Gilbert Villegas’ Vision for the 36th Ward

Keep our Streets Safe

Keeping our streets safe is such a priority for Gilbert that he intends to monitor safety on a 24 hour, 7 days per week basis. Should a problem arise, Gilbert will be present and informed. His office will investigate problems in the Ward and work diligently to create solutions. Gilbert believes that families in all neighborhoods should live in safe environments. Its residents should have a leader who works on their behalf to keep the streets safe.

As Alderman, Gilbert will:

  • Work to hire police officers and bring more police to our beats
  • Take a lead in bringing together CAPS, 25th District Police and residents to work together
  • Use his office as a headquarters for an organized Neighborhood Watch program
  • Prioritize resources that keep youth involved in positive activities

Protect our Seniors and Retired Workers

Seniors look to Aldermanic offices for support and resources. Gilbert will leverage his position as Alderman to connect seniors with the resources and advocacy they need and will make the 36th Ward office feel like a second home to them.

As Alderman, Gilbert will:

  • Create a resource center that connects services to our aging residents
  • Assign a point person on his staff to serve as a Liaison between the 36th Ward and its senior citizens
  • Create a bridge between 36th Ward seniors and his priority to keep our streets safe

Improve our Children’s Education

Gilbert supports neighborhood schools. Currently, our schools are overcrowded and more often than not, students need to meet stringent requirements to gain entry into a good school.  Other students rely on chance to gain entry into particular schools that participate in a lottery process.  Gilbert believes that every child should have the same opportunity when it comes to their education.

As Alderman, Gilbert will:

  • Fight to strengthen our neighborhood schools
  • Work with school officials to ensure that we have a better enrollment/selection process, qualified teachers and forums for parents to share their concerns and ideas
  • Participate in Local School Councils meetings

Fight for More City Services

Gilbert will be a champion for the 36th Ward in City Hall. He will ensure that our Ward is funded as well as any other City Ward. He will attend all City Council and Committee meetings and take advantage of every opportunity to leverage more resources for the 36th Ward.

As Alderman, Gilbert will:

  • Advocate for more monies to repair potholes, sidewalks, lights and remove graffiti
  • Listen to residents’ concerns and make decisions based on their needs
  • Create an internal database to track 36 th Ward city service request

Attract Businesses and Creating Job Growth

Gilbert is a well-known advocate for small businesses and has helped create legislation that opens up opportunity to them. He has helped pass legislation that encourages the State to increase women-owned business participation. His experience will be a valuable asset as he advocates for our local business base and encourages new businesses to move to the 36th Ward. Gilbert believes that in order to gain recognition as a Ward where people want to live or visit, we must first improve our economic health.

As Alderman, Gilbert will:

  • Look into all our major business thoroughfares and create a plan to revitalize those that are struggling
  • Use his office as a conduit between residents seeking employment and local businesses that are hiring
  • Have a business-friendly office that encourages entrepreneurism in the 36th Ward
  • Provide opportunities for the establishment of new businesses in our neighborhoods
  • Launch the 36th Ward Business Committee to better assess the needs of our business community and to create better partnerships

Demand Transparency and Ethics Reform

Gilbert will ensure that our residents are represented with accountability and transparency. The activities of the 36th Ward office will be accessible to all residents. Gilbert will push for continued ethics reform.

As Alderman, Gilbert will:

  • Create a “Traveling Ward Office” where he will conduct Ward Night meetings in your neighborhood
  • Create an up-to-date 36th Ward website with information on all activities taking place in the Ward and a notice of any decisions that need to be mad e.

Develop our Youth

Gilbert will donate part of his Aldermanic salary to establish scholarships that will go to the young residents in the 36th Ward. Gilbert understands that our youth need to be engaged with alternatives and activities and will promote programs that engage youth in entrepreneurism and civic duty.

As Alderman, Gilbert will:

  • Open up opportunities to involve our youth in City, County & State programs
  • Engage our youth in Ward activities that will also improve the 36th Ward
  • Create a scholarship foundation to raise funds for 36th Ward students seeking to attend college or trade school
  • Partner with building trades and vocational schools within the 36th Ward to create a pipeline of trained individuals
  • Re-purpose our current library as an activity center for our youth and fight for another needed library in our Ward

Reduce Foreclosures

The foreclosure crisis greatly has impacted the 36th Ward. Gilbert will work diligently to help keep residents in their homes.

As Alderman, Gilbert will:

  • Create partnerships with community agencies to provide assistance to residents who face the loss of their homes
  • Stand up to banks and mortgage lenders that offer no assistance to families in crisis
  • Protect our seniors who are especially vulnerable to foreclosure

Stand up for our Veterans

The 36th Ward is home to many of our finest veterans. As a Marine, Gilbert is concerned that our veterans are not connected to the resources they need and deserve.

As Alderman, Gilbert will:

  • Train his staff to understand resources that are available for veterans at the City, County, State and Federal level
  • Engage veterans in local activities
  • Advocate for veterans issues at City Hall
  • Fight for much needed resources to upgrade the Montclare Leyden VFW, Post 1284

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