"I have spent almost the entirety of my life trying to understand the conditions in which oppressed people exist. And I have done this through the vantage point of a working-class Black woman. I am committed to the struggle against racism, sexism, classism, ableism (and all the other 'isms' that prevent people from living their full lives), not because my own well-being is contingent on this, but because humanity is a shared experience.
It is with this integrity and experience that I will fight hard to ensure the 2nd Ward's political agenda affirms the lives of our middle and low income residents have the support to afford to stay in Evanston."
Setting the stage for our lives.
The 2nd Ward has a rich history of affordability, but over the last two decades, homes for working-class and low-income families have significantly decreased. Subsequently, rents have surged, making it almost impossible for residents to become first-time home buyers. Real estate development and gentrification patterns threaten affordability, housing mobility, and racial justice. As elected alderwoman, Darlene commits to equity-focused community development that increases low-income and equitable housing resources. Through community collaboration, a needs-assessment data collection, and rigorous housing policy research, we can ensure the 2nd Ward is developed without displacement. Together we can transform housing opportunities to ensure progressive policies are rooted in racial and economical justice.
Click to learn about housing priorities and supporting policies:
COMMUNITY SAFETY AND CARE
Nationally, political movements have exposed the systemic ways in which the lives of Black, Indigenous and people of color (BIPOC) are under constant threat.
As we find ourselves closer to a post-COVID environment, and the looming recession, Darlene understands that these factors can contribute to to instability for people and that we need to address root causes
This campaign is committed to understanding all the ways in which city policy, education and community oversight can enhance the way we build solidarity and strong neighborhoods.
Click to learn about creating safe communities:
CLIMATE JUSTICE AND SUSTAINABILITY
We have to fight climate change through scientific information, community support, corporate accountability, and prioritizing those systematically most impacted by our current climate crisis.
Climate change is not just an environmental issue; we must look at solutions through an equity lens.
Ways to help create a greener Evanston:
Support Evanston’s Climate Action and Resilience Plan (CARP) which calls for zero carbon/zero waste by 2050
Prioritize the expansion of green initiatives through corporate tax
Create Alternate Retail Electric Supplier (ARES), a publicly owned energy utility
Create high paying jobs that would result in a mass expansion of renewable energy (e.g., solar installation)
Ensure all existing city buildings meet high-performance renewable standards
Provide incentives for green community practices
Prioritize residential weatherization grants and training for low-income and minority families
STRONG LOCAL ECONOMY
Our current pandemic conditions have created mass unemployment and harmed local business across the country. This reality is amid an economic system that unjustly favors the rich and wealthy.
We have to improve our municipal capacity through innovative partnerships and bold initiatives that protect workers and the environment.
It's time we address corporate loopholes and create ordinances that protect workers and business owners to ensure we are working against the racial wealth gap in this country.
From Recovery to Resilience:
Work to understand the direct implications of COVID-19 on local and small businesses
Work with council members to advocate for small business grants and zero interest loans
Support workers' fight for fair and livable wages
Support efforts that would defer or forgive business rent payments, payroll expenses and sales taxes, and overhead costs until business stabilizes
Collaborate with local Black and women led business development committees to foster a robust business equity initiative
Fair Share Northwestern Partnership
Evanston and Northwestern University have a historical and symbolic relationship. Evanston is proud to have the prestige of Northwestern; it's one of the best private higher Ed. institutions in the country, it's also one of the richest. Northwestern has over an 11 billion dollar endowment.
Nationally, college towns are looking to universities to step into financial positions to become fair share partners. But what does fair share does this look like?
This idea will builds on the previous efforts to ensure NU a fair share partner, and expand the number of similar legislation that exist across the country.
Fair Share Quick Facts: