs, reducing crime and building a stronger relationship between the police department and community. He’s also looking at ways to address the deteriorating infrastructure and lack of economic development in his neighborhood.

Mayor Lori Lightfoot appointed Scott’s sister Monique to replace him in the City Council. She’s set to carry out his term through 2023. She’s worked on restorative justice and anti-violence issues in the ward.

Alderman Traci Treasure Johnson

As a community activist and small business owner, Traci Treasure Johnson believes economic development is the most important issue facing her West Side ward. She wants to bring in businesses that prioritize jobs and local ownership, while addressing the influx of new residents who are moving into the area.

She also says she will continue the work of her predecessor by repaving more roads and investing in neighborhood businesses. She is running against Michael Scott, her brother and former alderman who resigned to take a job at film studio Cinespace.

Both candidates have been criticized for the nepotism of their appointment by Mayor Lightfoot, who is supporting them in their bids for full terms.

Alderman Edward Ward

He would support bringing new businesses to the ward with community input, creating jobs for local residents, addressing homelessness by revitalizing foreclosed properties and making sure TIF dollars are allocated accurately and honestly. He also supports bringing back trades in schools to help young people learn job skills.

He is among seven candidates challenging Monique Scott, who was appointed to fill the seat vacated by her brother. Vetress Boyce, Drewone Goldsmith, Traci Treasure Johnson, Creative Scott and Luther Woodruff also are running for the post that represents North Lawndale, Little Village and a slice of West Side.

Alderman Vetress Boyce

Boyce, who worked on community development projects in the ward, believes local leaders must collaborate to address poverty. She has lobbied for reparation legislation and hosted reparation education symposiums.

She argues the city must reinvest in areas neglected for decades and urged voters to support her. She also cites her experience as a community organizer, saying she’s prepared to bring change.

Other candidates seeking to fill the seat include Edward Ward, a Chicago Public Schools restorative justice counselor, beauty supply store owner Vetress Boyce, and Drewone Goldsmith, who works for the Chicago Fire Department Training Academy as an instructor. They each cited improving safety as a priority.

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