ENTERING RACE: Austin native and West Side lawmaker Rep. Melissa Conyears-Ervin has filed to run for city treasurer, a seat currently held by Kurt Summers. | Photo provided by Conyears Ervin

A West Side state lawmaker and the wife of an alderman recently filed paperwork to run for city treasurer. 

State Rep. Melissa Conyears-Ervin (10th) kicked off her campaign for the citywide post on Dec. 2 at the United Electrical, Radio and Machine Workers of America’s Chicago office, 37 S. Ashland Ave. 

Conyears-Ervin, the wife of 28th Ward Ald. Jason Ervin, was elected to the General Assembly last year, replacing former representative Pamela Reaves-Harris.

During her comments, Conyears-Ervin touted her academic background and professional experience. 

“I have worked in corporate America for over 15 years, hold a degree in finance from Eastern Illinois and an MBA from Roosevelt University, am raising a family, and represent the people of the 10th District of Illinois’ House of Representatives,” she said in a statement her office released the day of her kickoff.  

“I have worked in my community at Breakthrough Urban Ministries, mentored young women looking for guidance in life through my church, and my husband and I organize a back to school festival that helps thousands of children each year get what they need to be successful on the first day of school,” Conyears-Ervin continued. 

Conyears-Ervin said that her mother, Eula, was a 24-year member of United Electrical, Radio and Machine Workers of America. 

“She brought home a good wage, but hard times struck our family just like they have to families in every neighborhood,” Conyears-Ervin said. “Her plant closed, her job lect Chicago, and she had to figure out what to do next.” 

The state representative framed her candidacy as part of the national reaction to the election of President Donald Trump in 2016. In the November midterm elections, a historic number of women were elected to local and national seats. 

“Who do you think stepped up to fix the mess that Trump put us in? Women,” Conyears-Ervin said. “We marched in 2017. We ran for office in 2018. And we won.” 

Conyears-Ervin, who was born on the South Side and raised in Austin, said that as treasurer she would leverage the “billions of dollars of municipal deposits” that the city controls “to help Chicago communities grow at the same rate, regardless of their zip code.” 

According to her campaign’s statement, the state representative “believes Chicago’s investments should observe a triple bottom line, ensuring city money isn’t used to harm the environment or working families.” 

Conyears-Ervin’s campaign said that the state representative has the support of Congressman Danny K. Davis (7th), state Sen. Kimberly Lightford (4th), state Rep. Camille Y. Lilly (78th), Ald. Michael Scott, Jr. (24th) and Cook County Commissioner Dennis Deer (2nd), among other elected officials and union representatives. 

Three other candidates filed to run for city treasurer, including 47th Ward Ald. Amaya Pewar; Peter Gariepy, a certified public accountant; and Richard Mayers, a Green Party candidate who is also running for city clerk, alderman in the 23rd Ward. They’re seeking to replace incumbent treasurer Kurt Summers.  

CONTACT: michael@austinweeklynews.com   

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