Ana Guajardo, candidate for 10th Ward alderperson, speaks during a press conference at City Hall where Rep. Jesus “Chuy” García endorsed a handful of progressive Latino candidates on Sept. 7, 2022. Credit: Colin Boyle/Block Club Chicago

EAST SIDE — The co-founder of a Southeast Side organization that advocates for immigrant workers’ rights and needs will enter the race to represent the 10th Ward in City Council, she announced Wednesday.

Ana Guajardo, who co-founded the Centro de Trabajadores Unidos or the United Workers’ Center in East Side, will run to replace Ald. Susan Sadlowski Garza (10th).

“What we want is simple: fully funded schools with equal resources regardless of our ZIP code,” Guajardo said. “We want fair property taxes. We want union jobs. We want to ensure that there’s no harassment or exploitation in the workplace [or] union busting.

“We want modern infrastructure in our communities. We want clean air, clean water. We want modern institutions — parks, libraries and schools. We want communities free from hate, bigotry and division.”

Guajardo announced her campaign at a rally hosted by Rep. Jesús “Chuy” García, who endorsed her and several other city-level candidates Wednesday.

Guajardo’s announcement comes two days after Sadlowski Garza said she won’t seek reelection after two terms representing the Southeast Side ward.

“Since 2015, alderperson Sue Garza has used her position to unapologetically advocate for working families,” García said. “She will be sorely missed in the City Council.

“However, I am happy and proud to announce my endorsement of a longtime good friend and ally to the movement, Ana Guajardo. She too shares that commitment to advocate for working families.”

Guajardo is the daughter of undocumented immigrants who settled on the South Side and received amnesty from the federal government, she said. Her father worked in the Southeast Side’s steel mills.

Guajardo served in the Army National Guard and is a doctoral candidate. The 10th Ward campaign “will be a continuation of the advocacy and fight for justice that has consumed my entire life,” she said.

Guajardo is the second person to enter the 10th Ward race and the first since Sadlowski Garza announced her intent to step down.

Community organizer and General Iron hunger striker Óscar Sanchez announced his bid for City Council last month.

Guajardo completed a 1,600-mile, month-long Bike for Justice bicycle ride from Monterrey, Mexico, to the Southeast Side this summer.

The ride raised funds to build a community center at a site donated to the Centro de Trabajadores Unidos “many years ago,” Guajardo told WGN in July. The organization aims to complete the center by the end of the year, she said.

“We need to bring more attention and awareness particularly to the Southeast Side of Chicago, which is an area that’s … underrepresented by the entire city of Chicago,” Guajardo said in July. “This ride is very important for me because it’s an opportunity to demonstrate that there’s still life in the Southeast Side of Chicago.”

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