Chicago, 15th Ward Alderman (2015-)
Chicago, 15th Ward Democratic Committeeman (2012-)
Lopez, an openly gay, 37-year-old 15th Ward Democratic Committeeman, today represents one of the newly drawn, predominantly Hispanic wards on the Southwest Side of Chicago. He made his first attempt at the seat in 2011, when he lost to incumbent Toni Foulkes in a runoff. In the 2015 election cycle, Foulkes was redistricted into and won the neighboring 16th Ward seat, while still endorsing and supporting Lopez’s opponent, Rafael Yanez, an ally of Jesus Garcia. But Lopez had support from several incumbent aldermen, including Ald. Thomas Tunney (44), Ald. Brendan Reilly (42), and neighboring Ald. Edward Burke (14), plus name recognition in the ward. As the ward’s Democratic Committeeman, Lopez had a well-established reputation for constituent services, something he says he had to develop after the ward was redistricted to include neighborhoods unfamiliar to Foulkes.
A longtime resident of the Southwest side of Chicago, Lopez grew up in Vittum Park and Sleepy Hollow. He now lives in Brighton Park with his partner and campaign manager, Hugo Orejel (now Lopez), and traces his roots in the neighborhood back to his grandparents, second-generation Mexican and Polish-Italian Americans who grew up in the ward’s Back of the Yards neighborhood. Lopez attended the University of Illinois-Chicago where he received his degree in English Literature and Political Science. Prior to public life, Lopez was a skycap at Midway Airport for Southwest Airlines. He is a member of the LGBT Caucus.
Unlike many freshman alderman, Lopez has been a vocal member of Council during his first term. He was one of the first aldermen to call for then-Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy to resign and has made numerous statements calling for increased police oversight and transparency. He's also managed to obtain appointments to three plum committees, Aviation, Budget and Zoning, a rare achievement for any freshman.
Current Chicago City Council Committees:
- Committee on Aviation
- Committee on Budget and Government Operations
- Committee on Committees, Rules and Ethics
- Committee on Education and Child Development
- Committee on Housing and Real Estate
- Committee on Transportation and Public Way
- Committee on Workforce Development and Audit
- Committee on Zoning, Landmarks and Building Standards
Important Political Events
- 2011, defeated for 15th Ward Alderman by Toni Foulkes in runoff
- 2012, elected 15th Ward Democratic Committeeman, unopposed, replacing Toni Foulkes
- 2015, elected 15th Ward Alderman, in open seat runoff defeating Rafael Yanez and replacing Toni Foulkes.