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Alderman No Moore: Hadden Unseats Joe

Alanna Demetrius | The PhoenixIn an upset aldermanic election, Maria Hadden ousted long-time 49th Ward Alderman Joe Moore to become the first openly gay woman of color in the position.

Just over 28 years ago, Joe Moore was elected alderman as the more progressive candidate going up against the 49th Ward’s then-incumbent. Now, he’s going out the same way he came in.

Maria Hadden, a newcomer to the political scene with experience as a local activist, unseated Moore with just over 63 percent of the vote in the ward which covers part of Loyola’s Lake Shore Campus. Following an election where the city saw a dismal voter turnout, Hadden will serve as the city’s first openly gay woman of color to hold aldermanic office.

In the weeks leading up to the election, the race between Hadden and Moore focused in on their differing stances on policing practices. In a questionnaire from the Independent Voters of Illinois Independent Precinct Organization, Hadden supported police reallocation, meaning police services would be redistributed to cover parts of the city where crime is more prominent — Moore opposed it.

Following a year where Rogers Park saw its share of violent crime, including two unsolved back-to-back homicides last fall, some disagree with Hadden’s stance, arguing police reallocation would give resources to other neighborhoods, taking them away from Rogers Park. Moore released a campaign ad criticizing this stance.

During Moore’s tenure as alderman, he became a pioneer in community policing, which places officers in specific areas to become familiar with the neighborhood. The practice reduced serious crime by 54 percent, according to his website. He also was the first elected official in the United States to implement participatory budgeting, which allows residents to play a part in deciding what happens to part of the budget.

Despite his role as a trailblazer for these practices in Rogers Park, Moore was on the receiving end of criticism from some of his constituents as the election drew closer. After supporting the construction of a Target store on North Sheridan Road, some said Moore was allowing business to be taken from local neighborhood shops. When elected, Moore ran on a platform of distancing himself from Chicago’s infamous political machine, but his voting record aligned largely with Mayor Rahm Emanuel, which also drew criticism from some.

Competing against an alderman who served for almost three decades, Hadden’s been called inexperienced in comparison because she’s never held public office.

Hadden campaigned on a platform of keeping Rogers Park an affordable place to live, funding public schools and uplifting local businesses. She was endorsed by Congressmen Jesus “Chuy” Garcia and Danny Davis, State Representatives Will Guzzadi and Delia Ramirez and the Chicago Teachers Union.

Moore was endorsed by the Chicago Tribune and the Chicago Sun-Times.

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