My name is Hilario Dominguez. I am… educator.

After attending school at Johns Hopkins University, I returned to Pilsen and became a special education teacher in Chicago Public Schools. I consider myself deeply fortunate to have had the opportunity to help guide my students through even a small piece of their education–but being reminded of Chicago Public Schools’ continued failure to provide the resources our students need to succeed showed me the way to making an even bigger impact on the ward I love.

Hilario Dominguez in Pilsen organizer.

I’ve been organizing all my life. I grew up with friends and family who organized for affordable housing, safer neighborhoods, and better schools. When CPS tried to shut down schools and cut teachers and staff, I led a student walkout with my classmates. Hundreds of Whitney Young students marched to CPS headquarters and demanded equitable funding for every one of our schools. Then, when I was at Johns Hopkins, Freddie Gray was murdered. We organized our school to make a statement in support of Black Lives Matter and the black community in Baltimore. When I came back to Pilsen as a teacher, I started organizing here in the 25th Ward around promoting affordable housing and ending violence. I then went on to work with progressive candidates like Chuy Garcia and Alma Anaya as a volunteer coordinator focused on youth turnout.

The common thread through these experiences has been my constant drive to raise my voice in support of marginalized and underserved residents throughout our local, state, and national communities, and to empower others to join me.

Hilario Dominguez shaking a constituent's hand

...a Pilsen native.

I was born and raised in the Pilsen neighborhood. Growing up in the 25th Ward taught me the value of community–and the commitment and compassion that building and protecting a community requires. It also taught me the reality of the struggles faced by residents across the ward. From underfunded schools to rising housing costs and from violence to toxic materials and byproducts in our air and water, the problems our neighbors, friends, and families face have been exacerbated by closed-door governance that puts profit over public service.

The people of the 25th Ward deserve better. It’s our time to take back our neighborhoods and build them into the ones we want to see for our children and grandchildren.

I hope you’ll join me.