CHICAGO — Aldermanic candidate Jessica Gutierrez filed a police report on Monday after a supporter of her opponent — incumbent Ald. Ariel Reboyras (3oth) — filmed the inside of her apartment and posted the video, and her address, on Facebook.
Gutierrez said she has lived in her home for nearly two years and was “completely distressed” by the incident.
“I’m really shaken up,” she said.
In an effort to question whether or not Gutierrez actually lives in the 30th Ward, a man named Esteban Burgoa filmed a 19-minute Facebook Live video in which he filmed himself walking up to the window of the 31-year-old’s garden apartment, saying he “happened to find” himself in the area.
Holding the camera to the apartment window, Burgoa said she “has spiderwebs in her window,” and continued to claim that she does not actually live in the apartment.
Gutierrez plans to filed a restraining order against Burgoa, she said.
To add insult to injury, she said, Reboyras condoned Burgoa’s behavior by sharing the video.
About four hours after Burgoa started broadcasting the Facebook Live, the official Citizens for Ariel E. Reboyras Facebook page shared the video in a post, referring to Burgoa as “one of our supporters.”
In the post, Reboyras’ campaign described Gutierrez’s apartment as having “no sign of life.”
“Does she even live in the 30th Ward?” the post said.
That Facebook post has since been deleted, though Block Club Chicago obtained a screenshot of the post.
In a phone interview on Monday, Reboyras told Block Club he initially had no idea what happened and did not know who posted the video.
“I’m not everywhere. I’m not in the area. I’m just the candidate,” he said.
When asked if he knew Burgoa personally, however, the alderman responded he did.
“If he’s out there talking about an issue, a problem, then more than likely it’s true,” he said. “He knows the Gutierrez dad very well.”
Gutierrez said Burgoa has threatened her father, former U.S. Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-4th), in the past.
Several women slammed Reboyras for condoning “creepy” behavior in the comments section of his campaign’s Facebook post.
“That is incredibly disturbing and creepy that you had someone check out where she lives!!” one woman wrote. “Beyond disgusted by this! You aren’t getting my vote.”
The Reboyras campaign followed up with a Sunday post in which the camp continued to question Gutierrez’s residency.
Even if Reboyras didn’t send Burgoa to her house, condoning the man’s behavior is still troubling, Gutierrez said.
“Instead of apologizing for promoting dangerous and unprofessional behavior, he doubles down,” she said. “For an alderman who is the chairman of public safety to invade my safety and to harm me, what does that say about him as a leader?”
Reboyras was first elected in 2003 and is currently the chairman of the Public Safety Committee. He has closely aligned himself with policing groups and has voted with outgoing Mayor Rahm Emanuel more than 96 percent of the time.
Gutierrez told Block Club she has lived in her garden apartment for about a year and a half.
She loves her neighborhood, but this isn’t the first time she’s felt unsafe. At night, she often has to park a few blocks from her front door.
“I’m constantly running home,” she said. “I look like this little short thing running. I’m scared.”
She said it was sexist for Burgoa to insinuate that a few dirty dishes and cobwebs made her less of a woman or unfit to serve in public office.
“The living room is where my window is,” she said. “(Now), I don’t want to be in my living room.”
That sexism, she said, falls in line with what she’s experienced from Reboyras during the race.
Last week, some voters were sent a text that read, “Jessica Gutierrez’s daddy is trying to buy this election. Tell them we aren’t for sale! Re-elect Reboyras today!”
Gutierrez told the Sun-Times the “daddy” language is another example of Reboyras showing “contempt” for young women running for office.
When she filed her police report Sunday, she told officers she and her neighbors had noticed Burgoa standing on her block for the last few weeks.
One of the two male officers questioning her said Burgoa may have been “just standing there,” Gutierrez said.
“I said, ‘With all due respect officer, that’s how it starts — with somebody ‘just standing there,'” she said. “[The officers] were super kind. He said, ‘You’re right.'”
While her campaign office has been “flooded” with support from voters, Gutierrez knows that there are still some who do not believe she actually lives in the 30th Ward.
For that, she said, the incident has given her more insight into how women who are victims of violence feel — when they are forced to repeat their stories over and over again in hopes people will believe them.
That only makes her more determined to win Tuesday.
“This is my life,” she said. “This is going to be the rest of my life. It’s not going to end tomorrow … [Women] have shattered glass ceilings, and there’s so much change happening. But this is still well and alive in 2019.”
The majority-Hispanic 30th Ward includes all or parts of Irving Park, Hermosa, Portage Park and Belmont Cragin.
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