Sunday, February 13, 2011

South Loop Aldermanic Forum

3rd Ward candidates Ebony Tillman (center) and Alderman Pat Dowell (right)

The 2nd and 3rd Ward Aldermanic Forum was held Saturday February 12, 2011 at Columbia College, 1104 S. Wabash Ave. The event was presented by South Loop Neighbors and the Greater South Loop Association. Third Ward candidates, Alderman Pat Dowell and challenger Ebony Tillman's part of the forum began at approximately 9:15 a.m. Since this was a forum rather than a debate, there was no interaction between candidates. Questions ranged from job creation, TIF reform, big box retail (both support it), parking, and homelessness.

After the 3rd Ward Forum, there was the opportunity for South Loop residents to meet and greet both 3rd and 2nd Ward candidates and neighbors. Pastries and bagels were provided by Donna's Cafe and coffee was provided by Overflow Coffee Bar.

2nd Ward Candidates from left to right: Genita Robinson, Federico Sciammarella, Enrique Perez, Melissa Callahan, Alderman Bob Fioretti, Jim Bosco

The 2nd Ward Forum candidates assembled at approximately 11 a.m. There are five candidates actively running including Bob Fioretti, the current 2nd Ward alderman. Just like the 3rd Ward forum, the candidates took questions from the audience. The only real surprise came at the beginning. Jim Bosco announced that he was withdrawing from the race. He participated in the forum because, due to Illinois election rules, his name will still be on the ballot February 22, 2011. On Bosco's Web site, he announced that he was throwing his support behind Federico Sciammarella.

2nd Ward candidates' forum

The questions asked to 2nd Ward candidates were similar and in some cases almost identical to those asked of the 3rd Ward candidates. Questions focused on helping small businesses, job creation, TIF reform--All seem to be for it, but Bosco said they should be eliminated and called them "evil" and a ponzi scheme."

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