In Ald. Ed Burke’s ward, conviction greeted with shrugs and cheers

Michele Ryba feels safe walking to the CTA Orange Line at dawn, an act she credits to former Ald. Edward Burke. She considers the quality of life in the Southwest Side’s 14th Ward more important than the federal corruption case against Burke. She said Burke was a good alderman who got things done for the ward including plowing and paving streets, and improving public safety. Despite the guilty verdict, she believes his legacy is a ward that has thrived under any sort of mayoral leadership. On the other hand, Carol Zwiazek grew up in the 14th Ward and remembers that if you played the political game the way Burke wanted, you got what you needed. She feels she suffered greatly because of Burke’s lack of leadership. Thomas Baliga, President of the Archer Heights Civic Association feels the verdict marks a heart-rending end to an exceptional career. He said Burke was good at getting street paving and lights fixed, but wishes he had been more involved in bigger projects. Irma Landeros is happy that Burke is no longer in office, feeling that everything in the area benefited him, his family, and his pocket. Seth Hammond and Sharon Botte-Maslona agree that Burke was known for getting things done, and that all politicians have the potential to be a little shady. Overall, people’s opinions on Burke’s legacy are mixed.

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