I’ve lived in Rogers Park since moving here more than a decade ago. And I have to say, despite the Cheetos plague, the theft of both a bike and a beater car, and the hideous street art (one result of the ward’s participatory budgeting effort), I love the place. In 2003, primarily to get a taste of city life—I’d never lived in a place that had aldermen before, not to mention 50—I volunteered for Alderman Joe Moore‘s reelection campaign. One of the things I learned is that a prerequisite for running for office in Chicago is the ability to go gloveless while shaking hands in subzero temperatures.
Joe’s perhaps best known for the controversial (and since repealed) City Council ordinance banning foie gras, but within the ward I think he’s made his name through quirky and, to my mind, endearing community outreach efforts like “Follow Me Fridays,” where he invites constituents to join him for food and drink at a neighborhood business—last week it was at the El Famous Burrito on Clark Street.