Paul Rosenfeld is running for committeeman of the 47th Ward, where Mayor Rahm Emanuel resides. But really, Ald. Ameya Pawar is running against former Ald. Gene Schulter, who is still ward committeeman.
Pawar won office in February by defeating Tom O’Donnell, Schulter’s hand-picked successor. Since then, Schulter has been doing whatever he can to make the kid’s life difficult. He refused to turn over a $7,000 parking permit machine to the new alderman. Then he sent a letter to 47th Ward residents, telling them he was “equally committed to helping you maintain access to local city, county, and state services–just as I was when I served as your alderman.”
That put the naïve rookie in a tough spot. As a good-government liberal, Pawar doesn’t believe one politician should hold all the power in a ward. He didn’t want to run for committeeman himself, but he wanted to stop Schulter from undermining him.
So, now Pawar has his guy running for committeeman. Rosenfeld is co-chair of Pawar’s Grow 47 initiative, which combines TIF funds with corporate donations to aid schools in the ward. Pawar and Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle endorsed Rosenfeld last week. Today, he made his candidacy official. According to his statement:
Rosenfeld’s motivation to run stems from his longtime local community involvement. “I love my community, and this position offers me the best opportunity to give back to it. I also know that I will do an outstanding job for the Democratic Party,” Rosenfeld stated.
Rosenfeld’s priorities if elected include: creating an inclusive Democratic organization within the ward; ensuring that decisions affecting the ward and candidate endorsements are made openly and with collaboration. Rosenfeld emphasizes the need to be fair to all, while paying special attention to the ward’s neediest neighbors, and is committed to working every day to improve the quality of life in the ward for everyone the community.
Schulter may be getting a taste of his own medicine. In 2000, he ran from committeeman against his former mentor, Ed Kelly, a politician whose career dated back to the days of Richard J. Daley and Council Wars. Kelly won, but retired four years later. That race was seen as a generational battle in the 47th Ward. The race between Schulter and Rosenfeld will be another.
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