NBC Chicago and Ward Room bring you profiles on all 50 wards this election season. As candidates face off in the Feb. 24 election, they are also facing a new ward map, which takes effect when the winners assume office.
In this profile, learn all about the 23rd ward, which covers parts of the Far West Side, including West Elsdon, West Lawn, Garfield Ridge and Clearing.
- Total Population: 53,728
- White: 29.61 percent
- Black: 2.59 percent
- Hispanic: 66.67 percent
- Asian: 0.75 percent (Source: WBEZ)
Current Alderman: Michael Zalewski
Ward Committeemen: Michael Zalewski (democratic committeeman) and Jeffrey Malinowski (republican committeeman)
Who Else is Running: Martin Arteaga, Anna Goral, Charles Hughes (removed) and Paulino Villarreal (removed)
Adjectives that Describe the Ward: Residential, quiet and low-key
Economic Engine: Midway International Airport
Where People Eat: There are several taquerias, Mexican restaurants and fast food restaurants in this ward. Other restaurants include Ginger and Jerry's Rock and Roll Diner, D'Anardo's Pizza, Shrimp Shack, Oak Mill Bakery, Weber's Bakery and Three Sons.
Where People Drink: Tonyo's Studio 31 Lounge. There are few bars in this ward, but there are several located just outside the northern boundary.
Where People Pray: Churches and places of worship include St. Rene Parish, St. Daniel the Prophet Church, Crossroads Community Church, New Life Community Church, Maranatha Assembly of God, St. Elizabeth's Episcopal Church and Chicago Lawn United Methodist. St. Turibius Church is also an important church in the community, but it is technically located in the 13th ward.
How the Ward Typically Votes: Michael Zalewski has been alderman of the 23rd ward since 1995. Zalewski won 71 percent of the vote in 2007, defeating Charles Maida. In 2011, Zalewski won 53 percent of the vote, defeating Anna Goral (34 percent) and Charles Maida (14 percent).
Landmark: Midway International Airport
Resident's Voice: Michael Weber, owner of Weber's Bakery, said he likes the presence of small businesses in the community. He said he likes how the majority of businesses along Archer Avenue are small, family-owned businesses because it makes the neighborhood nicer.
Ward Expert: Jim Mazenis, president of the West Elsdon Civic Association