Mark Thomas Looks to Step Up to Alderman in 44th Ward - NBC Chicago
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Mark Thomas Looks to Step Up to Alderman in 44th Ward



    For residents of the 44th Ward, it looks like the 2015 election cycle has already begun.

    Yesterday, DNAinfo Chicago reported Mark Thomas, owner of a number of iconic Lakeview businesses, is expected to announce his candidacy for alderman of the 44th Ward tonight. Thomas owns The Alley, Taboo Tabou and other alternative lifestyle-themed businesses near the corner of Belmont Ave. and Clark St. in the city’s northside Lakeview neighborhood.

    Thomas has been a fixture in the neighborhood since the 1980s, when he first opened The Alley as a clothing and accessory store popular with punk rockers and heavy-metal fans. He’s been a voice and a presence in the area ever since, beloved by some and despised by others.

    Thomas and the current alderman, Tom Tunney, have clashed a number of times in the past over such issues as area sewer main construction and whether a Cook County assistant state’s attorney bit one of Thomas’ employees. Thomas has hinted for a while that he planned on running for elected office, although he told that his decision goes beyond any past issues with Tunney.

    Recently, however, a 10-story, $50 million retail and residential tower has been slated for the corner of Belmont and Clark, which would force three business owned by Thomas to move.

    Thomas’ announcement is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. tonight at 3222 N. Clark St.