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 7th Ward.
7th Ward – Natashia Holmes (incumbent) vs. Gregory Mitchell
Issues at Stake in Runoff:
Amalia NietoGomez, executive director at the multicultural and interfaith coalition Alliance of the Southeast (ASE), says that employment opportunities via lakeside development are of primary concern in the community. The proposed lakeside development comes with a community benefits agreement ensuring more job opportunities, affordable housing and quality education for children through STEM and vocational programs.
Natashia Holmes (campaign website)
Education: Alabama State University (B.S., education), Auburn University (masters, community planning), Illinois Institute of Technology’s Chicago-Kent College of Law (J.D.)
Occupation: 7th Ward Alderman (appointed in 2013 by Emanuel after resignation of Sandi Jackson)
Endorsements: Mayor Rahm Emanuel (Chicago Forward PAC), Planned Parenthood Illinois Action
Key Issues: City services, economic development, jobs, local businesses, public safety, education, infrastructure
Gregory Mitchell (campaign website)
Education: Grambling State University (B.S., accounting with minor in finance and computer information systems)
Occupation: IT Manager
Endorsements: Illinois Herald; Southeast Calumet Heights Homeowners Association President James Collum; South Shore Community residents Zelia O. Stevens, Dania O’Laughlin, Orrin and Gwen McDaniels; Chicago Public Schools Educator Pamela Minniefield; University of Chicago Asst. Professor Ryon Lancaster
Key Issues: Education, crime reduction and public safety, vacant and abandoned property
Voter Turnout on Feb. 24: 33 percent
How did they vote in the mayor’s race?
- Rahm Emanuel: 43 percent
- Jesus “Chuy” Garcia: 24 percent
- Willie Wilson: 21 percent
- Total population: 51,581
- White: 1.51 percent
- Black: 92.06 percent
- Hispanic: 4.98 percent
- Asian: 0.19 percent (Source: WBEZ)
Neighborhoods: Calumet Heights, Pill Hill, South Chicago, South Deering, South Shore
Adjectives that Describe the Ward: Violent, middle and working class
How 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.