February 17, 2021
A lifelong resident and activist, Peter Braithwaite has deep roots within the Evanston community and is seeking his third term as the 2nd Ward Alderman. In addition to serving on City Council, Braithwaite works as a sales account manager while raising his four kids alongside his wife.
Braithwaite, a huge advocate for affordable housing in Evanston and within the 2nd Ward, promises to continue working with affordable housing organizations such as Community Partners for Affordable Housing (CPAH) to further the development of affordable and equitable housing throughout Evanston.
Braithwaite is one of three co-founders of Evanston’s Reparations Subcommittee. Evanston is one of just four cities in the U.S. working to spearhead reparations for Black citizens whose families have been negatively impacted by slavery and racism throughout American history.
“Not only are reparations important to me, but I think it’s important to the Black families who reside in Evanston. We have been victims of systemic racism for many generations,” said Braithwaite.
Reparations in Evanston would be a huge step forward in the process of even beginning to start to rectify the injustices that Black people have faced in the U.S. over the past 400 years. When finalized, all eligible Black Evanstonians could receive up to $25,000 that would be put towards paying for housing costs. Funding for these reparations would come from tax money generated by the legalization of cannabis in Illinois. This is a step Braithwaite wants to take in trying to help Black Evanastonians who suffered through redlining and housing discrimination in Evanston.
“There’s a very long history of how Blacks in many parts of the country were denied the [same] rights as the rest of America. There’s a debt that’s owed, and, through reparations, we get a little bit closer to repairing our community and closing that wealth gap. I’m happy; I’m excited; I think it’s a wonderful thing,” Braithwaite said.
If re-elected, Braithwaite promises to continue focusing on “economic development” within Evanston. Braithwaite vows to work for the families of the 2nd Ward and will ensure crime prevention and prompt response from first responders.
In a third term, Braithwaite wants to start out and make sure that Evanston continues to follow COVID-19 protocols and that the vaccine roll out throughout Evanston is a fast, efficient and equitable process.
“The number one issue that we have to stop is to deal with is COVID-19. Not only administering the vaccine but being cooperative in terms of protocols to help get through the pandemic, and, once we do that, then we can focus on other things,” Braithwaite said.
“I’m really excited to serve the 2nd Ward. I work very closely with the issues that matter the most to residents.”
A resident of the 2nd Ward for more than 20 years, Darlene Cannon has deep roots in the Evanston community
Currently working as the executive director and co-founder of Feeding the Village Evanston, a non-profit, grassroots organization based out of Evanston that works to provide food to families facing food insecurity in the greater Chicagoland area, Cannon hopes to continue affecting change as a part of City Council.
A Democrat and third-generation Evanstonian, according to her website, Cannon promises that, if elected, she will fight for racial justice and affordable housing within the 2nd Ward. She promises to work with the people of the 2nd Ward, holding open office hours, surveys and community coffee chats to allow residents to voice their concerns.
Cannon’s campaign has been notably endorsed by an organization called Reclaim Evanston, which works to elect “new politicians” pushing out what they consider “established politicians” such as her opponent Peter Braithwaite. Reclaim Evanston is a division of the larger Reclaim Chicago movement.
Cannon became deeply involved with local activism in 2018 when plans surfaced for the “Housing Opportunities for Women” (H.O.W) project, an affordable housing initiative on the corner of Dempster and Pitner. She did not want the building on her block in fear that it would decrease her property value, in addition to being upset about a lack of communication between developers and 2nd Ward residents.
“We were told by city employees that this was what they envisioned for our neighborhood. I just didn’t understand how you could have a vision for my neighborhood that did not include me. I wasn’t at the table when this decision was being made, but it was being forced upon me, and there was nothing I could do,” said Cannon in an interview with The Daily Northwestern.
If elected, Cannon wants to focus on racial justice in Evanston.
“This campaign is about ensuring the equity lens the city claims to utilize is actually a tool leveraged to improve and transform Black and minority lives,” Cannon said in a Facebook post.
* The Evanstonian reached out to Darlene Cannon for comment and received no response.