LOGAN SQUARE — The next aldermanic election isn’t until next year, but a Logan Square ward is already seeing some drama.
Last week, someone claiming to be Logan Square Preservation’s longtime president Andrew Schneider declared his candidacy for 35th Ward alderman, while also disparaging current 35th Ward Ald. Carlos Ramirez-Rosa, in an email to local reporters and neighbors.
But the email was a fake. Schneider said he’s not running for 35th Ward alderman and he supports Ramirez-Rosa.
This is the second time someone has pretended to be Schneider in an email to neighbors. Last year, a Schneider impersonator emailed members of Logan Square Preservation, urging the removal of Logan Square bike lanes.
“This email is the second time in less than a year of someone claiming to be me, and making clearly false statements that neither I nor Logan Square Preservation support,” Schneider said in a written statement.
“In actual fact, I am a supporter of Alderman Rosa and he’s been an important partner in our work. Any claims to the contrary are absurd.”
The email was sent last Thursday to more than 50 local reporters and neighbors from an email address made to look like Schneider’s. It started with a fake resignation letter from Logan Square Preservation, an influential neighborhood organization Schneider has helmed for a decade.
“It is with a heavy heart, and much excitement, that I announce that I am stepping down as president of Logan Square Preservation,” the email reads. “My political ambitions have gotten the best of me. After contemplating this big decision, I have decided to announce my candidacy for 35th Ward alderman.”
The author then laid into Ramirez-Rosa, attacking him for his support of the Defund The Police movement and his record on affordable housing, among other things, while also pledging to run the ward differently.
The 35th Ward currently includes parts of Logan Square, Hermosa, Avondale, Irving Park, and Albany Park. But its boundaries are about to change with the city’s new ward map.
Ramirez-Rosa, a Democratic Socialist who has held office since 2015, issued the following statement in response to the email: “I’m disappointed someone would stoop to this level, pushing a fake email that steals someone’s identity and is full of misinformation.”
Founded in the 1980s, Logan Square Preservation is a nonprofit dedicated to the preservation and beautification of Logan Square. The group’s volunteer members get a say in what developments get approved in the neighborhood. They also plant trees and work to save historical structures and relics.
As Logan Square has gentrified and the neighborhood has attracted more development and attention, Logan Square Preservation has seen an increase in interest and conflict.
Schneider was re-elected president in 2019 in the most contested race since the neighborhood group’s founding.
Last fall, someone claiming to be Schneider emailed members of the group, denouncing the bike lanes installed along Logan Boulevard. The lanes were installed not long after “School of Rock” actor and drummer Kevin Clark, 32, was killed while riding a bicycle at a Logan Boulevard intersection.
“We have received reports of dangerous driving and near-miss accidents because of the positioning of the barricades,” the email reads. “WE DO NOT WANT SOMEONE TO GET KILLED! They need to be REMOVED NOW before someone gets hurt!!”
That email was also a fake.
Schneider said he’s frustrated an anonymous critic is continuing to spread lies about him.
“If the author of the fake email wanted to engage in public discourse they should have signed their own name. Instead, it is one more example of a cowardly troll hiding behind a veil of anonymity,” he said in a statement.
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