Tuesday, February 14, 2023

You Like Eddie. We Like Eddie. But We Won't Be Voting For Him. Here's Why.


By Joan Hadac
SWCP Editor and Publisher
Tim Hadac
SWCP Managing Editor

Just like all other Southwest Side voters, we have opinions relating to politics.

But in the 11 years since we launched the Southwest Chicago Post, we've done our best to keep our political opinions to ourselves; thinking it best to simply report the news and let folks draw their own conclusions.

But today, briefly, we will break with that, because the Southwest Side may be in danger of losing one of the best aldermen we've ever had.

And we say that with quite a bit of experience. Though the SWCP is just 11 years old, both of us--as local news reporters--started observing and reporting on Southwest Side aldermen and other politicians in the mid-1980s. In nearly 40 years on the job, we've seen enough political dead wood to fill a lumber yard. And that's taught us to appreciate good public servants that much more.

One of those good public servants is 23rd Ward Alderman Silvana Tabares.
Alderman Silvana Tabares

She's currently up for re-election against a high-energy, highly-motivated, highly visible West Lawn man, Eddie Guillen.

And with the recent ward remap taking all of Clearing and much of Garfield Ridge away from the 23rd Ward and giving it to the 13th Ward (a remap Tabares strongly objected to and voted against), the new 23rd Ward includes a lot of homes in West Lawn--formerly the 13th Ward. Draw your own conclusions about how and why that happened, we say with a wink.

Eddie lives in that section of West Lawn. Coincidence?

There's a lot of good to be said about Eddie. Humble beginnings, worked his way up, educated, bright, cheerful, likable, a man who lives his faith, often the first to stand up and step forward when someone needs help. He's proven that in recent years, repeatedly.
A selfie from Eddie Guillen (left).

But what kind of 23rd Ward alderman would Eddie make? Beyond the tiresome, empty platitudes every candidate uses ("I want to be a bridge between people and government" etc.), what are his positions on specific issues?

Well, that's not easy to figure out. Check out his website and you may (with a bit of difficulty) be able to find an "Issues" page that talks in general terms, but appears to avoid specifics and the all-important "how" of every issue.

But here's what you'll find with no difficulty at all on that same website: an astounding 57 photos of Eddie and more than 20 videos that include Eddie. 

OK, so why is Eddie flooding us with photos/videos of himself, but not talking about the specifics, about the "how" of each important issue facing the 23rd Ward? We suspect it's because he's simply not sure. Just like a lot of aldermanic challengers in wards across the city.

And if you look at Eddie's campaigning via social media, you'll see he's heavy on selfies and "community calendar" stuff and light on a genuine discussion of issues of importance, the nuts and bolts of governing, the "how" of running a ward and a city.

So Eddie's a man we like, a lot, but can't possibly vote for as alderman. Why? Because "Vote for me, I'm nice" simply isn't enough.

Especially if it means ditching an alderman with a strong record of success.

Silvana Tabares is the first-ever Hispanic alderman of the 23rd Ward. We like that, especially in a city where the white political establishment has for decades worked to deny Latinos a seat at the table.
Tabares serves as a positive role model for girls.

Silvana Tabares is the first-ever woman alderman of the 23rd Ward. We like that, especially in a city where the male political establishment has for decades worked to deny women a seat at the table.

We don't want to lose that.

Like any incumbent, Silvana Tabares is running on her record.

And it's a good one. A solid, consistent record of supporting our police and other first responders. A record of delivering basic city services. A record of fighting tax increases. A record of supporting mom-and-pop businesses. And perhaps most important, a record of doing what's right, a record of courage in standing up to an arrogant, vindictive, out-of-control mayor who sometimes seems to have nothing but scorn for the men, women and children of the Southwest Side.

Silvana Tabares has our vote on Tuesday, February 28. We think she deserves yours. Thanks.

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