Policy Issues

Theresa Siaw for 26th Ward Alderman


Keeping our Neighborhoods Affordable and Accessible for our Neighbors

Theresa is committed to ensuring that we preserve the diversity and character that makes our ward a great place to live, work, and raise a family.  Her building and zoning policy will protect family-sized living spaces that accommodate lower income families and people with disabilities. 

We must also work to make sure that development doesn’t mean displacement -- as it has for too long in our community. Pricing current residents out of our ward makes it less hospitable and less diverse – and that impacts us all. Theresa is committed to increasing community input in all building and zoning issues in our ward.

Supporting Local Business

As a businesswoman and entrepreneur, Theresa understands the challenges small businesses face. She knows that they are vital to the health and character of our neighborhoods.  Theresa will use her expertise to create a much-needed comprehensive economic development plan for the ward which encourages small businesses to fill vacant store fronts in our community and provides support to help them grow.


An Education our Children Deserve

Theresa believes that, for too long, the Chicago school system has not given neighborhood children the education or skills they need to fully compete in the 21st century economy.  She has long been an advocate for our neighborhood schools and her work has helped fund an innovative after-school program at Clemente High School.  This program provides recreational and educational opportunities that would otherwise be unavailable to neighborhood children.  These types of programs should be at every school in our ward, and every school in our city.

Theresa also believes strongly in an elected school board.  It is completely unfair to deny Chicago residents an opportunity to choose who governs our multi-billion dollar school system; a system which impacts the lives of so many families.  In the mid-1990s when elites took away Chicago voters’ right to elect their school board, they promised to put “professionals in charge of education.” Instead we got a Chicago Public Schools leadership that has been involved in scandal after scandal and our children keep suffering as a result.  Theresa will be the City Council’s top champion for an elected school board with real powers.


Common Sense Strategies to Make our Streets Safer

Currently, nine out of 10 violent carjackings on our streets go unsolved.  These crimes have a domino effect throughout our community. These stolen cars are often used to commit additional crimes such as smash-and-grab robberies and home burglaries.  Current efforts to increase penalties for these crimes are a step in the right direction.  But if we are not catching the perpetrators, increased penalties will not be effective. 

Theresa is studying the law enforcement tools that have been effective in other major cities in reducing carjacking and will fight to increase the number of officers on our neighborhood streets. 

As an activist who has built strong, long-lasting diverse partnerships in our community, Theresa will work for all of us to improve the relationship between residents and local police.  She will fight for police reform which respects the contributions of the vast majority of officers who risk their lives to protect us, but ensures that police who abuse residents are removed.

As a city, we can afford to hire more police to protect our streets if taxpayers do not have to pay out million dollar settlements related to police abuses.  Theresa has the experience and deep relationships in our ward to facilitate better relationships between police and residents.


Repairing our Infrastructure and Making our Community More Sustainable

Theresa is committed to working with business leaders and residents to make sure that we invest in sustainable, green infrastructure improvements that keep our schools safe, our water clean, and our roads, sidewalks, and parks in good condition. 

Theresa will identify and assess areas of our ward that are putting our residents at risk; areas that are environmental or public safety hazards.  She will create a priority list of infrastructure needs and ensure that work begins on projects which have been ignored for years.