NORWOOD PARK — Those running to be the next alderman of the 41st Ward will share their campaign platform and what they want to bring to the Far Northwest Side at a community meeting this week.
Ald. Anthony Napolitano (41st) and his challenger, Paul Struebing, will speak at a community meeting hosted by the Big Oaks-Union Ridge Neighborhood Association 7 p.m. Thursday at St. Monica’s Beyenka Hall, 5115 N. Mont Clare Ave.
Other guest speakers also include 16th Police District Commander Heather Daniel; Julia Smolka, an estate planning attorney at Robbins DiMonte Lawfirm in Park Ridge; and Bonnie Cameron, new business owner of Bonni’s Pizzas and Subs at 7009 W. Higgins Ave., according to the event flyer.
Napolitano, a former police officer and firefighter, was elected in 2015. A lifelong resident of the ward, he is seeking his third term.
In a previous statement, Napolitano said he’s proud of helping the 16th District get its first Strategic Decision Support Center, which combines crime analytics, real-time camera footage and technology with experts and other district resources to reduce crime and stay on top of trends.
Napolitano also touted accomplishments such as fighting for more police officers in the 16th District and supporting ordinances that provide more resources to officers amid staffing shortages and increased suicides.
If reelected, Napolitano hopes to focus more on public safety and will stand up for police and firefighters, he said.
“I will oppose unwanted high-density residential developments and maintain the character of our single-family home neighborhoods,” Napolitano said. “I will vote against irresponsible budgets that include historic property tax increases.”
Struebing, a community representative on the Ebinger Elementary School Local School Council, grew up in suburban Arlington Heights and moved to Edison Park in 2018 with his wife. His family has ties to the neighborhood that span decades, and some still live in the ward, he previously told Block Club.
Struebing also serves as the vice president of the Edison Park Community Council, which engages neighbors on civic and social issues facing the area, according to its website.
Struebing is focusing his campaign on public safety issues like pushing for the city to hire more police officers and detectives, creating safer streets and calming traffic on busy roads such as Northwest Highway and Touhy Avenue, which have seen numerous crashes and deaths.
A change in leadership would also help the ward better support its many city workers, he said.
“The people who live up here do a lot of work for the city,” Struebing said. “They should get out of city government what they put into it.”
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