Dear 29th Ward residents:
From the bottom of my heart, I want to thank everyone who worked with me to make the 29th Ward better over five wonderful years in the City Council.
Representing the neighborhoods where I’ve lived all my life was a privilege I never took lightly, and I will always treasure the opportunities I had to work with residents and community leaders on behalf of our communities.
Growing up on the West Side, I never could have imagined the opportunity I have had to work every day on behalf of the neighborhoods I love. Only 20 years ago, I was in a shelter for women, a victim of domestic abuse with two young children and no place to sleep.
I was humbled and grateful then for the support of community organizations like Inner Voice, and I am proud today that I have been able to personally fight for domestic abuse counseling, women’s health services and other programs to support new generations of families on the West Side.
But if I’m proud of the battles I’ve fought, I’m all too aware that there is still work to be done. Health care and mental health services still lag behind in our West Side neighborhoods, putting our children at risk.
Jails remain overcrowded with non-violent offenders, while crime continues to threaten too many families. Mothers still struggle to provide for their children amid poverty and struggling schools, without the support they need.
These issues are what first drove me into public life all those years ago, and I never intend to stop fighting to bring the changes we need to our community. I look forward to continuing to work with our community leaders and LSCs, churches and block clubs – any any other community group that wants to work to better our neighborhoods and the city of Chicago.
I want to invite every member of the community to a reception from 6:30 to 8 p.m. Wednesday, May 6 at the Columbus Park Refectory, so I may thank you and welcome the continued conversation about issues in our community.
But most of all, I want to thank each and every resident who I have been proud to serve during my five years in the Chicago City Council. Together, we worked for a better West Side, a better Chicago and a better 29th Ward – and we’ll never stop working for that dream.
Ald. Deborah L. Graham