Gazette Chicago 03 04 2016 E Edition Page 1

By Eva Hoffmann In the only contested State senate race in this area, the 5th District Democratic primary, a one-term incumbent is being challenged by a former alderman and mayoral candidate. Robert "Bob" Fioretti is a civil rights attorney and former alder- man who represented the 2nd Ward when it was located in this area and who ran for mayor last year. During his aldermanic ten- ure, he received numerous awards, including the 2011 Defender of Public Schools award from the Chicago Teachers Union. Fioretti said that, as a State sen- ator, he would work for improved educational programs appealing to industries seeking a smart, train- able workforce, which is vital to improving the local economy. "We saw General Electric pass on put- ting a headquarters in Chicago because of the state of our public schools," said Fioretti. He added the State has primaryresponsibility An independent community newspaper since 1983. Near West/Tri-Taylor University Village West Loop South Loop West Haven Bridgeport/Armour Square Chinatown Bronzeville East Pilsen Heart of Chicago March 4, 2016 FREE Vol. 33, No. 11 Other highlights: Two area judge subcircuits face contested races. See page 3. Some wards face fights for committeemen's role. See page 8. Gazette endorsements for Primary 2016. See page 26. INSIDE Gazette guide to Holy Week and Easter services. See page 34. By Lisa Jenkins And Miriam Y. Cintron Three longtime incumbent Con- gressmen representing this com- munity are facing challengers in the March 15 primary. 1ST DISTRICT (D) Howard B. Brookins Jr. was elected alderman of the 21st Ward in 2003 and has held that posi- tion ever since. In City Council, he currently chairs the Committee on Economic, Capital, and Tech- nology Development and is past chair of the Chicago City Council Black Caucus. Brookins would like to move up to Congress and feels that one of the big challenges the area faces is economic development. "Unemployment leads to a lot of the social problems and crimes we see happening in the dis- trict," Brookins said. "By bring- ing jobs and investments into the district, we can help improve the quality of life in these vulnerable communities." Three Congressional districts have contested races Continued on page 31 Mercy Home for Boys & Girls March for Kids campaign is underway. See page 30. West Loop Families offers education. See Around the Neighborhood. See page 21. By Mary Voelker, Marie Balice Ward, and Steve Hudomiet Local voters usually return incum- bents to the State Legislature, but this year's races are particularly competitive as challengers are making a spirited effort to bring some new blood to Springfield. The 2nd District is an open seat. 2ND DISTICT (D) Alex Acevedo is the son of Edward Acevedo, who currently represents the 2nd District and is retiring from the Illinois General Assembly. A pediatric nurse for the last seven years, Alex Acevedo, 30, a resident of the neighborhood at 24th and South Oakley, admits politics was not his first love but said governmental failure to cor- rect disparities in healthcare, especially in the undocumented community, drove him to enter the political arena. He wants to bring funding to the district for preventive care for Incumbents feeling the heat in some local State legislative races Fioretti challenges incumbent Van Pelt for State senate Continued on page 12 Howard B. Brookins Jr. Robert Fioretti. Alex Acevedo. VOTE 2016 Continued on page 16

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