In Press Release


January 21, 2021

Contact: Leni Manaa-Hoppenworth 773-216-2067 , [email protected]


Local grassroots demands democratic elections in Chicago and end to machine politics.

CHICAGO, ILLINOIS – Indivisible Illinois 9th Andersonville-Edgewater (Indivisible IL9), a local chapter of the national group Indivisible, declares that we have a democracy problem in our neighborhood: for four decades, we haven’t had a regular Illinois Senate election without an incumbent, because our Senators keep resigning midterm. The process conveniently places their hand-selected replacements into office, which allows them to run as the incumbent in the next election—an advantage that ensures their re-election. That’s how the Chicago Machine works. 

It’s a particular problem in the 48th and 49th Wards. 1977 was the last regular election for State Senate here without a machine-approved incumbent stacking the deck against grassroots candidates. And it’s a problem that could happen again right now with the resignation of Senator Steans.

“Enough is enough,” says 49th Ward constituent and Indivisible IL9 Democracy in Action Co-Lead, Joy Richards.  “Our Democratic committee members must sign a democracy pledge. The only acceptable path is an interim placeholder in the 7th District Senate Seat who promises not to run for re-election in the next cycle.”

We demand that our Democratic Committee members: 

1) acknowledge the appointment process should be reserved for special and extenuating circumstances;

2) recognize the remarkable history of appointments and midterm resignations in our neighborhoods in particular;

3) recognize that party appointments keep BIPOC and independent voices out of politics, an unstated but universal goal of machine politics;

4) commit to breaking the toxic cycle and appoint an interim placeholder State Senator who promises not to run for re-election in 2022.


Ward 33: Iris Martinez


Email:[email protected]

Twitter: @ILSenMartinez


Ward 39: Ram Villivalam


Email:[email protected]

Twitter: @RamForSenate


Ward 40: Maggie O’Keefe


Email: [email protected]

Twitter: @MaggieJOK


Ward 46: Sean Tenner


Email:  [email protected]



Ward 47: Paul Rosenfeld


Email: [email protected]

Twitter: @Fightin47th 


Ward 48: Harry Osterman


Email: [email protected] 

Twitter: @48Ward


Ward 49: Kelly Cassidy


Email: [email protected]

Twitter: @RepKellyCassidy


Ward 50: Debra Silverstein


Email:  [email protected]

Twitter: @50thWardChicago


Evanston: Eamon Kelly


Email: [email protected]

Twitter: @EvanstonDems


Facebook petition

Twitter  @indivisible9il


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Indivisible IL9 Andersonville-Edgewater is a diverse group of concerned residents and allies of the Illinois 9th Congressional District, working strategically to ensure justice for all. Indivisible IL9 is a part of a national network that aligns with the movement following the Indivisible Guide. We believe that a successful democracy depends on an informed and engaged constituency. We value Diversity; Equity and Inclusion; Respect and Non-violence.


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