Northwest Republicans open base for political change
The Northwest Side GOP Club has built a base from which to go after Democratic domination in the city: a new downtown office that it will share with Niles Township GOP members and from which conservative candidates in state and local elections can launch their campaigns.
"Chicago has historically always been a really Democratic city, but we're starting to see more of an opportunity to level the playing field," Matt Podgorski, committeeman for the 39th Ward told DNAinfo Chicago, a neighborhood-oriented publication, last fall.
Founded in August 2016, the NWS Club brings together a group of Republicans in Chicago’s 39th, 45th, 38th and 41st wards. Joe Hedrick of Morton Grove heads the Niles Township Republicans, which until now has operated out of the Skokie area.
"I am thrilled to open our new office and look forward to working with County GOP Chairman Sean Morrison on organizing and firing up our base of supporters heading into the critical 2018 elections," Podgorski said.
He described the organization’s goals as including strengthening conservative unity and putting “precinct captains” in all four wards.
NWS GOP members have begun plans to defeat Democrat/Socialist 45th Ward Alderman John Arena, who made headlines by advocating for large-scale development of a rental building in the Jefferson Park area, alarming residents about the prospect of mixed-income housing, according to ABC-7 Chicago. Objections were related not to housing values per se, but rather the structural inappropriateness of the project and its impact on resources.
“[M]any believe the proposed project is too tall and big for the neighborhood, and they are concerned about the impact on schools that are already overcrowded,” ABC News said in early February.
Podgorski said there’s a clear need to make a change in local government.
"There are a lot of folks out there who want less government control, lower taxes and less wasteful spending,” Podgorski told DNAinfo. “If we can take baby steps and win over even 4 or 5 percent of people out there, we can get a lot more people engaged."
The new office is located at 6122 N. Milwaukee Ave., outside of the neighboring 41st and 45th wards.
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Jefferson Park, Chicago, IL, United States