Labor and education activist and out gay man David Mihalyfy entered the 11th Ward aldermanic race on March 23. For his debut event, a group of early supporters leafletted voting households in 15 of 38 precincts as his website and Facebook page went live.
Aiming for the seat currently held by first-term alderman Patrick Daley Thompson, Mihalyfy is running on a platform of expanded economic and community development under the slogan "Let Our Light Shine."
Mihalyfy's proposed policies include a home solar energy program to reduce cost of living, create jobs and spur local business; advocacy for a newly built neighborhood CPS high school serving Chinatown and Bridgeport; a large-scale Chicago flag-themed youth mural project; and renovation of the shuttered Ramova Theater as a non-profit move house serving the community with kids movies, recent blockbusters and films in languages like Chinese and Spanish.
In his first quarter of fundraising, his candidate committee "Friends of Mihalyfy" received more than 165 small donations and reported more than $8,200 cash on hand.
He has also signed the Illinois State Board of Elections' Code of Fair Campaign Practices, becoming the first 11th Ward aldermanic candidate ever to do so.
A current SEIU HCII member working in home healthcare and elder care, Mihalyfy has participated in many unionization drives, including two recent campaigns that brought 2,500+ workers into AFT-IFT and 200+ workers into Teamsters Local 743. As part of an ongoing SEIU Local 73 unionization campaign, he also gave testimony before Chicago City Council's Education Committee and helped obtain a unanimous resolution in favor of the unionization of contingent instructors at Chicagoland's private colleges and universities.
As a freelance writer on higher education's accessibility crisis, Mihalyfy has fought the bureaucratic waste causing student debt. Most notably, his financial investigative reporting about his then-employer the University of Chicago alleges that eight high-level administrators took more than $7.6 million in raises over five years, even as the school moved toward and received a credit downgrade. Mihalyfy's research informed Crain's Chicago Business coverage probing the school's financial management.