Working For Your
Alderman...And Other Key Roles On The Road To 2016
The Road From
How To Do Your
What To Watch For
When To Measure
Bottom Line About The
CBCO City Council Watch & Report Card
7:30 - 8:00 The Analysts Weigh In
8:00 Your Closing Thoughts: The Audience
Master Class with Clem Balanoff, the latest in our series of tactical
knowledge transfers to the everyday citizens and activists of Chicago.
Clem Balanoff, of the legendary Balanoff political pedigree, is most
recently distinguished as Political Director & Chicago Field Director for
mayoral candidate Jesus Chuy Garcia, and as architect of perhaps the largest,
fastest, most bullet-proof compilation of ballot petition signatures in the
history of Chicago.
He retired as Chief of Staff/Deputy Cook County County Clerk, which
office runs elections in Cook County, handles vital records (births, deaths,
marriages, assumed names and notarys), and is responsible for property tax
extensions and redemptions, with responsibilities to the Clerk to the Cook
Back in the day, the Balanoff name was synonymous with union
democracy and progressive politics. Clem Balanoff's dad was James Balanoff, the Steelworker Union District 31 Director who
was finally ousted by the national steelworker union leadership for being too
tough on the bosses. His mother, Miriam, was a Cook County Circuit Court judge.
His cousin Tom Balanoff, is president of SEIU Local 1. Most of his life Clem
has lived on the Chicago's southeast side.
Balanoff lost his 1987 aldermanic bid to Victor Vrdolyak [yes,
brother of Infamous Eddie]. He was elected Democratic Committeeman (a seat
vacated when Eddie Vrdolyak turned Republican) and then State Representative,
having put together an integrated coalition of blacks, Hispanics, and whites.
Of his campaign for Alderman of the 10th Ward Balanoff said, "I'm the only
candidate who campaigns in every community, not just white, black, or Hispanic
ones. I'm the candidate to bring this ward together."
Onward, he touted, "When it came to stopping a proposed landfill at
the O'Brien Locks, Clem Balanoff stood up and it was stopped," he said. "When it
came to the flooding in Jeffery Manor because of the lousy sewers, Clem Balanoff
stood up and we got the city moving. When it came to stopping them from putting
a garbage-burning incinerator at 106th and Torrence, Clem Balanoff helped get
that project blocked. We need someone who is going to go downtown and fight for
the interests of this ward, and I'm telling you Clem Balanoff is the man for the
He's a committed environmentalist, long-time marathon runner, and
when he gets excited, he flaps his arms and talks really, really fast. Which is
most of the time.
I'm blessed to count him as a friend, a Blacks in Green™ board
member, and a hero of the people - join us Thursday night for the wit and wisdom
of Clem Balanoff as we discuss "How To Work For Your Alderman...And Other Roles
of Note on the Road To 2016."