ABOUT 33rd Ward WORKING FAMILIES
We are in independent political organization based in Chicago's 33rd Ward, which includes the neighborhoods of Albany Park, Avondale, Irving Park, and Ravenswood Manor.
Our mission is to build a political alternative in the ward to promote the needs of working families. We aim to develop and run home-grown candidates for public office and build political power through advocacy and education around daily issues that affect the material well-being and political interests of ward residents.
33rd Working Families was formed in 2015 out of the independent aldermanic campaign of Roosevelt High School social studies teacher Tim Meegan. The Meegan campaign pushed the incumbent, part of a decades-long Machine dynasty, to the brink of the first runoff in the ward in 80 years.
Following the election, the campaign reformed as an independent political organization (IPO) to continue to push for the progressive values that earned the campaign thousands of ward votes.
The IPO aims to:
- Pursue the interests and issues of the ward's working people through advocacy and education
- Hold our elected officials accountable to their own campaign promises
- Develop an infrastructure and support for activity outside of the "Democratic Machine"
- Identify, develop, and run our own independent candidates for local offices
What we've done
Among our accomplishments from the last year:
- Pushed Ald. Mell to vote against the mayor's 2016 budget; this was Mell's first-ever vote against the mayor.
- Ran six candidates for Local School Council, winning five of the seats
- Led a succesful "Lift the Ban" campaign in the 33rd Ward, securing a ballot referendum on repealing the ban for rent control, and winning the referendum with 71 percent of the vote in the ward
- Petitioned for and won a November 2016 ballot referendum on the expansion of charter schools; our side won the vote by more than 20 points ward-wide and carried a majority in every ward precinct
- Joined with other community organizations to form the Albany Park Defense Network to protect immigrant families in the wake of Donald Trump's election. Hosted a "Know Your Rights" training and a workshop on sanctuary locations, and canvassed to educate constituents on their legal rights
- Initiated a hundreds-strong neighborhood rally at Roosevelt High School on the April 1, 2016, Day of Action called by the Chicago Teachers Union, the Fight for Fifteen, and dozens of other labor and community organizations
- Led an anti-charter push in the Neighborhood Advisory Council that resulted in the withdrawal of a bid to open a new charter school on the North Side