Juan Geracaris, incumbent Ninth Ward City Council member, secured his seat at the dais on Election night, April 4.

Council Member Juan Geracaris (9th) was victorious Tuesday. Credit: Richard Cahan

Geracaris earned 67.4% of the vote, and his opponent Kathy Hayes collected 32.6%, according to preliminary results from the Cook County Clerk’s Office. Geracaris’ term is for two years.

“I think this confirms my feeling that I had the support of the ward,” Geracaris said. “I talked to a lot of people, and I got the sense that people think I’m doing a good job and I bring a lot to the council.”

Geracaris, who was appointed to the job 13 months ago, made history as the first Latino to be elected to the City Council.

Latino representation is important to him. He’s the only council member in Evanston who translates his monthly ward meetings into Spanish. For the past 11 months, Geracaris paid for Celia Carlino to translate the meetings into Spanish out of his own pocket. City Manager Luke Stowe has agreed to pay for the translation services going forward, Geracaris said.

Juan Geracaris celebrates keeping his seat on the City Council with his wife, Danielle, and two children, Rosa and Oscar. Credit: Gina Castro

Geracaris, a first-generation Argentine immigrant, is a founding member of Evanston Latinos, a nonprofit group that advocates for the Latinx and immigrant community.

Prior to the election, Geracaris told the RoundTable his top three concerns for Evanston are affordable housing, climate resilience and funding the backload of city projects.

One of the criticisms against Geracaris is his relationship with Northwestern University, where he works as a systems administrator at the Kellogg School of Management. He is also a graduate of Northwestern.

As a consequence, Geracaris announced that he will recuse himself “from voting on any issues related [to] Northwestern,” including the council’s decisions on the contentious Ryan Field project. However, this also means Ninth Ward residents won’t have a council member representing their interests for decisions regarding Northwestern. Geracaris, however, has made a commitment to listening to Ninth Ward residents.

“One of the things I think I’m good at doing is listening to people and advocating for people,” Geracaris said. “I’ve had a lot of conversations with residents about their feelings. That’s gonna keep on happening.”

Avatar photo

Gina Castro

Gina Castro is a Racial Justice fellow for the RoundTable. She recently earned a master’s degree from Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism where she studied investigative reporting....

Leave a comment

The RoundTable will try to post comments within a few hours, but there may be a longer delay at times. Comments containing mean-spirited, libelous or ad hominem attacks will not be posted. Your full name and email is required. We do not post anonymous comments. Your e-mail will not be posted.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *