12th Ward City Council candidates José Rico and Pete Demay, right, speak at the candidate forum on Thursday, February 7, 2019, at St. Maurice Church hall.

Capacity Crowd Packs 12th Ward Candidate Forum

Published February 14, 2019

Aldermanic candidates Pete DeMay and José Rico shared their visions for the 12th Ward with a capacity crowd at the candidate forum on Thursday, February 7, 2019, at St. Maurice Church hall. Co-sponsored by the McKinley Park neighborhood-based Neighbors for Environmental Justice, the forum attracted nearly 200 attendees.

For 90 minutes, DeMay and Rico spoke and answered questions from the audience, addressing a number of local issues such as affordable housing, environmental issues, soil testing at public parks and improving local schools. "It was wonderful to see candidates for elected office taking issues of environmental justice and the health impacts of pollution on our 12th ward community seriously," said Neighbors for Environmental Justice President Robert Beedle.

12th Ward Candidate Forum Pete Demay Jose Rico 2018090207 2vertCandidate José Rico, left, speaks to attendees at the 12th Ward forum.DeMay and Rico agreed on most topics, calling for an investigation into the permits granted to the MAT Asphalt plant on Pershing Road and annual soil testing at public parks in the ward.

They also both said they support an elected Chicago Plan Commission, an elected Chicago Police Board and an elected Chicago Board of Education to oversee Chicago Public Schools

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Incumbent 12th Ward Alderman George Cardenas was unable to attend due to a scheduling conflict, and candidate Martha Rangel was sidelined by illness, preventing her participation in the forum.

Co-sponsors for the event included the Little Village Environmental Justice Organization and Vota Con Ganas. The forum was the only candidate event for the 12th Ward prior to the municipal elections coming up on February 26, with planning and invitations sent out over a month beforehand.

Video of the forum event is available on the Neighbors for Environmental Justice Facebook page, and it is also viewable here: 

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