Incumbent 8th Ward Alderman Ann Rainey, 77, was first elected to the Evanston City Council in 1983. And except for a four year gap after a failed race for mayor, she’s been on the Council ever since.
Rainey and other 8th Ward candidates were interviewed about their views on key issues by Evanston Now’s Jeff Hirsh.
Rainey also offered the following information on her background and what she views as the key issues in the campaign in response to an Evanston Now questionnaire.
I have a wonderful appreciation for the city of Evanston. I’ve lived in three wards, the 1st Ward, 3rd Ward and 8th Ward. My Family moved to Evanston in 1960 when my father retired from a military career. I’ve lived here with the exception of the short stent in the early 70s when my ex-husband was transferred to Texas with Booze Allen and Hamilton.
I know what Evanston was like when it was full of large department stores and small boutiques, four movie theaters, retail high end and low end, Marshall Fields and Woolworths. Everything thrived.
I know what it was like when we marched for Fair Housing, and later when the developers began converting apartment buildings to condominiums with absolutely no regulations and tenants living in apartment buildings with no rights — our rents raised by 20% to 50%, retaliatory non renewals, no controls whatsoever.
I was a founding member of the Tenants Organization of Evanston (TOE) and a leader in the successful moratorium on condo conversions so that the council could create an ordinance to regulate conversions. TOE basically authored the Landlord Tenant Ordinance. I also served as the HUD Housing Counselor at CEDA’s Neighbors at Work. These experiences paved the way to the City Council in 1983.
I will assure that my constituents continue to receive quality services that make our city such a great place to live. I do that by maintaining an understanding of city departments and a knowledge of how things work. I have a line of communication open with residents 24/7.
Aside from that, the very most important issue is the recovery of the people and the businesses of the 8th Ward because of COVID 19.
We have emergency orders in place during the lockdown –- I believe we must have some special directives in place going forward. We must address housing issues such as delinquency assistance -– with CD funds and I will support the use of affordable housing funds in many circumstances for both tenants and landlords.
Our dining and beverage businesses have been shut down for the most part –- their survival depends on us.They may need short term loans which I would support.
The City’s recovery is our job. Pre COVID, we were doing well. Once our restaurants and pubs open safely, I believe we will feel the vitality of our community return. Let’s be kind to sidewalk café requests.
We must do what we can to reopen Levy Senior Center safely. For so many seniors, it is their third place. Outdoor sports, I will work to make this happen. The food truck/concert events must resume and movies in the park. And then there is Bike the Ridge. These are things that can be done safely – our city must recover.
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