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Alderman Delores Holmes, 5th Ward, says key issues in her re-election campaign are economic development, community safety and workforce development.

At a kickoff rally for her supporters this afternoon at Boocoo, Holmes told Evanston Now that about two dozen new businesses have opened in the ward over the past three or four years, but that more still needs to be done.

“We’ve got to get Church and Dodge to where it is a wonderful, positive entryway into the city,” she said, adding that she’ll “be working with the high school and others to get that done.”

Top: Mayor Elizabeth Tisdahl and Alderman Delores Holmes were flanked by District 202 school board candidates Keith Geiger and Patricia Savage-Williams at the kickoff event for the Holmes campaign. Above: Supporters sign up to volunteer for the Holmes campaign.

Holmes, who faces a write-in challenge from community activist Carlis Sutton, said of Sutton, “Most of the things that I’m for he seems to be against, in terms of more affordable housing, that sort of thing.”

Several years ago when Holmes supported a low-income housing development for a vacant lot on the corner of Church Street and Darrow Avenue, Sutton opposed it, suggesting that it would adversely affect people, like him, who owned small rental properties in the neighborhood. The project ultimately was rejected.

But on many issues, Holmes said, she’s not sure where Sutton stands, “because I haven’t seen him that active” in the campaign.

Supporters sample the food at the kickoff event.

Holmes said she believes the police departent “is doing what they need to do” to address crime problems, but “the community has to do their part. Echoing what she said she heard from a neighbor after a recent homicide, she said, “‘If you see something, say something.'”

And she said the city needs to do more to provide job training for youths who have been in trouble with the law and to encourage employers to take a chance on hiring those who’ve completed training programs.

Holmes suggested that the city can in part address its financial needs by selling water to additional suburban communities, but that it also needs to look for more lakefront development.

“What’s wrong with a beautiful restaurant down there, or some kind of theater?” she asked.

“Those are the kinds of out-of-the-box ideas that people in Evanston have not always wanted to listen to, but I think we’re going ot have to,” she added.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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1 Comment

  1. Church and Dodge only?

    What about scary looking block of Dodge south of Lake Street all the way to Dempster. I find it alarming as I feel I put my guard up when driving through that part of Dodge as it resembles the south side of Chicago. I am sure many Evanstonians would agree with me and similar reasons, and that's why I prefer to shop at Dominick’s on Green Bay Rd. vs. the Dominick’s on Dempster and Dodge which is closer to my house. The mechanic shop and the towing shop place on each side resemble very unpleasant and maybe even scary picture, at least for my kids, to drive by let alone walk by, and that's the block right next the high school. She needs to consider rezoning and having those places move.

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