Roberto Maldonado says he is passionate about creating legislation that helps the poor, working and middle class families who are discriminated against and need a voice in government.
Maldonado arrived in Chicago when he was 27 years old to get his doctorate at Loyola University, while working full-time as a psychologist in the Chicago Public Schools. He then went on to open People's Choice Mortgage Corporation, which is the first Hispanic owned mortgage-banking firm in the Midwest. In the early 1980's, Maldonado served in Mayor Harold Washington's administration and later became campaign manager for future Congressman Luis Guitierrez. In 1994, he became the fourth Latino elected to the Cook County Board of Commissioners and served as Commissioner of the 8th district for 15 years.
Located on the west side, the 26th Ward, also known as Humboldt Park, has a strong Puerto Rican heritage. The neighborhood is home to the Rose Garden and there is a pair of bronze bison originally cast for the 1983 World's Columbia Exposition in the ward. Chicago's only non-Lakefront sand beach is located in the neighborhood's 207-acre public park. The Institute of Puerto Rican Arts and Culture can be found in this ward.
Maldonado was appointed as alderman by Chicago Mayor Daley in July 2009. Just 62 days after his appointment, he targeted $2.6 million in local ward menu funds to go toward lighting and resurfacing residential streets that were neglected. He also proposed to add blue light security cameras and speed humps near schools. The 26th ward has one of the highest foreclosure rates in Cook County. Thanks to Maldonado, homeowners can receive free legal assistance if they are facing foreclosure.
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