EFFECTIVE, DEDICATED COMMUNITY ORGANIZER.
Darlene is a public servant and community organizer in the 2nd Ward, with a passion both for directly helping those in immediate need and for changing existing systems of power.
She is a member of the Evanston Equity and Empowerment Commission,Citizens Network of Protection, and is a board member of the Democratic Party of Evanston.
Darlene’s family first came to Evanston in the 1940’s, migrating from the south and joining other Black families in Evanston’s segregated 5th Ward. Racially restrictive covenants prohibited Black families from owning homes outside of racialized zoning ordinances. As Evanston's Black population increased, her family permanently settled in the 2nd ward where her parents raised 6 children.
The Murrays cultivate deep traditions of community, care and accountability. These are core values for Darlene which she will use to build strong neighborhoods and community in the 2nd Ward.
Darlene is proud of her family's history in the 2nd Ward, where she continues to reside with her husband Ronnie of 25 years, raised their son, Ameer.
She remains connected to her community's history of resilience and the energy around collective action in difficult situations and is deeply invested in its culture, growth and safety.
A True Representative
Maintaining a healthy democracy is about more than electing officials to make decisions. Democracy is about the collective. We live in a city where the interests of residents are often ignored.
As 2nd Ward Councilmember, Darlene will be accessible and make decisions based on the needs of the residents in the community. To accomplish this, she will be proactive in generating dialogue around upcoming city issues. Her outreach will include regular community sessions, open office hours, and community chats. Darlene will ensure that 2nd Ward residents voices are heard at City Council.
In addition to her priority of working for financial and political accountability, Darlene’s work will advance inclusion and a healthy work environment at the City of Evanston.
Darlene is currently working on anti-gentrification legislation as a commissioner with the Equity and Empowerment Commission. She will continue pushing this forward as your 2nd Ward councilmember.
One of the most significant ways to advance equity in Evanston is to preserve and increase affordable and accessible housing options. Darlene will work with 2nd Ward residents and existing community organizations to create plans to meet the needs of citizens.
Darlene will introduce and support: the city of Evanston directly purchasing rental units, down payment assistance and other income qualifying purchase programs, work to reallocate funds to restore Evanston's First Time Buyer Program and work with low income families to have access to home-ownership.
The Bottom Line
Bringing up critical issues requires a strong commitment to a vision of Evanston that includes the needs of all its residents and willingness to dig into the details of city finances and internal policies.
Darlene will call on her colleagues to deal with the real issues and find solutions that are equitable and feasible so that our lower and middle income residents can stay in Evanston.
As 2nd Ward Council member, Darlene will bring her experience and commitment to transparency and accountability to the city council to champion a more equitable Evanston that better serves all of its residents.