Replacing Indicted Ward Alderman with Gutierrez’s NEIU Collection
Alderman Gutierrez’s Collection at NEIU
The daughter of former U.S. Rep. Luis Gutierrez is running to replace the indicted 14th Ward alderman, Ed Burke. With all precincts reporting, she is leading Raul Reyes in the race.
He has a long history of championing issues that affect Latino communities, including immigration reform and Puerto Rico sovereignty. His tireless leadership helped win executive action from President Obama to keep families together and make it easier for people to access benefits.
Gutierrez is a longtime veteran of Chicago politics, first serving on the city council and later in Congress. He’s a steadfast advocate for workers’ rights and LGBTQ issues, but he’s also been an outspoken opponent of Trump-era immigration policies. His stance on Puerto Rican independence has led to repeated civil disobedience, including protesting the United States military’s use of the island as a bomb testing ground in the early 2000s and human rights abuses against University of Puerto Rico students in 2011.
He and Chevere are among the most experienced candidates in the 30th Ward, which includes parts of Belmont Cragin, Irving Park, Portage Park and Avondale. Each is trying to unseat Ald. Ariel Reboyras, who’s running for re-election this year. Each has a different vision of how to make the ward more accessible. For example, Sigcho-Lopez has focused on youth advocacy and organizing, while Gutierrez has emphasized his federal connections and experience in immigration policy.
NEIU’s Gutierrez Collection includes legislative files, correspondence, press releases, articles, bills, floor speeches, awards and photos from Congressman Luis Gutierrez’s congressional career. Some items are digitized and available online, while others can only be viewed at the library’s reading room.
Gutierrez, who is a Northeastern alumnus with a bachelor’s degree in English, was inspired to run for office after watching civil rights group MALDEF sue the city over election districts that disproportionately harmed Latino voters. He was elected to the Chicago City Council as 26th ward alderman in 1986, and later to the House of Representatives.
He is best known for his robust progressive legislative agenda, including immigration reform and maintaining funding for healthcare research. He also has used non-violent civil disobedience to push his political goals, including being arrested in 2000 protesting the military use of the inhabited island of Vieques and in 2010 for calling on the president to take action on deportations.
Congressman Gutierrez is a longtime community activist and organizer who has engaged in non-violent civil disobedience to advance political causes, including opposing the use of a populated Puerto Rican island as a bombing range. He also has helped immigrants apply for deportation relief through executive action by President Obama.
He’s working to put an end to Chicago’s regressive property tax system, which sets aside a portion of growth in real estate values for 23 years to encourage development. He’s also pushing to make sure big money and the wealthy pay their fair share of city taxes.
He’s a staunch supporter of Mayor Lori Lightfoot, a former federal prosecutor who’s worked to improve transparency at City Hall. Her campaign has received a lot of money from unions and other liberal interest groups, according to Federal Election Commission records. She’s also a strong supporter of the city’s progressive income tax, which would require wealthy residents to pay more of their fair share.
Gutierrez’s father, Luis, is a veteran of Chicago politics and a longtime Democratic congressman from the city’s 26th Ward. He’s been a political chameleon over the years, aligning with Harold Washington and backing Richard Daley before switching to Emanuel.
The elder Gutierrez has poured money into his daughter’s campaign, channeling at least $111,000 from his congressional account and the PAC he controls. He’s also a vocal critic of the Daley administration, particularly when it comes to immigration policies.
During his visit to Notre Dame, Gutierrez spoke to students as part of the Institute for Latino Studies’ Transformative Leadership Lecture Series. He urged the audience to “organize” and run for office, especially in the school board race. He argued that a fully elected school board would be more transparent than the appointed one currently in place. It could also better represent the community’s diversity and make sure that city funds are distributed fairly. He also pushed for comprehensive immigration reform that includes a path to citizenship and Puerto Rican sovereignty.