On August 7, Gilbert Villegas will announce his candidacy for Alderman of the 36th Ward today. Current Alderman Nick Sposato, who announced early this week that he will be running in the 38th Ward, will announce his support for Villegas. Congressman Luis Gutierrez and State Senator Iris Martinez will also be announcing their support for Villegas.
Former U.S. Marine Gilbert Villegas served during Operations Desert Shield/ Desert Storm. His responsibilities included coordination of logistics and deployment of equipments needed for daily operations during Desert Shield/Desert Storm. Villegas was honorably discharged after serving his country for four years, during which time he received numerous awards and honors.
Gilbert is a recognized small business leader in the 36th Ward and the City of Chicago. Gilbert has established innovative programs which increased minority and women owned business participation along with launching On-the-Job Training initiatives. He previously served as the Chief of Staff at the Illinois Capital Development Board for three years and Deputy Director of the Office of Business and Workforce Diversity at the Illinois Department of Transportation for five years.
Villegas recently spearheaded the efforts behind the passage of two instrumental Illinois Senate Bills (SB 351 and SB3249), ensuring minority and women owned businesses have a principal opportunity to participate on state funded projects. These two Illinois Senate Bills have the ability to account for approximately $3-6 billion dollars in contracting opportunities for minority and women owned businesses.
Mr. Villegas’s career has been marked by service to others. Mr. Villegas is currently the Secretary of the Illinois Legislative Latino Caucus Foundation, Elite Veteran Owned Business Network Board, All Chicago Board, Shabbona Park Advisory Council, Bell Park Advisory Council, Leadership Greater Chicago Fellow and Steinmetz College Preparatory LSC.
Villegas will talk about his vision for the 36th Ward. Every decade the City of Chicago is required to remap the 50 Chicago Ward boundaries. For the past two decades Montclare, Galewood, and Schorsch Village have been the anchor of the 36th Ward. The new Ward now includes Hermosa and Belmont-Cragin. Villegas is a long time resident of the Northwest side and lives in the Montclare neighborhood.