Incumbent 4th Ward Alderman Don Wilson, 55, is seeking his fourth term on the Evanston City Council.
First elected in 2009 with 51% of the vote in a three way race, he ran unopposed in 2013 and 2017, but faces four opponents in the Feb. 23 primary this year, including two write-in candidates.
Wilson and other 4th Ward candidates were interviewed about their views on key issues by Evanston Now’s Jeff Hirsh.
Wilson also offered the following information on his background and what he views as the key issues in the campaign in response to an Evanston Now questionnaire.
Living in Evanston is my most important experience.
While living here, I have served as a board member for the Infant Welfare Society of Evanston and the Open Studio project. My work there, together with volunteer work relating to the schools, gave me perspective on needs in the community that were not being met, places where there was inequity, and that was a significant motivation in deciding to run originally.
I also served on the Zoning Board of Appeals, which gave me a different view of issues relating to property and housing, and how our community struggled with evolution and change in that regard.
I have also been doing work beyond Evanston, such as organizing a team that raised hundreds of thousands of dollars to fight Multiple Sclerosis. I am raising my children in Evanston and have always enjoyed what we have to offer in the way of parks, events and businesses.
Professionally, I am an attorney in private practice. That work and training has given me skills in attention to detail, identifying potential impacts of decisions, as well as patience.
In my personal and professional life, I have been actively engaged in problem solving. This requires hard work, diplomacy and the ability to bring people together. If reelected, I will continue to do this work with civility, compassion and an open mind.
I believe that I have the skills, the desire and the motivation to help Evanston through this difficult period and emerge as an even stronger community.
Evanston is proud of our diverse community. However, we still have persistent segregation and inequity. We have to talk about this openly, and we have to acknowledge past and present wrongs to find solutions.
Some of those solutions are found in the existence and availability of opportunity. In order to do that, we must also continuously look at existing policies and institutions to undo and correct the policies and prejudices that are negatively affecting our community.
This includes work on how the community is policed to ensure that we create an environment where everyone is treated fairly and equitably.
In the next months, housing and food security should the top priority. I am proud of the way Evanston has rallied but there are still needs not being met and some businesses are not making it through the pandemic.
Moving past COVID, we have to manage the cost of living here and balance financial needs, while respecting the impact that financial decisions have.
We are burdened with a pension deficit that arose during a prior generation and we are working to bring that under control, but saddling the residents with endless fixed costs one can’t avoid is a regressive way to address revenue.
I have consistently fought to resist regressive charges and supported the development of revenue generating enterprises such as the sale of water to other communities. I will keep working to help find ways to fund the operations of the City with the least regressive options we can find.
Website and social media