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February 17, 2021
7th ward alderwoman Eleanor Revelle is currently looking towards a second term on City Council.
Revelle, who has been an Evanston resident for 42 years and a 7th Ward resident for 12, has focused her first term on increasing Evanstonians’ understanding of the climate crisis. Should Revelle be re-elected, she plans to focus on similar issues along with building a stronger community between wards.
“Climate change has been part of my personal life,” Revelle explained. “My husband and I built the house we live in. It’s energy-efficient, [and] it runs on solar energy. So, I really try to put what I believe into practice.”
Additionally, Revelle’s history as both an Evanston resident and a civic leader allows her to weigh what is truly in the best interest of the Evanston community. Prior to Revelle’s alderwoman position, she was involved in many non-profit organizations and civic leadership roles in Evanston. Revelle has served as president of the League of Women Voters of Evanston, was a founding board member and president of Citizens’ Greener Evanston and was a member of the Housing Options Advisory Council for over 20 years. All of these experiences have informed Revelle’s policies.
“I am in close communication with Citizens’ Greener Evanston, which works on multiple aspects of sustainability [and] climate change,” Revelle said.
Revelle was also involved in the passing of the Climate Action and Resilience Plan (CARP) that City Council passed in 2018. If re-elected, Revelle hopes to continue to push Evanston to the 2050 goal outlined in CARP—a totally carbon-neutral, zero-waste community.
If re-elected, Revelle also hopes to incorporate youth perspectives and engagement in her platform more than the Evanston City Council currently does, citing the importance of empowering youth to take on leadership roles and engage in the politics of their communities.
“I know that youth are very concerned about the climate crisis. I think it would be great if students would like to participate in CARP coordination meetings,” Revelle said.
Revelle comes to this role with a lot of experience, unique love for Evanston and a clear vision for the city both in the near future and further down the line.
“[CARP] goes up to 2050,” Revelle said. “There are short-term actions we need to be taking to achieve those goals to get to a greener Evanston.”
Mary Rosinski, an Evanston resident for over 30 years, recently announced her bid for 7th Ward alderwoman. For the duration of Rosinski’s residency in Evanston, she has used her knowledge as a real estate agent and involvement in local organizations to advocate for fiscal responsibility, proper maintenance of Evanston’s historical sites and an increase in affordable housing; all of these sentiments capture the platform of Rosinski’s campaign.
“I’m running on fiscal accountability mainly because we got ourselves into Robert Crown, and that is the biggest financial fiasco Evanston’s gotten themselves into,” Rosinski explained. “Being in real estate, I’m getting red flags.”
For some Evanstonians, the expensive renovation of the Robert Crown Community Center in southwest Evanston caused concern. While the renovation was initially branded as a 30 million dollar project in 2015, the cost eventually jumped to just over 50 million dollars, leaving some Evanston residents angry. Additionally, Rosinski felt that information about the Robert Crown renovation was not easily accessible to Evanston residents, despite their tax money going towards the project.
That said, not only is Evanston’s fiscal accountability a concern for Rosinski, but she hopes to fix a lack of communication between the City Council and Evanston residents. Having felt unheard by the city for many years, Rosinski comes to the table wanting to prioritize her constituents’ opinions.
“I’d like to be able to live here and field it to people [and know] that City Hall is working in the best interest of the residents. But we don’t seem to be looking at the residents,” Rosinski said. “[If elected] I would love [for it] to be recognized that we are such a dynamic community.”
Another key aspect of Rosinski’s campaign is maintaining public outdoor spaces, such as the lakefront and historical sites and ensuring that such areas don’t become privatized by the city or Northwestern.
“People come to Evanston because they perceive us as being progressive. If we want those buyers coming in, you’re going to have to have some things for kids. That’s recreation, parks [and] good schools. We can’t be selling our art centers and recreation centers,” Rosinski said.
If elected, Rosinski hopes to connect not only with the homeowners and taxpayers in Evanston but with the youth and rising grassroots organizations.
“I would love it,” Rosinski said, referring to youth engagement in Evanston’s City Council. “I would be up for a Northwestern kid, and I would be up for an ETHS kid to have a presence on the Council. I think that would be important [and] I think that needs to be legitimized.”