Meet the candidates: City Council, 45th Ward

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John Garrido


Born in Chicago in 1967 and raised in Hanover Park, John Garrido has lived in the 45th Ward for more than 13 years. Garrido joined the Chicago Police Department in 1991. If elected alderman, Garrido aims to create a safer community, spend money based on community input, and create a transparent process for zoning decisions.


John Arena


John Arena is running for his second term as alderman of the 45th Ward after being elected in 2011, and has lived in Portage Park for 20 years with his family. He has a degree from Northern Illinois University and served twice as vice president of the Portage Park Neighborhood Association. As alderman, Arena has created an open and accessible ward office, promoted economic development, and created infrastructure improvements.


Michelle R. Baert


Michelle Baert has been a resident of the 45th Ward for the past 13 years. After graduating from Purdue University, Baert spent several years as a marketing executive in the film industry. Upon returning to Chicago, she created a blog with key information for mothers in the 45th district. If elected alderman, Baert aims to put families and the community first while creating economic and job development.


Michael S. Diaz


A native of Humboldt Park, Michael S. Diaz has lived all across Chicago: Logan Square, Bridgeport and Roscoe Village. Diaz graduated from the University of Illinois, before graduating from Loyola University Chicago Law School. Diaz works as an attorney at the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation in the Division of Banking. If elected, Diaz aims to create an open dialogue with the mayor in order to bring important issues to the table.

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