Byron Sigcho-Lopez, 25th Ward
Bryon Sigcho Lopez is an immigrant who like so many who came to Chicago before him, made Pilsen his home. Byron was working as an adult education teacher and volunteer youth soccer coach at his neighborhood public school, Pilsen Academy, when he became involved with Pilsen Alliance in the campaign to save 130 Chicago public schools slated for closure by Mayor Rahm Emanuel. Byron remained involved with the Pilsen Alliance and in 2015, began serving as the Executive Director.
As a community leader, Byron worked side by side with immigrant parents, neighborhood youth, small business owners, and community residents to engage in struggle for values that the residents who call the 25th Ward home stand united for: fully funded public schools, affordable housing, fair taxation, social, economic, environmental, immigration, and racial justice.
Byron serves as the President of the Hispanic Literacy Council, as a board member of the Metropolitan Tenants Organization, is the Community Representative on the Local School Council at Whittier Elementary in Pilsen, is an active member of Local 73, and a member of the Chicago Democratic Socialists of America.
Byron earned a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration and Mathematics from Cumberland University in Tennessee, and a Master’s in Economics from the University of Illinois at Chicago. He is currently completing his PhD in Policy Studies in Urban Education from the University of Illinois at Chicago.
Rossana Rodriguez-Sanchez, 33rd Ward
Rossana Rodriguez is a mother, youth educator, and community activist seeking to become an independent, progressive alderman in Chicago’s 33rd Ward. She has spent the last decade working with youth and families in Albany Park.
Originally from Puerto Rico, Rossana attended her first demonstration at the age of six, when her neighborhood of Mariana waged a successful battle for public access to drinking water. Since then she has become a fierce advocate for public education, fighting against privatization and school closings in Puerto Rico and in Chicago. As a resident of Albany Park and founding member of 33rd Ward Working Families, Rossana has also been a leader in the fights for rent control and immigrant rights in the ward.
Her career as an educator includes eight years as a director and mentor in a nationally acclaimed youth theater company in Albany Park, where she guided high school students to fulfill their artistic and academic potential.
Rossana holds a BA in Theater Education and an MA in Applied Theater. She lives in Albany Park with her partner Bob, son Marcel, and their scruffy terrier, Louie.
Carlos Ramirez-Rosa, 35th Ward (Incumbent)
Carlos Ramirez-Rosa is a lifelong Chicagoan who has worked to put our neighborhoods and working families first as a community organizer, congressional caseworker, and now Thirty-Fifth Ward Alderman.
As a community organizer with the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights, Carlos worked to keep families safe from deportation and win President Obama’s historic executive action to fix immigration. As a congressional caseworker in the office of U.S. Congressman Luis Gutierrez, Carlos helped seniors, veterans, and families cut through government red tape and he streamlined the delivery of constituent services. As our Alderman, Carlos has promoted inclusion and transparency in all of his work, and worked to make sure city resources benefit local neighborhoods instead of big corporations.
Serving as our Thirty-Fifth Ward Alderman since May 2015, Carlos has led legislative efforts to win property tax relief for working class homeowners, paid sick leave for Chicago workers, equality for transgender people in public facilities, and accountability and transparency on municipal financial transactions. He is working to ensure Chicago is a city that welcomes and integrates immigrants, and he is fighting to return surplus TIF dollars to neighborhood public schools.
Carlos is the first openly gay Latino elected to the Chicago City Council. He is a proud product of our public schools, having received his high school diploma from Chicago’s Whitney M. Young Magnet High School, and his Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
Ugo Okere, 40th Ward
Ugo Okere is a Budlong Woods resident, the former chairman of Fuerza del Sol, a Chicago Public Schools graduate, and a community organizer on Chicago’s north side. He is also a government worker, having spent time employed in the office of Congressman Mike Quigley, the Chicago City Clerk, and the Chicago Federal Executive Board. Ugo currently works in the Office of the Evanston City Clerk. Born in Nigeria, Ugo moved to Chicago with his family at 3 months old. At age 9, he and his family moved to Budlong Woods, where they have lived for the past 12 years. A graduate of Budlong Elementary and Lane Tech High School, Ugo received his Bachelor’s of Arts in Political Science and a Bachelor’s of Social Work in Social Work from Loyola University Chicago.
Ugo is the former chair of youth community organization Fuerza del Sol, an organization of young leaders that fights for justice in areas of violence prevention, gentrification, immigration, and racial justice. Through Fuerza del Sol and in partnership with the Justice Republic Coalition, Ugo has worked towards the development of a 15-Point Violence Prevention plan for the City of Chicago. The plan has received endorsements from members of Congress and members of the Illinois State Legislature. The development of the Violence Prevention Plan alongside directly impacted community members reflects Ugo’s commitment to co-governance – that regular people have the power to shape the policies that affect their neighborhoods.
A passionate believer that the struggles of all people are interconnected, Ugo aided in organizing the largest demonstration in Loyola University Chicago’s history, where upwards of 500 students, faculty and staff stood in solidarity with students of color who were facing racial death threats at the University of Missouri. Ugo spearheaded a university wide campaign to diversify Loyola’s historical core curriculum to include the histories of students of color.
Ugo is also a frequent voice and community leader in the 40th Ward. He has facilitated Know Your Rights workshops for students at Mather High School, and organized with the founders of Hate Has No Home Here to bring community members together. Having spent his entire adult life in the 40th ward, Ugo knows how urgent it is that we bring progressive change to our local leadership, and create a government that will put working people and community accountability first.
Candidates for office seeking Chicago DSA’s endorsement should fill out this form to begin the endorsement process by 12/31/18.
Candidates who apply for endorsement will receive our candidate questionnaire (due 1/5/19). After they return their answers, the Electoral Working Group will vote on whether to interview candidates. Selected candidates will be interviewed by the Electoral Working Group by 1/13/19. The Electoral Working Group will vote on recommending an endorsement by 1/16/19, then the Executive Committee of Chicago DSA will also vote on recommending an endorsement. If a candidate receives one recommendation, they move on to a vote by the full membership by 2/6/19. A 2/3 vote to endorse by the membership is needed to receive an endorsement.