2023 Year in Review

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.

More than 50 volunteers pose outside the 33rd Ward Working Families office in February 2023. Many are holding Rossana Rodriguez and Brandon Johnson campaign signs.

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.

Re-elected 33rd Ward Alderperson Rossana Rodriguez smiles with supporters cheering behind her at her election night party, February 2023.

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.

Mayor-elect Brandon Johnson faces his election-night party attendees with his arms spread wide in celebration as confetti flies through the air, April 2023.

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).

"We are" followed by the logo of the Community Care Collective of Chicago's 33rd Ward (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.

Flyer for the (now-past) People's Candidate Forum for the IL District 20 State Senate Appointment

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.

At the 33rd Ward Working Families office in June 2023, attendees of the exhibition "Abolition Is Radical Imagination" listen to a discussion led by photographer 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.

At the 33rd Ward Working Families office, attendees listen to co-author Kelly Hayes talk about her book, "Let This Radicalize You"

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!

Flyer for a (now-past) session of the 33rd Ward Working Families Coffee Club social

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.

2023 Bike with Rossana participants pose in the backyard of the 33rd Ward Working Families office

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.

Attendees of 33rd Ward Working Families' fundraiser for the Community Care Collective 33 enjoy live music in the backyard of the 33WF office, featuring vocals from Illinois State Senate candidate Graciela Guzman

Held in November, our annual late-fall fundraiser celebrated Rossana's birthday and helped give her campaign a boost.

Attendees at Rossana Rodriguez Sanchez's birthday campaign fundraiser, November 2023

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.

Tweet from @BlockClubCHI: "Ald. Rossana Rodriguez Sanchez has signed off on a nonprofit developer's proposal to build 100% affordable apartments in Irving Park tailored to Indigenous people." The tweet is linked to a Block Club article from August 2023: https://blockclubchicago.org/2023/08/18/irving-park-alderwoman-oks-plan-for-affordable-apartments-for-native-americans/

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.

Screencap of the headline from this article: https://chicago.suntimes.com/city-hall/2023/12/18/24007183/chicago-city-council-ceasefire-resolution-gaza-israel-hamas-war

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.


Happy Holidays!

– 33rd Ward Working Families