Look to Ward 40, says urban studies specialist

The 2nd-most important election to watch?

“Of all the wards, the 40th will serve as a bellwether,” says Connie Mixon, director of urban studies at Elmhurst College and co-author of the book “Twenty-First Century Chicago.”

She’s referring to the seat held by veteran Ald. Pat O’Connor, who’s hanging on for his political life in a race against socialist Andre Vasquez, an AT&T manager who once pursued a career as a rapper. But, even if O’Connor holds on to his seat, “there is a movement for change.”

I would put it this way: If a ward doing as well as the 40th does when it comes to ward services — schools, safety, urbanity without the violence, amenities including green space galore, your choice of coffee shops and restaurants, and regular, timely communications from the ward office — falls to the socialist wave, any ward can.

God save us.

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