As I’m sure you’ve guessed, given our campaign’s sterling reputation as tireless workers, the Ugo team was out bright and early for the Midterm elections, petitioning 40th Ward voters to put Ugo on the ballot come February. Ugo himself was out all day long, starting at 6 AM and not stopping until the polls closed at 7 PM! How’s that for stamina? Fingers crossed that he didn’t catch a cold!
At the end of the day, we talked to hundreds of voters in the 40th Ward, collected a LOT of signatures, and had a good time while doing so. Here are a few things that we learned along the way:
People want to have their voices heard.
All across the United States and here in Chicago, we saw incredibly high voter turnout, with people opting to have their say in how they’re governed. But, on top of that, one of the things people most connected with when we talked to voters about Ugo’s platform was his co-governance tenet. They particularly loved his idea for participatory budgeting, which allows the community to decide how the 40th Ward’s yearly funding is spent. Wherever we went in the ward, we saw eyes lighting up when we talked about it.
As a campaign, we strive to empower residents to make their voices heard and accounted for in their community. And that means everybody in the Ward, not just those with power and connections. So, it’s great to talk with people and hear that yes, they do want to take part in the political process!
The 40th Ward is ready for a change.
Many of the people we talked to said they were ready to move on from our current alderman Patrick O’Connor and signed our petition specifically because they are ready for some real change. They recognized Ugo as someone coming in with fresh ideas for the Ward instead of the same old machine politics that blindly follows the mayor’s office. And a few people even called out O’Connor for his history of racist behavior:
We still have a lot of work to do!
We spoke with a lot of people who hadn’t heard about Ugo before or knew much about the Alderman race at all. With elections in February, when it’s cold and a lot of people won’t want to leave their houses, the Chicago municipal system is designed to keep incumbents in power. If we want to win, we have to let as many people as possible know about the race and how important it is. That means we need to work extra hard to canvass, petition, and get out the word about Ugo and his platform.
It’s going to be a long 3 months until election day and there’s a lot of campaigning left, but we’re going to need all the help we can get if we want to pull it off. If you’re willing to chip in, you can donate here or sign up for a petitioning shift here.