The rally, organized by independent political organization United Northwest Side, will begin at 6 p.m. at 5425 W. Lawrence Ave. Constituents who say they have been harassed by Gardiner will also speak.
The neighbor group also plans to unveil its Political Harassment and Intimidation Toolkit at the rally, which outlines some of the Northwest Side’s history of elected officials and their collaborators abusing their power to retaliate against the detractors, according to the toolkit. It offers residents ways to fight back and what steps people can take.
“45th Ward Alderperson Jim Gardiner is unfit to serve,” the group said on Facebook. “His record of misogyny, intimidation and retaliation against constituents who dare to disagree with him shows that he doesn’t deserve to represent us.”
The rally comes after a tumultuous few weeks for the freshman alderman. Leaked text messages from Gardiner show he tried to get revenge on residents who criticized him, called a constituent a “c-nt” and tried to deny her city services and called a fellow alderman and a city worker “b-tch,” among other things.
Last week, Mayor Lori Lightfoot called for the city’s Office of the Inspector General to investigate Gardiner.
“No one should ever be denied access to city services because of their political opinion, whom they may have supported in an election. That’s just not how we do things,” Lightfoot said at an unrelated news conference last week. “We’re never gonna support any effort to deny people access to city services. It’s fundamental.”
Also last week, more than two dozen aldermen signed a letter condemning Gardiner for using sexist, foul language to describe colleagues and constituents in leaked texts. There has also been a formal complaint filed within the Cook County Democratic Party regarding his actions and an investigation by the inspector general of the Circuit Court Clerk’s Office is underway after allegations that is staff improperly securing court documents to retaliate against another constituent.
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