Don Gordon enters 49th Ward aldermanic race

Long-time Rogers Park resident Don Gordon has become the third candidate to challenge incumbent Ald. Joe Moore for his 49th Ward seat.

Gordon, executive director of the Rogers Park Conservancy, last year won the Friends of the Parks Community Advocacy Award for work done to raise awareness about now defeated plans to build a marina on the lakefront. He readily acknowledges that it took large numbers of volunteers to win this victory.

'I only accepted the award,' he said.

To date Gordon has held two fundraisers, one complete with a French chef and one an open house for residents of the neighborhood. Gordon says both were successful.

'We had a full house both days.'

Though a resident of the 49th Ward for 30 years, he chose not to run for alderman until now because of family obligations. But now his children are grown and he felt it was the right time. Gordon does believe Joe Moore tried.

'His heart is in the right place, but he's not getting the job done. At what point do you say you've failed?'

Gordon wants to focus on quality of life issues, of which there are many. He lists affordable housing, poor management of large apartment buildings, lack of any type of reliable development of commercial strips, poor performance of schools, poverty, safety in the streets and a lack of programs for teenagers.

He thinks that the persistent problems that have plagued the area for the last decade show that it's time to find new solutions to the neighborhood's problems. It bothers him that Moore concerns himself with national issues.

'If we were living in Sauganash you could afford to look at Iraq, but we're not. The alderman gets paid to focus on the community.'