Carlos Ramirez-Rosa ‘a meaningful life is one in which you leave your dent in the world’

Lawndale News Chicago's Bilingual Newspaper - Local News

By: Ashmar Mandou

As a lifelong Chicagoan, newly elected Alderman Carlos Ramirez-Rosa is enthusiastic about the arduous work ahead representing the 35th ward. From a very young age, Ramirez-Rosa’s parents instilled in him the value of hard work and the importance of standing up for his community. “My parents always told me since I was little that a meaningful life is one in which you leave your dent in the world,” said Ald. Ramirez-Rosa. “They always taught me the importance of staying true to your values and standing up for justice. I knew the only way I could stand up for those values is if I got involved politically.” Prior to being elected Alderman of the 35th ward, Ramirez-Rosa worked as a community organizer with the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights (ICIRR) to help keep families safe from deportation. He also worked closely with Congressman Luis Gutierrez as a congressional caseworker. There Ramirez-Rosa led successful efforts that benefited families, seniors, and veterans. What motivates Ramirez-Rosa? Social justice.

“I ran on a platform of inclusivity and making sure that everyone, whether the richest person in the ward or the poorest person in the ward, regardless of where they come from or how long they have been in the community, that they have the ability to have a seat at the table and can drive public policy. I want to make sure long time residents, short time residents, renters, and owners are included at the table and that everyone feels like they have the ability to affect the decisions that I am making. I think that for some long term residents, particularly those who do not have an ability to pay the higher rents, they feel sometimes that their elected officials aren’t including them in the decision making process. So my key is making sure that everyone has a seat at the table and at the end of the day I am not allowing any one community to dominate the conversation.”

As for Ramirez-Rosa’s message to the community: My message would be that our elected officials are only as accountable to us as we want them to be; that the more they make their voices heard the better informed that the elected official will be and the stronger advocate that the elected official would be. I have committed myself to governing the interests of working people so I want to make sure that they are coming forward and telling me what they really need so that when I’m in City Hall I know I am not in there by myself, but that I am coming in there really representing the community.

Alderman Carlos Ramirez-Rosa stands outside his new office at 2710 N. Sawyer Ave. Thirty-fifth ward residents can visit with the Ald. Monday thru Friday between 9am to 5pm.

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