My name is Jacob Ringer and I'm working to be your next Alderman of the 43rd Ward.
Since April, I've walked our ward knocking on thousands of doors, meeting and listening to the needs and concerns of residents. In doing so, the same three issues consistently come up: public safety, economic development, and city services. I am passionate about and dedicated to advocating for this community. I am running full-time for office and will be a full-time alderman and will commit to fighting for everyone in our community and address the issues that are concerning residents. As the 5th generation of my family to live in Chicago, I understand the long, proud, independent tradition of the 43rd Ward.
I grew up in and around Chicago and was fortunate to be raised by a hard-working family that started with my grandmother, a real estate agent in the 1950s, who employed more than 150 women. She and my father invested in real estate in our community starting in the 1960s and my love of Chicago evolved from their early presence in the neighborhood.
But all of that doesn’t mean I didn’t have challenges to overcome. In first grade, I struggled to read and ultimately was diagnosed with dyslexia. Even though my teachers were aware of this issue I used context and memory to cover the fact that I couldn’t read until I was 11. Because of the dedication of a teacher who discovered that I needed more help, I finally learned how to read. He became a lifelong friend and mentor and I credit him for where I am today, ultimately earning a master’s degree in finance from Tulane University.
After college at Tulane, I returned to Chicago. There was no question in my mind I wanted to spend the rest of my life here-- exploring the city’s diverse neighborhoods, enjoying its culture, and ultimately raising my children here once I started a family.
I believe in our city, which is why I have worked to improve the quality of life and economic development in Chicago.
When I returned to Chicago I realized I wanted to do something to make it a better place to live. I became the first chief of staff for the Chief Financial Officer of Chicago. I took the job to learn how government should and should not operate. One of my projects I spearheaded at the city was the creation of digital billboards on the expressway. I believe my unique approach to problem-solving helped the city to find this new revenue stream without raising taxes fines or fees. This experience allowed me to understand the City’s financial problems and the creative solutions that can get it back on track.
After my time at the City, I went to work for a law firm, where I focused on consulting and strategy for companies ranging from start-ups and non-profits to Fortune 500 sized companies. I used my expertise to help clients with Chicago-based projects work with current Alderman and other stakeholders to guide them to make decisions quickly and strategically. I then joined a non-profit manufacturing incubator focused on creating the conditions for physical product innovation to thrive. At this incubator, I was responsible for maintaining and recruiting a diverse membership and helping start-ups and others in the industry look at old problems in new ways.
I have volunteered on the Lincoln Park Auxiliary Board for over five years and recently completed a two-year term as President, where I helped raise over $500,000 to support state-of-the-art animal care, worldwide conservation, wide-ranging education programs and keeping the zoo free for all. I am also on the Board of Directors for the Center for Economic Progress, an organization to help working families improve their financial stability through tax preparation and financial services. Additionally, I helped start the Auxiliary Board and currently serve as an Oversight Committee Member for The Night Ministry, an organization working to provide housing, healthcare and human connection to members of our community struggling with poverty and homelessness. I bring experience from government, the private sector, and the non-profit world to serve our community.
I live in the Old Town neighborhood with my wife, Dana, and our two young sons, Leo and Henry. My wife and I actually met when I worked at the City through Women in Public Finance, a professional networking organization, which was co-founded in 1977 by the Chief Financial Officer of the City. Dana has worked in public finance for over 10 years and understands what it will take for me to be alderman. She supports my campaign and like me, wants to help make our neighborhood even better. Dana and I love raising our two boys in such a vibrant community. Parks, museums, professional sports, restaurants and the lake are a walk or quick 'EL' ride away and we love how easy it is to enjoy all that Chicago has to offer. We are committed to staying in the city to bring up our boys and want them to grow up in a neighborhood that is growing and thriving.
I love our City and I want to help make it better. I’ve helped non-profit schools acquire land from the city. I’ve helped neighborhood groups preserve landmarks and I’ve helped manufacturing companies access the resources they need to grow their business. I believe my experience in and out of the city and my passion for Chicago and improving our neighborhoods makes me the right candidate for this position. I will ensure your concerns and input are heard and considered when it comes to bettering our community.