Some say that you cannot fight city hall. Megan Green is not one of them.
Despite facing defeat in her attempt to become President of the Board of Alderman, Green filled the Ready Room at 4195 Manchester Avenue with optimism as she addressed supporters gathered for her watch party.
From the start of this tightly contested race, Green has been in the thick of it, running on a platform that promised to move citizens ‘boldly forward together’ by advocating campaign reform, reforming the city’s tax system, adding living-wage jobs and having a more transparent Board of Alderman.
In a campaign filled with rhetoric and profound choices, Green’s campaign message resonated with voters like Brian Elsesser who commented on how Green’s desire to shake up the status quo energized him. “I think it’s been pretty exciting. I think it’s great when someone is speaking the truth from inside, especially the way she decided to not take money from big lobbyists. I also like the fact that she was committed to paying her campaign staff $15 an hour.”
Another ardent supporter of Green is Lori Lamprich, a committee-woman from the 25th Ward who addressed why she thought so many citizens were attracted to the campaign. “I’ve worked on a lot of campaigns, state ones and local ones, and Megan is absolutely one of most sincere people I’ve ever met in politics. It’s rare. Her heart is all in it. She wears her heart on her sleeve.”
Lamprich also believes that the results of the Aldermanic race did not signify that Green’s policies were too left leaning to attract voters. “I know people have levied that charge at her a lot, but this is a Democratic primary in an urban area. It’s really hard to be too liberal in that environment.”
Throughout her campaign, Green repeatedly challenged the establishment of city politics. Speaking to The SouthSider she discussed how her campaign has affected the Board of Alderman race. “I think it’s recognizing that we can’t be a rubber stamp board anymore. We have to be deliberative; we have to embrace good public policy. Hopefully our campaign helped to educate on what our budget priorities are so we can shift them in the future, win or lose.”
In her concession speech Green stated that tonight’s loss was not the end but the beginning. Green noted that the election turnout emphasized the number of people who feel that government does not work for them. She also cited the need to use rank-choice voting as a catalyst for change.
Resilient and determined, Green noted that she and her constituents were continuing with their work. “I need just as much energy as we put into this campaign to go into this fight because we have some major fights ahead of us.
“While we fell short tonight, the work does not end. It may be a little bit harder. It may be a little more uphill, but change won tonight. Tomorrow we have to get right back out there and protect our public assets. We have to build a city hall that works for people, and we have to make sure we are not selling out our tax base to big political donors. And we have to change our election system to allow this change to happen in the city.”