Five things you should know about Juan Geracaris, the mayor’s pick for 9th Ward councilmember


Daily file photo by Evan Robinson-Johnson

An aerial view of Evanston. The city is contracting with Insituform Technologies USA, LLC to rehabilitate portions of the sewer system.

Olivia Alexander, Assistant City Editor

Who will be Evanston’s next 9th Ward alderperson? A Monday City Council vote will determine whether Juan Geracaris (McCormick ’97) will take a seat on the council — but who is he? 

After former 9th Ward Ald. Cicely Fleming announced her resignation in December, the city began a search to find her replacement. Mayor Daniel Biss appointed Geracaris to fill the vacancy Wednesday. If approved by the council, Geracaris will serve until the 2023 municipal elections. Here are five things to know about him. 

He is a founding member of Evanston Latinos.

Geracaris is a founding member and the vice president of Evanston Latinos. The nonprofit organization was founded during the pandemic and seeks to support Latinx people in the city. 

On City Council, Geracaris said he would commit to increasing access to city meetings and services for Spanish-speaking families. In a Thursday community forum, Geracaris said the council doesn’t have interpreters. While leading the 9th Ward, he hopes to break down the language barrier and increase Latinx participation in Evanston politics. 

If confirmed by City Council, he would be Evanston’s first Latino councilmember. 

Geracaris is a Evanston/Skokie School District 65 parent. 

Geracaris is the father of two children who attend Oakton Elementary School. He has also served as the Oakton Parent Teacher Association’s vice president and the liaison to the school’s Two-Way Immersion program, which aims to enrich the bilingual education of both native English and Spanish speaking students in District 65.

Geracaris is also a member of the Next Steps Evanston planning committee, a group of District 65 caregivers working to close the opportunity gap in the district’s schools. The group offers equity and anti-racism training to District 65 families.

He’s one of the founders of local skating organization Evanston Skates. 

Evanston Skates advocates for skate parks in the city. The group brought a skate park to the Ridgeville Park District and is working with the city on building a skate park at Twiggs Park. Geracaris also serves on Evanston’s Skate Park Advisory Board.

Geracaris attended and works at Northwestern University. 

He moved to Evanston from Argentina in 1993 to attend Northwestern. Geracaris graduated with a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering, and he works at the University as the senior network systems engineer at the Kellogg School of Management. 

His top priority will be keeping housing affordable. 

In his application for the position, Geracaris stated many goals for his time as the 9th Ward councilmember. These included selecting a city manager who shares community values, investing in solar energy infrastructure for city buildings and utilities and creating safer streets for pedestrians and cyclists. 

During the community forum, he said his top priority will be affordability in Evanston. He said he’ll make decisions with an equity centered approach and aim to support families who are struggling. 

“I came to Evanston because of all the opportunities here –– great schools, beautiful neighborhoods –– and that’s the case with everyone who lives here,” Geracaris said at the forum. “Everyone loves this town. I want to keep Evanston affordable for everyone.”

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