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February 17, 2021
Nick Korzeniowski is one of the candidates on the ballot for 3rd Ward alderman. He is a longtime Evanston resident who has previously run in the District 65 school board election. Although Korzeniowski is relatively new to city politics, he has invested himself in the Evanston community through his involvement with local organizations.
“I wound up being involved in the leadership of Indivisible Evanston, as well as the Southeast Evanston Association, which is very focused on development lakefront historical preservation,” Korzeniowski said. “I actually wound up founding a nonprofit called Dine After Dark, which encourages food industries to stay open later during the month of Ramadan.”
A top focus of Korzeniowski in his campaign is the affordability of Evanston, especially for residents of the 3rd Ward. Due to the already steep and increasing property taxes throughout the city, many residents are being pushed out.
“I think Evanston is in an affordability crisis right now, and I think the 3rd Ward is in a pretty unique position in that crisis. We don’t feel the brunt of it in the way that some other wards do, but we do feel it,” Korzeniowski explained. “I think the 3rd Ward can actually lead the entire city on issues like this…. I think we should be taking all of what it takes to thrive in Evanston, not just survive in Evanston with a roof over your head. That should be what we call affordability.”
In his campaign for alderman, Korzeniowski is also focusing on plans to create a municipal broadband network to ensure every resident has internet access and tackling issues surrounding equity and climate change. If elected, he wants to use his position on City Council to fix the city’s budget when it comes to large issues including policing, equity in schools and climate change.
“I see these budgetary issues as necessarily citywide, but the things I want to fix in them hit close to home. So even if it seems small, these are shared issues throughout all of us, and all of our lives,” Korzeniowski said.
Melissa Wynne, the current alderwoman of Evanston’s 3rd Ward, is running for re-election.
As an Evanston resident for over three decades and alderwoman of the 3rd Ward for the past 24 years, Wynne is an invested member in the Evanston community and is looking to continue representing 3rd Ward residents on City Council.
In her previous experience as alderwoman, Wynne advocated for reparations, fought for the construction of the new Robert Crown building and helped to create the Dempster Business Mile Association.
“Over the last 10 months, we have been fighting COVID and trying to make Evanston as safe as possible by making sure that we are contact tracing every case, supporting our local businesses, providing city services that are running remotely,” Wynne said. “This year has been like no other because of what COVID has done, and then the upcoming year is going to be really challenging.”
Before kicking off her campaign for re-election, Wynne considered leaving city government work behind after finishing out the past term. Over the summer, she decided to run for re-election, attributing her motivation to wanting to help push Evanston into its COVID-19 recovery by continuing to offer her leadership and government experience on the City Council.
“I was looking at what was going on with COVID, and the really devastating impact it had on our economy, our city budget and government. I really felt like the city was in an emergency,” Wynne explained. “I felt like I would be abandoning the ship when they really needed experienced hands to help get us through the COVID crisis and through the unknown that we will be facing afterward.”
Throughout her campaign, Wynne has highlighted her plans to help increase affordability in Evanston as well as her plans to continue focusing on equity and tackling the climate crisis.
“We have projects that are looking at the city’s planning process through an equity lens and environmental justice lens. I do understand that environmental justice component of that,” Wynne said.
As a previous member of Evanston’s environmental board and former environmental lawyer, Wynne is passionate about working with organizations in Evanston to create a more sustainable city.
“I’ll meet with the groups in our community that come forward, or have ideas or concerns, and work towards passing a goal with City Council,” Wynne said.