In another sign local progressive politicians are lining up behind his candidacy for state representative in Illinois’ 39th District, Will Guzzardi on Wednesday picked up the endorsement of 1st Ward alderman Proco “Joe” Moreno.
Guzzardi, 26, is gearing up for a 2014 rematch with incumbent Toni Berrios, to whom he lost by a margin of 125 votes in 2012.
That campaign shocked much of the political establishment across the city and state when Guzzardi nearly upset Berrios, a member of a powerful political family.
Berrios’ father, Joe Berrios, is chairman of the Cook County Democratic Party, County Assessor and committeeman of the northwest side 31st Ward. His daughter Toni has represented the 39th District since 2003.
For his part, Moreno has grown into a respected and influential alderman, and his candidacy is seen as a boost to Guzzardi, particularly in the district’s Latino community.
"My constituents have spoken loud and clear. They are tired of the broken political system in Springfield, and they are ready for new and independent leadership," said Ald. Moreno in his endorsement. "Our families want representation that stands with them. From fighting back against the closing of Brentano School to standing up for a fair economy that respects working people, Will has been an ally for our community every step of the way. I'm proud to endorse him."
Moreno’s endorsement follows those of fellow aldermen John Arena (45th) and Scott Waguespack (32nd). Together, Guzzardi has now captured the endorsements of three of the aldermen whose wards are within the boundaries of the 39th Legislative District.
“Ald. Moreno is a great leader in this community. He has done tremendous work to bring the resources necessary to help the people and neighborhoods in his ward,” Guzzardi told Ward Room. “I live in the 1st Ward, so this means a lot to me, and I believe this endorsement shows the breadth of support my campaign has from all of the communities in the district.”
While not a member of the Chicago City Council’s Progressive Reform Caucus like Arena or Waguespack, Moreno has aligned himself with a number of progressive ordinances and activities as a member of the City Council.
He recently helped introduce an ordinance calling for reparations for victims of torture at the hands of Chicago police under former Commander Jon Burge, and was a co-signer of a resolution calling for a referendum on an elected school board in Chicago.