About the 26th Ward
The vibrant communities and distinct neighborhoods that make up the cultural mosaic of the 26th Ward have been part of Chicago since its founding in 1869 when the city annexed farm and prairie land just outside of the then city limits. Our working-class, blue collar roots and sensibilities are the result of the influence of the thousands of early residents who immigrated from Italy, Germany, Poland, Ukraine and other nations to settle in the West Town and Humboldt Park areas.
Over the years, the make-up of our communities further diversified as the development of the highway system in the 1950’s led to major shifts in demographics drawing long-term Chicago residents to other areas of Chicago and surrounding suburbs. At the same time, the United States economy was booming, which led to an explosion of immigration into the U.S. from Latin America. In fact, Puerto Rican migration in the1950’s was the first great airborne migration in U.S. history. During the 1960’s, the Humboldt Park area of the ward saw a change in its composition as Puerto Rican families started moving from Puerto Rico and other Chicago neighborhoods to establish the cultural identity that the community currently holds. As we entered a new century, thanks to easy accessibility to the Loop and its concentration of employers, West Town became a “hot” neighborhood for professionals and families who wanted to live in an affordable and attractive area of the city dotted with beautiful parks, access to public transportation and a true neighborhood atmosphere.
While the 26th Ward has evolved — welcoming activists, artists, cultural and business leaders — many families, like David Herrera’s, have called the 26th Ward home for multiple generations. Although our community has experienced increasing popularity with individuals and families seeking to live and raise families in the 26th Ward, our political leaders have been complacent with living in the past. They have deliberately stifled reasonable economic development and allowed educational and employment options for our citizens to be diminished.
As our community inevitably evolves with the times, we deserve a leader with the expertise, drive and commitment to our Ward who will navigate these economic shifts and advocate for our community, ensuring the 26th ward continues to grow and thrive with a focus on the quality education, housing, employment opportunities and public safety we deserve.
With a new generation of home-grown leadership — led by David Herrera — the 26th Ward can write a new chapter in its history of optimism and opportunities for all residents.