My name is Jimmy. I’m your neighbor at Winnemac and Glenwood, where I’ve been for a little over a year. You may know that our current Alderman, Ameya Pawar, is stepping down, and nine people are running to replace him. We have an important decision to make on February 26th and an opportunity to elect a new mayor and many new members of city council. That’s why I am writing to tell you why I am supporting Matt Martin to be our next alderman.

I met Matt in the fall, when I reached out ot a number of candidates asking to meet and talk about the race. Matt was the only one who got back to me. We got coffee a few days later, and had a great conversation about his vision for the ward and the city. The thing I remember most about that meeting was the clarity with which Matt talked about the systems and structures that influence the problems facing the city, and the details of how to go about fixing them. It’s so rare to have a candidate who understands both the big pictures and the nitty-gritty like that with such clarity.

One of the main reasons that I’m supporting Matt is that he’s the only person in the race who understands that crime is an issue of scarcity, not an issue of morality. He’s the only one truly focused addressing those root causes of crime—food and housing insecurity, wealth inequality, lack of resources. He’s the only candidate with real experience working to reform our police department, working on structures of oversight and accountability as part of his work writing the Consent Decree at the Attorney General’s office. We’re a city in a financial crisis, and we spend hundreds of millions of dollars a year settling police misconduct cases every year. We’re a city in which you can cover up a police murder of a young Black man and keep your job in the department. And we’re a city full of people who are tired of these injustices. We need someone in City Hall with the experience and drive to make real change in the police department, and Matt will do just that.

My mom and my brother are both schoolteachers, and I hear from them every day about the barriers they have preventing them from giving their students the educations they deserve. So, Matt’s drive to make sure our schools are more equitable is another reason he has my support. Matt knows what I know: that a system that relies on parents’ ability to fundraise for their schools is not fair and not sustainable. He’s fought for students on the Local School Council for McPherson Elementary, and I’m looking forward to seeing him fight at City Hall for all of the students of Ward 47 and Chicago more broadly.

This is a complex race with a big field of candidates, but it’s an important race too. I’m confident that Matt is the right person to take on big issues like police reform and school funding, and that he’ll be an independent leader who will bring bold ideas to City Hall to address our communities’ concerns. I hope Matt can your vote. If you have any questions about the race or about Matt, please feel free to reach out to me at 847-987-2522 or rothschild.j.a@gmail.com.