Illinois for Warren mobilizes support at office opening


Maia Spoto/Daily Senior Staffer

Mayoral candidate Daniel Biss. Biss rejected Ald. Ann Rainey’s endorsement after her comments against Clerk Reid.

Maia Spoto, Assistant City Editor

To rally grassroots support for U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s (D-Mass.) presidential primary run, Illinois for Warren opened its Evanston Office, 1642 Maple Ave., on Tuesday with endorsements from U.S. Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-Evanston) and former state Sen. Daniel Biss.

According to a Quinnipiac University national poll released Feb. 10, Warren polls at 14 percent support nationwide, behind U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), former Vice President Joe Biden and former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

Jumping into Downtown Evanston 28 days before the Illinois Democratic Primary, the new Illinois for Warren office will support canvassing and phone bank efforts on behalf of Warren. Biss and Schakowsky encouraged an overflowing room of Warren supporters to call other voters and campaign for the nominee, lauding Warren’s plans for government accountability and structural change.

“It’s the people-to-people contact that makes a difference,” Schakowsky said. “Talk to someone about why you personally believe in Elizabeth Warren as the woman who can get things done.”

Schakowsky said Evanston is an “activist community” that aligns with Warren’s politics. She cited Evanston organizers’ high impact on former President Barack Obama’s presidential campaign as evidence of the city’s progressive energy and political strength.

Additionally, Schakowsky said Warren will unify the Democratic Party because she views the Senator as the race’s most electable candidate.

“She has a way of making the changes that are needed in a way that’s acceptable to the people,” Schakowsky said.

Biss said the media has underestimated the momentum behind Warren’s campaign. Despite her performance in early primaries, which was lower than expected, Biss said he predicts Warren will make gains as the race continues.

He said the Warren campaign’s strong on-the-ground presence in Illinois will facilitate her comeback.

“A lot of the campaigns were so focused on the early states, they still didn’t invest in organizing across the country the way that Warren has,” Biss said. “I believe that will pay dividends.”

Loyola University Chicago students Megan Drake and Annie Alderman said they are looking forward to supporting Warren through the new office.

They also said they expect the office to increase engagement with Warren’s campaign with students at both Loyola and Northwestern University.

“I’m definitely excited to start being more active canvassing and phone banking, now that there’s a location so close to us, so accessible off the Purple Line.” Drake said. “It’s great to be able to support a candidate that I really like.”

Shivani Desai, an organizer with Illinois for Warren, said grassroots energy ties the Evanston office to a national and global movement for structural change. She said Warren champions issues that are important to her, including climate change, gun violence and LGBTQ+ rights.

She said Warren’s supporters need to mobilize so that the movement’s energy can transform into votes.

“We can’t afford to only scream into the void, or watch the news with our colorful commentary,” Desai said. “We have to transform the energy into knocking on doors and making calls. Into sharing that passion with undecided voters. If you believe in the vision that Elizabeth Warren is fighting for, we need you to sign up for shifts.”

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