Thank You

We unseated the corrupt political machine in the 40th Ward today! Every single person who knocked on a door, made a phone call, talked to a neighbor, cooked a meal, financially donated -- that is what got us the W tonight.

Together we took on the corrupt political machine at its worst, and WE WON. We fought off a million and a half dollars of dirty money - they outspent us 7 ½ to 1. That’s not the story we’re used to hearing, in Chicago. Right?

Growing up, I didn’t think of myself as the kind of person who runs for office, because I didn’t see anyone like me hold public office. That’s not how it’s going to be anymore. Tonight, voters in the 40th Ward closed the book that tethered them to the old corrupt political machine. Tonight, they voted to be on the right side of history.

I am a product of segregation, gentrification, the lack of investment in schools, and the lack of resources that so many marginalized groups face in our town. It took me well into my adult life to realize -- we don’t struggle by accident.

This year, neighbors in the 40th Ward looked at that system, at that mindset, and at that way of running our city, and they said, “No. That’s not our vision for the city.”

We came together to fight for affordable housing, for open and transparent government, and for a city that devotes its resources to its people, not to corporations and private development. And we won.

You all showed that it can be done. And you are going to hold me and the rest of City Council accountable until we have that city that works for all of us.

We are all neighbors here in the 40th Ward. Starting May 20th, we’re neighbors with a new alderman -- and I am counting on every single one of you to keep me accountable. Don’t let up; don’t stop fighting. Neighbors working together can accomplish anything. We proved that tonight.

One last time, thank you. Thank you, thank you, thank you. I am proud of what we’ve all done, and I will do everything I can to be worthy of your efforts.

Thank you,

Andre Vasquez

Regarding Attacks

Recently our campaign has been made aware of a coordinated campaign of flyers, digital ads, and direct mail, funded by our opponent and special interests, which displays comments I made and lyrics I wrote, much of it during my previous career as a battle rapper.

First and most important, I unequivocally apologize for the things I said years ago. Those words hurt people and there are no excuses for them. Like many young men in the hip hop community, I found an outlet for my own anger and feelings of inadequacy in words that denigrate others. Nonetheless, I, along with every person who’s a part of hip-hop culture, the City of Chicago, and our society can and must do better.

I’m not proud of who I was then, but I am proud of the man I am today. Here in the 40th Ward, I will always be available for conversations and I want to be held accountable by my neighbors. We should have an Alderman we can trust and be proud of.

Part of that is an ongoing commitment to running an issues-focused campaign that takes our neighbors’ concerns and our city’s needs seriously. It’s disappointing that the incumbent’s campaign has chosen to focus on personal attacks.

Voters have a clear choice between the past and the future in this race, and I hope that through my work I can earn each person’s trust, and that together we can build a community in our ward that is committed to fighting against biases, bigotry, and oppression in every aspect of our lives.

My track record and support

I will continue to do the work personally in my organizing - this means forming deep and vulnerable relationships with people directly targeted by the systems I perpetuated, apologizing to them, and working with them to build a more just city.

The campaign I've built reflects what I hope an open government to be: regardless of how you identify, you have a voice and a place in government. I’ve been honored to see the broad-based support in our campaign’s leadership, among our volunteers, and among our donors. Since the attacks, I have been moved by dozens of personal statements from women and LGBTQ folks who know me through organizing speaking to my character and commitment to these issues. Community leaders, such as Brian Johnson from Equality Illinois, have also spoken up to show their support.

"But for me, I welcome Vasquez as an ally of our community and I seek his partnership, as I do with every ally, in addressing the many injustices we face as a city together" -- Equality Illinois' CEO Responds To Andre Vasquez Past Remarks

I’ve stood with our most marginalized communities as I did last October, demanding justice for Dejanay Stanton and Ciara Minaj Carter Frazier. I’ve marched with my sisters in solidarity to protest the toxic and unequal world we live in. I’ve spoken about the harm and trauma that is inflected when families are torn apart. I’ve learned and understand from showing up in these relationships and actions that even in a place like Andersonville, our neighbors don't always feel safe walking down the street and living their authentic selves.

Therefore, I’m committed to action to improve our community for everyone.

Forward-looking commitments

-I will fight to defend a woman’s right to choose. At the city level, this means I will oppose the use of TIF and all other taxpayer dollars to support and advance health care institutions that put the health and lives of women at risk by denying them comprehensive reproductive health care. I will fight any and all restrictions on the right to choose, and will ensure reproductive healthcare is covered fully for all people in Chicago.

-I will fight for affordable housing. Housing is a human right. Your identification within the LGBTQ community, being a survivor of domestic violence, your documentation status, nor your gender identity should preclude you to this right. We know that LGBTQ youth face unprecedented levels of homelessness. I will work with the boots on the ground LGBTQ organizations such as Affinity Community Services, Center on Halsted, Howard Brown Health Center, Equality Illinois, the Night Ministries, Illinois Safe Schools Alliance, and Pride Action to understand the community’s priorities and move to action.

-I will fight for LGBTQ and women-focused curriculum in our schools to combat misogyny, homophobia, transphobia, and other harmful systems. To be best equipped to fight for the LGBTQ community’s needs, it is crucial that we teach children from a young age the positive impact women and LGBTQ individuals have had on society. This starts by updating our curriculum standards.

-I will run an open and accountable ward office that respects each neighbor’s authentic self. From equal opportunity hiring policies and proactive recruitment into marginalized communities in hiring my ward staff, to regular open town halls where our neighbors can hold me accountable, I want every neighbor to feel a full participant in civic life regardless of their identity.

Closing

I will always be available for conversations about this and I want to be held accountable by my neighbors. I will do everything in my power to earn your respect, knowing that it is a personal decision to give it, and being respectful of that fact. I hope that through my work I can earn your trust and that together we can build a community in our ward that is committed to fighting against biases, bigotry, and oppression in every aspect of our lives.

- Andre Vasquez

40th WARD ENDORSEMENTS: ELECTED OFFICIALS GATHER TO SUPPORT VASQUEZ

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – Thurs. Mar. 14, 2019

Andre Vasquez for 40th Ward Campaign

Contact: Geoffrey Cubbage, 224-999-2423, press@andrefor40th.com

 

40th WARD ENDORSEMENTS: ELECTED OFFICIALS GATHER TO SUPPORT VASQUEZ

 

CHICAGO – Andre Vasquez, the challenger in the 40th Ward’s runoff election, added a slew of elected officials and former candidates to his endorsements this week, including:

 

Chuy Garcia, United States Congressman

Will Guzzardi, State Representative

Delia Ramirez, State Representative

David Orr, former Cook County Clerk

Fritz Kaegi, Cook County Assessor

Carlos Rosa, 35th Ward Alderman

Maria Hadden, 49th Ward Alderman-Elect

Daniel LaSpata, 1st Ward Alderman-Elect

Ugo Okere, former candidate for 40th Ward Alderman

 

The announcements come on the heels of Vasquez’s endorsements by major Chicago unions, including the Chicago Teachers Union, SEIU Local 73, SEIU HCII, and AFSCME Council 31.

 

Vasquez has already been endorsed by political figures including former State Senator and candidate for Governor Daniel Biss and State Senator Ram Villivalam, as well as numerous grassroot groups and political organizations, including Reclaim Chicago, a labor-founded PAC that provided early candidate training.

 

“I think the endorsements this campaign has received speak to the breadth and depth of our people-powered movement,” said Vasquez of the latest endorsements. “From Day One, we have been focused on connecting with our neighbors, on building coalitions, and on bringing people into the political process who have been left out for far too long.”

 

Vasquez faces longtime Alderman Pat O’Connor in the 40th Ward’s runoff election on April 2, following a five-way race in which the 36-year incumbent received only 33.3% of the vote.

 

Questions/media requests: Geoffrey Cubbage, 224-999-2423, press@andrefor40th.com

 

# # #

MAJOR LABOR ORGANIZATIONS ENDORSE ANDRE VASQUEZ

I am proud to be endorsed by five organizations that represent hundreds of thousands of working people in our city:

Chicago Teachers Union
SEIU Local 73
SEIU Healthcare IL & IN
Cook County College Teachers Union
AFSCME Council 31

Together, I’m excited to fight for real change in local government, investment in our neighborhoods, and a brighter future for our kids.

The Indo-American Democratic Organization/IADO Endorses Andre Vasquez for 40th Ward Alderman

Endorsement Alert!

The Andre for 40th Campaign is especially proud to announce that we have been endorsed by the Indo-American Democratic Organization/IADO!

IADO is a powerful organization that fights for equity and true representation of the South Asian community. We are honored to receive their support in this election!!

#Andrefor40th #40thWard #IADO