Letter to the Editor: In support of mayoral candidate Mark Tendam

I am writing this letter to urge Northwestern faculty, staff and students who live and vote in Evanston to support Mark Tendam for mayor in the April 4 election.

I am supporting Tendam for several reasons, but will focus on those which I believe are most germane to the University community:

Experience matters. Tendam has been on City Council for the past seven and a half years and thus knows how the city operates. No hands-on training needed. He is committed to continuing to build on the positive relationship between Evanston and Northwestern, which current mayor Elizabeth Tisdahl and University President Morton Schapiro began in 2009.

Tendam is concerned with racial disparities in relationship to how Evanston police conduct traffic stops. The 2015 traffic stop of former NU graduate student Lawrence Crosby was a poor reflection on policing strategies. Tendam supported diversity training for Evanston police to reduce unnecessary negative bias in interactions between police and the public.

Tendam has been involved with social justice groups and issues for over 20 years, including, for example, extensive volunteer work with the Evanston Youth Job Center. At a fundraiser Tendam held Tuesday, the center’s founder and former longtime executive director, Ann Jennett, spoke glowingly about how much time Tendam devoted to helping low-income youth find jobs, including jobs which would lead to career opportunities. She stated that Tendam’s concern for the most vulnerable among Evanston’s population is impressive. Tendam believes that better employment opportunities and training will reduce crime.

Tendam worked to create more affordable housing opportunities in Evanston. During his term as alderman, he worked on amending the Affordable Housing Ordinance. Amending this ordinance undoubtedly had a positive impact on how many NU students could afford to live in Evanston, as opposed to Rogers Park and other surrounding areas.

As an openly gay and Jewish man, Tendam has been very involved in LGBTQ issues. He noted that he worked to create a police liaison for Evanston’s LGBTQ community and a position at the Lorraine H. Morton Civic Center to serve this community as well.

At a meet-and-greet event my neighbor and I hosted for him March 22, Tendam said he believes the best way to promote economic development in Evanston is to better market existing community resources to business and industry. As an example, Tendam thinks that the vibrancy of Evanston’s downtown should be better advertised to attract conventions and other groups.

For these reasons, I believe Mark Tendam is the best choice to be Evanston’s next mayor and I urge you to vote for him.

Cheryl Y. Judice
Weinberg ’76, ’05
School of Education and Social Policy adjunct lecturer