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Troy Hernandez is a lifelong Chicagoland resident that has lived in Pilsen and Little Italy for almost 2 decades. He has degrees in mathematics, philosophy, game theory and a PhD in statistics from UIC. He works as a data scientist and solution engineer for IBM. He is a volunteer director of the Pilsen Environmental Rights and Reform Organization (P.E.R.R.O.) He served two 2-year terms as a community representative (2 years as secretary) on the Pilsen Community Academy Local School Council (2014-2018). He is also an organizer for the Chicago R User Group.
He organized a distribution of 300 lead water filters to families affected by water meter installations and water main replacements in Pilsen. This work showed him that political leaders can make disastrous mistakes in our water infrastructure for political expediency and that a small, committed group of people can force leaders to change policy. Now he hopes to address some of the challenges with our waste water.
Troy has been fighting the corrupt pay-to-play culture in Chicago’s 25th Ward for the last decade. He will bring this fight to the MWRD. His statistical and technical skills will not only be used to update the MWRD’s data and science culture, but will be used to ensure that our tax dollars are used to advance the interests of residents and not campaign contributors.
Tammie Vinson has been a West Side native her entire life. An Austin resident (28th Ward), she teaches in the Chicago Public School system and is a member of the Chicago Teacher’s Union and a co-chair of CORE, the Caucus of Rank-and-File Educators.
Her work in the public schools and in community organizations like Action Now and More Than a Score have shown Tammie how unresponsive our government can be to citizen action, even on the most basic of needs. As an educator, she wants to strengthen the MWRD’s outreach mission and to make citizens more aware of the services available to them, and the resources that the MWRD should be bringing to bear in their communities.
If elected, Tammie would be a voice for everyday citizens and their concerns: flood abatement, property values, and local hiring and contracting when there’s work to be done. She brings an extensive municipal management skillset from her work within the public school system and the CTU, and her tireless dedication to local, door-to-door community outreach will make her a needed point of accessibility on the MWRD Board of Directors for Chicago’s West Side residents.
Rachel Wales is an Oak Lawn resident, and grew up in the far northwest suburbs of Chicago.
Rachel brings a strong background in environmental sciences to the campaign, including experience with the Illinois Department of Natural Resources and multiple garden and recreation agencies. She currently works as a humane farming advisor and a freelance writer for the non-profit Crate Free Illinois.
A longtime environmental justice and animal rights advocate, Rachel was involved in the campaign to close the Fisk and Crawford coal plants in Pilsen/Little Village. She also helped Illinois pass its first-in-the-nation ban on circus elephants.
As a member of the MWRD Board of Commissioners, Rachel will fight to prioritize the cleanup of Chicago’s most-polluted waterways, especially in underserved communities, and will work with other government agencies and non-profits to help prioritize green infrastructure installment across the county.