It was the ultimate David vs. Goliath story. Nick Sposato's challenger John Rice was former Ald. William J.P. Banks hand-picked successor and was appointed to the seat a year and a half before the election. Yet Sposato, a former Chicago firefighter, rallied to defeat Rice in a run-off, a win which he said stuck it to Chicago's political machine.
A lifelong resident of the 36th ward, Sposato has been recognized as a community leader many times over. Before working as a firefighter for 17 years, Sposato was a UPS driver. When he was elected to office in May Sposato was involved in the Montclare-Elmwood Park Lions Club and the Trinity High School Father's Club.
Nestled on the city's far West Side, the 36th includes the neighborhoods of Galewood, Montclare and Belmont Terrace. The ward has deep Italian roots and old-fashioned values are still in vogue. Hard work, thrift and loyalty made the 36th the quintessential machine ward throughout the 20th Century.
Sposato has made waves in his first few months in office. Along with two other aldermen, he presented a letter to Mayor Rahm Emanuel balking at the proposed cuts to mental health care centers and libraries. The latter garnered 28 signatures from fellow aldermen and led to Emanuel restoring some of the cuts. Sposato has also vehemently opposed the mayor's proposal to lay off fire and police responders.
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