Aldermanic Runoff: 15th Ward

NBC Chicago and Ward Room bring you profiles on the 18 wards heading into a runoff election April 7. In this profile, learn all about the 15th Ward.

15th Ward – Raymond Lopez vs. Rafael Yanez



Issues at Stake in Runoff:
Sara Reschly, director of community partnerships in the Brighton Park Neighborhood Council, says the community is most concerned with increasing the minimum wage to $15 an hour, adequate funding for neighborhood public schools and increasing resources for youth services such as youth employment programs. Reschly says the council encourages people to vote because “it’s a civic responsibility” and believes that voter turnout will be higher in the runoff election because of increased media attention.
Raymond Lopez (campaign website)
Education: University of Illinois-Chicago, St. Laurence High School
Occupation: Skycap at Southwest Airlines
Endorsements: Chicago Tribune; Congressman Daniel Lipinski; State Senators Martin Sandoval and Antonio Munoz; Cook County Assessor Joe Berrios; Cook County Commissioner John Daley; Metropolitan Water Reclamation District President Mariyana Spyropolous and Commissioners Debra Shore, Cynthia Santos, Tim Bradford and Michael Alvarez; 1st Ward Ald. Joe “Proco” Moreno; 8th Ward Alderman Michelle Harris; 12th Ward Ald. George Cardenas; 14th Ward Ald. Ed Burke; 16th Ward Ald. JoAnn Thompson; 23rd Ward Ald. Michael Zalewski; 33rd Ward Ald. Richard Mell; 42nd Ward Alderman Brandon Reilly; 44th Ward Ald. Tom Tunney; 46th Ward Ald. James Cappleman; Fraternal Order of Police - Chicago Lodge #7; Chicago Police Sergeants’ Association; Planned Parenthood Illinois Action; Gay and Lesbian Victory Fund; SEIU - Local 73
Key Issues: Education, city services, safety, jobs
Rafael Yanez (campaign website)
Education: Argosy University (PhD, education), Calumet College of St. Joseph (masters in public safety management, bachelors in law enforcement administration), City Colleges of Chicago
Occupation: Crime prevention specialist, Chicago Police Department
Endorsements: Cook County Commissioner Jesus “Chuy” Garcia, Chicago Teachers Union, State Rep. Esther Golar, AFSCME Council 31, SEIU Healthcare IL-IN, United Working Families, Planned Parenthood Illinois Action, United Electrical Workers Western Region, Workers United, Grassroots Illinois Action, Independent Voters of Illinois-Independent Precinct Organization, National Organization of Women (Chicago chapter), Citizen Action, Illinois Nurses Association
Key Issues: Public safety, education matters, equity and quality of life
General information:
Voter Turnout on Feb. 24: 25 percent
How did they vote in the mayor’s race?
  • Rahm Emanuel: 30 percent
  • Jesus “Chuy” Garcia: 51 percent
  • Total population: 51,501
  • White: 4.74 percent
  • Black: 22.27 percent
  • Hispanic: 71.6 percent
  • Asian: 0.98 percent (Source: WBEZ)
Neighborhoods: Brighton Park, Gage Park, New City (Canaryville), West Englewood and Back of the Yards
Adjectives that Describe the Ward: Working class, tough and struggling
How Ward Typically Votes: Toni Foulkes (now running for 16th Ward alderman due to redistricting) won 60 percent of the vote in 2007, defeating Felicia Simmons-Stovall in a runoff. In 2011, Foulkes won 69 percent of the vote, defeating Raymond Lopez in a runoff.
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