By Debbie Gordils
CHICAGO, USA — Living in Chicago and being Hispanic, makes for an interesting backdrop to Chicago-style politics.
In the last 8 years since I became involved, I have run for office twice — in 2003 for 33rd Ward Alderman against Richard Mell and again in the 2009 special election Congressional race to replace Rahm Emanual in the 5th District. Both were rewarding experiences but with many challenges.
As a single mom of two daughters, juggling my childrens’ active schedules, along with my own, was no small feat.The hours were long and the time available to get everything done was short, and at times frustrating.
My children seemed to take everything in stride. It was my opponents who proved to be more the disturbing challenge. I would spend two hours putting up signs only to have them torn down and stolen.
It seems not playing fair is part of the Chicago election way. But I didn’t become discouraged, even after someone posted a For Sale sign in front of the home I rented, or when I was falsely accused of fraudulently collecting signatures which kept me in hearings for 42 days challenging my right to be on the ballot.
I still didn’t get discouraged when I had my car followed and strange men, one of whom was an off-duty police officer, come to my home and attempt to dissuade me from running.
All of this should have discouraged me, but instead it reassured me that efforts to create a better future for my two girls and the future of others was a worthy cause.
So, I forged ahead taking on one incident at a time.
Learn about Debbie
Debbie Gordils is a single Latina mom with two daughters, one adopted and one with special needs. When she isn’t freelancing as a consultant to the Republican Party and working on Hispanic outreach in Chicago, she has run for political office.