Martwick opponent talks campaign, hears concerns in neighborhood walks
Amelia Kessem has taken her campaign to unseat Rep. Robert Martwick (D-Chicago) to the streets of Chicago.
Kessem, who has lived in the city all her life, has been with the Chicago Police Department since 1999, so is no stranger to neighborhoods like Dunning, Norwood Park and Wildwood, where she responds to calls with a tactical team handling various theft cases.
She's still doing all that, but is also talking to residents about her campaign and their concerns.
“Over and over again, I am hearing from the constituents in District 19 that their number one concern is all of these taxes,” Kessem told Chicago City Wire. “People have hit their breaking point.”
Kessem said she has done quite a bit of walking recently in two local areas: Harwood Heights and Martwick’s own neighborhood. She walked with newly appointed Norwood Park Township Republican Committeeman Anthony Beckman and two other local precinct committeemen.
“Again, I heard the same issue come up over and over: too many taxes with nothing to show for it," she said. "Most of these individuals knew that Robert Martwick voted in favor raising taxes, and that does not sit well with them.”
Kessem said she got two full pages of petitions during two hours of canvassing.
She's also been speaking at local events, including a Cook County Republican committeemen quarterly meeting and a meeting of the Norwood Park Township Republican Women's Association.
“At these events, I talked about how my opponent has refused over and over again to truly represent the people of the 19th District,” Kessem said. “The fact that he refuses to take a stand against 5150 as well as voting to increase the income taxes after his constituents have begged and pleaded with him – that is why I decided to run. The people deserve to have a representative who actually represents them.”
Kessem explained that many residents are opposed to a new major building project at 5150 N. Northwest Highway, which she says her opponent has had some involvement with.
Besides her recent community involvement, Kessem also attended the Gold Star Memorial Candlelight Vigil to honor officers lost in the line of duty and the Brotherhood of the Fallen Blue Tie Gala Fundraiser.
“Too many media outlets are painting (police) in a negative light these days,” Kessem said.
Kessem said that the fact that she is a union member and generally pro-union leads to some bipartisan support in her coverage areas. For now, she will keep patrolling while working toward a new role in public office.