Daniel La Spata

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Daniel La Spata

Background

Daniel La Spata was born and raised in South Plainfield, New Jersey before moving to Chicago for college. He and his brothers were fortunate to attend good public schools in the working class community. However, when the company that employed his father went bankrupt, it threw the family into economic turmoil. His father worked nights as a security guard and his mom returned to work as a nanny, doing everything they could to hold onto their home.

La Spata was able to come to Chicago in 1999 to attend North Park University. While studying psychology and music, his experiences volunteering with people experiencing homelessness and at non-profits exposed him to the economic inequality and racial injustices plaguing the city’s neighborhoods. Just like the circumstances that devastated his family in New Jersey, Chicago wasn’t working for far too many. It was time to take action.

Daniel’s desire to be a part of the solution led him to the Logan Square Neighborhood Association where he spent more than ten years as a board member, eventually serving as the group’s vice president. In the organization, he was a leader on issues around housing and community development.

Daniel helped lead campaigns to build new affordable housing in our community, like the Zapata Apartments. He helped shape policies that directed TIF dollars toward the housing needs of working families and fought to pass legislation that protected renters in properties facing foreclosure. In addition, he worked as a community organizer with Jane Addams Senior Caucus, helping Chicago’s seniors develop as leaders and fight to improve their quality of life.

La Spata is completing his Masters in Urban Planning and Public Policy at the University of Illinois at Chicago, focusing on inequities around parks, government budgets, and housing. He is an active member of New Community Covenant Church.[1]

DSA members running for Council

Rossana Rodriguez won more votes in the February election than Mell, a former Illinois state representative, and is now one of four members of the Democratic Socialists of America (DSA) vying for a city council seat in the 2 April runoff, along with Andre Vasquez, Byron Sigcho Lopez and Jeanette Taylor.

Two other Democratic Socialists of America members, Carlos Ramirez-Rosa and Daniel La Spata, have already won seats outright.[2]

City Council success

If their success on Tuesday carries over to the April 2019 runoff election, as many as five members of the Democratic Socialists of America could be on the Chicago City Council.

Two won aldermanic seats outright. Three others made the runoffs.

“The oligarchs are shaking in their boots tonight,” Ald. Carlos Ramirez-Rosa (35th) told supporters. “Our continued organizing and movement-building over the last four years is paying dividends. And it appears to be a total transformation of political power at City Hall from the bottom up.”

Rosa is one of the two members of the Chicago Democratic Socialists of America who got the majority vote needed to win without a runoff. The other, Daniel La Spata, upset Ald. Joe Moreno in the Near Northwest Side’s 1st Ward.[3]

References