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The April 9th election is rapidly approaching. I am supporting Alderman Tendam’s re-election campaign and I hope you will consider supporting him as well.

I know Alderman Tendam well. Our relationship goes back many years—back before my first campaign for the Illinois House. He was not an elected official then but was nevertheless someone who national, state and local community leaders had identified as someone I should meet. I remember knocking on Mark’s door one cold and rainy day while I was out canvassing and being invited in for a cup of coffee and a conversation about why I was running. And I remember being blown away by Mark’s knowledge of the issues, his passion for Evanston and his overall decency. Tendam had been described to me as a “Civic Leader” and clearly that was true but he was much more than that.

Over the course of the past four years, I have watched Mark Tendam lead our Ward and our City through many difficult challenges. As a legislator, I have been impressed by his courage and his willingness to cast tough votes. One such vote occurred during deliberations over the City’s annual budget this fall. The City’s staff (and some Alderman) wanted to reduce the City’s annual contribution to the First Responders’ pension fund and deploy that “excess” capital elsewhere. Alderman Tendam rejected this proposal, however. Standing with the Mayor and two other Aldermen on the side of sound fiscal stewardship, Mark insisted that the city increase its pension contribution and begin reducing the accumulated pension fund shortfall.

As a 6th Ward resident, I have been impressed by Mark’s responsiveness. When the water mains broke on Central Street, Alderman Tendam was right there, outside my house, meeting with City staff to ensure not only that the immediate problem was dealt with but that the larger issue of aging infrastructure was addressed once and for all. Mark then went the extra mile, working with City staff and the rest of the Council to secure badly needed capital improvements for the Ward in conjunction with the water main replacement project. Because of his hard work and foresight, by the end of this summer we will have broader, safer sidewalks and a narrower (and thus safer) roadway along the Western end of Central Street.

Finally, as a father of small children, I am thrilled with Mark’s approach and priorities for our neighborhood. I was impressed with Alderman Tendam’s advocacy on behalf of the North Branch library and was relieved that he was able to bring badly needed cross walks and speed monitoring devices to the Ward. But I am even more pleased that he advocated for these things in a calm, respectful and grown up manner. In an increasingly uncivil and inattentive world, Alderman Tendam is a true role model for my boys—and indeed for all of us. We need his leadership, his strength and his decency. He is a good man, an extraordinary leader and the ideal person for this job. On April 9th, please join Karin and me in re-electing Mark Tendam.

Daniel Biss, State Senator