On Jan 20her 37th birthdayin her first official campaign event for the 2019 election, 49th Ward aldermanic candidate Maria Hadden packed the Rogers Park spot The Heartland Bar. While neighbors and friends either caught up or got introduced, Hadden hugged supporters, some of whom signed a giant birthday card in the back of the room.
If elected, Hadden would become Chicago's first queer Black female alderman.
A spokesperson introduced the candidate's partner and some of the 49th Ward's biggest issues: having a fully funded public school system and mental health services, affordable housing and green spaces. Natalia Vera mentioned the March to the Polls ( which took place earlier in the day ) as a show of strength. "We need someone to listen to us," Vera said, before introducing her partner, Hadden.
Saying she wanted to share a little more about herself, Hadden talked about her time in civic engagement across the city. "I really understand the nuts and bolts of how Chicago works," Hadden said, referring to work she did with aldermen around the city. She also talked about her parents: her mother instilled a sense of responsibilty in Hadden to fix problems if she was able. Hadden joked her mother thought she'd be the next Kofi Annan, former UN Secretary General. Hadden's father inspired her to fight against complacency and assumptions.
"I'm tired of having to fight for what we deserve," Hadden said, calling current leadership "complacent," adding, "I think together we're going to build a different pattern of leadership. We're going to bring community voice and choice to the 49th Ward."