Meet the Candidates: City Council, 29th Ward

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Deborah Graham
Current Alderman of the 29th Ward, Seeking Re-Election

Deborah Graham is the current alderman of the 29th Ward. She was appointed to represent the ward in 2010. Prior to her appointment, Graham served in the Illinois General Assembly for four terms. She is also a lifelong resident of the Austin neighborhood on the city’s West Side. She is a 16 year survivor of domestic violence and worked as a case manager at Inner Voice before going into politics.

Lawrence Andolino

Lawrence Andolino is a lifelong resident of the 29th Ward. He has served on the Sayre Language Academy, and was instrumental in having Sayre re-establish itself as a community school from a magnet school. He has been recognized by City Council and the Chicago Police Department for his work to keep the neighborhood safe.

Bob Galhotra

Bob Galhotra grew up in the Austin neighborhood, attending Byford Elementary and eventually graduating from Lane Tech High School. He is a graduate of the Illinois Institute of Technology and earned his law degree from the Kent College of Law soon after. Bob served as the president of the Cook County Public Defenders Association for over 10 years. He was inspired to run for alderman after a campaign for State Senate opened his eyes to many problems in the community.

Chris Taliaferro

Chris Taliaferro was born in Virginia, but moved to Chicago after joining the U.S. Marine Corps and taking an assignment in the city. He served as a deputy sheriff of court services with the Cook County Sheriff’s Department before joining the Chicago Police Department.Taliaferro went back to school and eventually graduated with a law degree from the John Marshall Law School. He is a founding partner at the Nexus Legal Group, P.C. He also serves on the Executive Board of Directors of the Northwest Side Community Coalition.

LaCoulton Walls

LaCoulton is an attorney who has lived on Chicago’s West Side for nearly 40 years. He began his career as a law student interning at the Chicago Housing Authority’s Law Department. He joined Mayor Richard M. Daley’s staff as an Administrative Assistant in Programs and Policy in the area of public safety. LaCoulton has taught Business Law  at Triton Community College in River Grove and volunteered on the campaigns of Danny Davis and Barack Obama.

Zerlina Smith

Zerlina Smith grew up on the West Side and lived for a time in the Cabrini Green Housing Complex. She has worked in the corporate world as a district manager for two fast food companies. Smith has owned her own cosmetology business and now lives in the Austin neighborhood. She is a member of Action Now and has served as the Chair of the Head Start Policy Committee in Chicago Public Schools.

Oddis OJ Johnson

No information about this candidate is available.

Stephen Robinson

No information about this candidate is available.

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