February 17, 2021
While many Evanston residents are not aware of the commitments of a city clerk, that is not for lack of importance. The city clerk is responsible for records and helping people obtain documents with the Freedom of Information Act. Stephanie Mendoza, who has worked for political nonprofits helping Evanston and Chicago communities, is the only candidate appearing on the ballot.
“FOIA, the Freedom of Information Act, is a right of people to be able to seek information from their government that otherwise is not always published. If we, as community members, want to know how our government is working and how our elected officials are working within our government, it’s a good tool for us to be able to seek information,” Mendoza said.
FOIA documents are only available in English. Mendoza hopes to address this, as it can cause immigrant communities to become even more marginalized.
“My goal is to provide interpretation and translation services for a lot of the documents that we have within the clerk’s office… English is my second language, and I understand the struggle of not only myself trying to interact as a child with organizations that don’t have Spanish speakers but also as the daughter of immigrants.”
Mendoza also has a history of empowering disenfranchised communities through political nonprofits.
“I’ve worked as a political organizer, campaign manager and field director for the past six years… My job has always been to go into communities and provide access to elections and access to information about candidates, which is why this position is near and dear to my heart.”
In addition, Mendoza is passionate about empowering the immigrant community in Evanston, regardless of if those people can cast a ballot.
“People can always show up at City Council meetings and voice their opinions; they can always talk to their elected officials, even if they don’t necessarily have the ability to vote.”
Looking towards Mendoza’s potential term, she hopes to serve as a voice for all Evanstonians.
“My goal is to be a good city clerk. And if not, my goal is for people to hold me accountable and tell me where I can improve.”
To read more about Mendoza and her policies, visit https://mendozaforclerk.com/.
Cynthia Beebe, Eduardo Gomez, Adedapo Odusanya, Jackson Paller, Darrell Patterson and Misty Witenberg are also in the City Clerk race as write-in candidates.