As we close out 2023, 33rd Ward Working Families wants to take a moment to reflect on everything that our community has accomplished this year. We especially want to give thanks to all the amazing members and volunteers who have donated countless hours to our fight to build a #ChicagoForTheMany.
None of this would be possible without you, and together, we will continue making history! Read on for a recap of our 2023 highlights.
In February, we re-elected Rossana Rodríguez Sánchez to a second term as 33rd Ward Alderperson, winning by 2,210 votes! We are excited for Rossana to accomplish even more over her next four years in City Council.
The campaigning didn't stop there, though! In April, we helped Brandon Johnson become the newest mayor of Chicago. Brandon's commitment to initiatives like Bring Chicago Home and Treatment Not Trauma inspired hope among many of us for a mayor who would champion progressive values. In partnership with other organizations around the city, we demonstrated that a grassroots movement could bring someone from having less than 3% name recognition in the polls to becoming mayor of the third largest city in the U.S.
After election season ended, 33WF members—including our own Ald. Rossana Rodríguez Sánchez—turned their attention to welcoming newly-arrived asylum seekers to our community. Community organizations, individual volunteers, and elected officials alike worked together to form a broad coalition that provided support for our new neighbors throughout the summer and fall. In the 33rd Ward, this led to the creation of the Community Care Collective (CCC33).
In June, Illinois 20th District State Senator Cristina Pacione-Zayas left her seat to join Mayor Johnson's staff. 33WF teamed up with our amazing Northwest Side sibling IPOs to jointly host a People's Candidate Forum. After hearing from several prospective candidates for the appointment to the vacancy, we went on to support Graciela Guzmán, a longtime organizer who has volunteered alongside many of our members.
This past summer, 33WF expanded beyond campaign activities, hosting a series of in-house events that united our community in new and exciting ways. Our first-ever in-house photo exhibition took place in June: Abolition Is Radical Imagination featured photographs by Sarah-Ji of various rallies and marches in protest of police brutality from 2015–2022, along with a discussion led by Sarah-Ji and visual artist Monica Trinidad.
In July, we held our first book reading for Let This Radicalize You, with a special appearance from co-author Kelly Hayes.
July also saw the start of our recurring Coffee Club social. The club's organizers wanted to create a space for our members, friends, and neighbors to engage in a more relaxed, casual way amid all of our regular activities. No RSVP is ever needed, and everyone is always welcome. We hope to see you at the next one in January!
In August, we mobilized to endorse and support candidates for the March 2024 primary: Rossana Rodríguez Sánchez for 33rd Ward Committeeperson, Delia Ramirez for (reelection to) Congress, and Graciela Guzmán for Illinois State Senate (20th District). Together, our dedicated canvassers collected enough petition signatures by November to get all three of them on next spring's ballot!
September saw the return of our annual Bike with Rossana event. We toured the ward by bike and on foot, engaging with neighbors and helping rally support for Rossana's campaign.
In October, we raised over $6,000 for CCC33 to continue supporting asylum seekers in the 33rd ward and beyond. 20th District State Senate candidate Graciela Guzmán lent her vocal talents to 33WF's first in-house concert, which was held in the backyard of our 3248 W. Montrose Ave. office.
You can still donate to CCC33 here, as their efforts to assist our new neighbors continue into the winter.
Held in November, our annual late-fall fundraiser celebrated Rossana's birthday and helped give her campaign a boost.
Over the summer, we canvassed for affordable housing tailored to the Northwest Side's Indigenous community. In early December, City Council approved zoning changes that will allow the proposed 100% affordable-housing, Indigenous-centered development to move forward in Irving Park!
We also recently celebrated the official ribbon cutting of the Maria Elena Sifuentes Apartments, Albany Park's second-ever 100% affordable housing development.
Last but not least, we have been proud to support our Congressperson, Delia Ramirez, as she co-sponsored the #CeasefireNOW resolution in Congress; as well as Ald. Rossana Rodríguez Sánchez, who is working hard to move a similar resolution through City Hall.
Again, 33WF thanks everyone who came together to make this possible. We've had quite an eventful 2023!
Let's celebrate these accomplishments, recharge and relax over the next few weeks, and get ready to hit the doors in January. Our first event in 2024 will be Saturday, January 6, when we'll kick off the next phase of canvasses for Rossana, Graciela, and Delia's campaigns.
– 33rd Ward Working Families