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 7th ward, which covers parts of Calumet Heights, Pill Hill, South Chicago, South Deering and South Shore.
- Total Population: 51,581
- White: 1.51 percent
- Black: 92.06 percent
- Hispanic: 4.98 percent
- Asian: 0.19 percent (Source: WBEZ)
Current Alderman: Natashia Holmes
Ward Committeemen: Sandi Jackson (democratic committeeman), Charon Bryson (republican committeeman) and Nathan Peoples (Green Party committeeman)
Who Else is Running: Joseph Moseley, Gregory Mitchell, LaShonda "Shonnie" Curry, Keiana Barrett, Sidney Brooks (withdrawn), Flora "Flo" Digby, Vincent Rose (removed), Jesse Harley (removed), Stephanie Roddy (removed), Bernie Riley, Margie Reid, Elizabeth "Jacquie" Lewis (removed), Chevette Valentine (removed), Queen Whitlock (removed) and Tyrone Wilkins
Adjectives that Describe the Ward: Violent, middle and working class
Predominant Economic Engine: This area used to be the hub of the steel industry in Chicago until about the 1990s, but many of those jobs and factories are now gone. Mom and pop stores make up most of the local economy now.
Where People Eat: Soul food restaurants, including Southern Kitchen Soulfood, fast food restaurants and several fish and chicken restaurants.
Where People Drink: Bars include New Phillips Lounge and The New Look Restaurant and Bar. There are few bars in this ward.
Where People Pray: Churches include Bethany Lutheran, Immanuel Lutheran, St. Joseph, St. Mary Magdalene, St. Bronislava, Our Lady of Guadalupe and Pilgrim Baptist.
How the Ward Typically Votes: Sandi Jackson was first elected alderman in 2007, but she was replaced by Natashia Holmes in 2013 when she resigned after she was charged with tax fraud along with her husband, Jesse Jackson Jr. Sandi Jackson won 57 percent of the vote in 2007, defeating Darcel Beavers (33 percent), Ron David (8 percent) and Eric Brown (2 percent). In 2011, Jackson won 53 percent of the vote, defeating Darcel Beavers (26 percent) and four other challengers.
Landmark: Rainbow Beach
Resident's Voice: Rodney Avery, a manager at The New Look Restaurant and bar, said the seventh ward needs more restaurants and local businesses. Avery said his restaurant is one of the only ones in the area. He also said, "People can't even really acknowledge we're here" because the area is isolated due to a lack of bus stops and public transportation. Avery said if there were more bus stops in the ward, then that would help attract more businesses as well and give people something to do other than stand around on the street.
Ward Expert: Angela Hurlock, the executive director of Claretian Associates, a community organization in South Chicago