Three things to know about Evanston’s city manager candidates


Daily file photo by Evan Robinson-Johnson

An aerial view of Evanston. The Housing and Community Development Committee aims to benefit low- and moderate-income households by making housing affordable.

Olivia Alexander and Aviva Bechky

Who are the finalists for Evanston’s next city manager? What will they bring to the city? 

After Erika Storlie left office in October, the city contracted consulting firm CPS HR to find Evanston’s next city manager. City Council announced the names of the top two candidates Wednesday. The council plans to pick the next city manager by the end of the month.

Here are three things to know about each of the finalists in the city manager search. 

Michael Jasso

He’s a Chicago native who has worked for Cook County and the city of Chicago

Though Jasso’s current job is in Sacramento, Calif., his roots are in Chicago. He’s originally from the city’s Southwest Side. 

Jasso obtained an undergraduate degree from Princeton University and attended the University of Texas at Austin for his master’s of business administration. He then held a job in Washington, D.C. before returning to Illinois.

From 2008-12, he worked for Chicago’s Department of Housing and Economic Development as managing deputy commissioner. He then served as chief development officer at the Chicago Housing Authority from 2012-13.

He was also chief of the Cook County Bureau of Economic Development until 2018, when he moved to Sacramento. 

Jasso has a background focused on economic growth

Jasso oversaw D.C.’s Tax Increment Financing program, which subsidizes companies’ taxes to encourage development in a certain area. Evanston has five active TIF districts.

Upon Jasso’s return to Chicago, he focused on economic development in the area for several years. He has overseen the city’s revitalization and job creation, managed public housing and worked on federal planning and investment, exports and movement of goods.

In Sacramento, Jasso serves as one of four assistant city managers, where he oversees the Office of Innovation and Economic Development and the Community Development Department. 

He’s a former Peace Corps volunteer

Jasso served in the Peace Corps in Yemen for two years from 1987-89. He worked on the restoration of the Old City of Sana’a, a World Heritage Site.

Daniel Ramos

He has more than six years of experience working for city government in Baltimore 

Ramos serves as the deputy chief of staff and deputy city administrator in Baltimore

He previously served in numerous city roles, including deputy budget director from February 2019 to June 2020 and operations manager from October 2017 to February 2019. He has helped lead Baltimore’s COVID-19 response, managing Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act funds and emergency procurement. 

Ramos holds undergraduate and business degrees from Johns Hopkins University.

Ramos has a community outreach background

During two of his college summers, Ramos interned at organizations working with Latine communities in Baltimore and Los Angeles. 

In 2012, he served as a community impact intern for the Mi Espacio Program in Baltimore, where he developed and taught a five-week college prep and career exploration course to 30 students. 

The previous summer, he worked for the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund in Los Angeles as a redistricting intern. He prepared demographic charts for the California Citizens Redistricting Commission and encouraged local Latine leaders to attend redistricting workshops. 

The Maryland Hispanic Chamber of Commerce congratulated him when he became deputy chief administrator. 

Daniel has been an unwavering champion for Baltimore and Maryland’s Hispanic community,” the announcement read. “We are proud of Daniel for being an example to others on the value of hard work, humility and a deep desire of goodwill for Baltimore.”

He has worked as a research analyst

From 2013-15, Ramos worked as an operations research analyst in the Baltimore City Fire Department. There, he developed a long-term strategy for the city to reduce 911 calls and improve health outcomes by connecting people with community health resources. 

Email: [email protected]

Twitter: @oliviagalex

Email: [email protected]

Twitter: @avivabechky

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