Hi, I'm David
Hi, I'm David Herrera.
I was born, raised and still live in West Town, the largest contiguous section of the new 36th Ward (representing 62% of the vote total per the November 8, 2022 general election).
In fact, my mom’s family has been in West Town since 1956, more specifically near Ohio and Leavitt streets since 1958. My heritage, of which I am very proud of, is an amalgam of many ancestries of other residents within the new 36th ward. My grandmother, Elba Antomarchi, was Italian and Spanish born in the Dominican Republic. Her husband, my grandfather Nicholas Reyes, was of Spanish descent born in Puerto Rico. My dad’s side of the family were farmers and ranchers from The Highlands of Jalisco in Mexico - home of the tequila region and mariachi (UNESCO World Heritage site and UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage, respectively).
Just like many other immigrant families, my grandparents and parents found refuge, community and love in West Town and the surrounding neighborhoods. Our story is fundamentally that of American immigrants in the last century with freedom and hard work leading to success and happiness. Growing up I heard stories about my grandparents working in the nearby factories in Wicker Park and the lifelong friends they met working on assembly lines. Some friends became spouses, others became godparents or neighbors – all an extension of our family. These stories are classic Chicago, one of the many reasons I love this city and have stayed.
I’m a product of our culturally diverse city and a living embodiment of what it means to be born and raised in West Town. I attended Onward House as a child from preschool through middle school for after-school and summer camp programs. The programs at Onward House gave me the necessary opportunity and head-start all children need to prepare them for success into adult life. That is why I’m a firm supporter of early childhood development and after-school programs – they keep our children productive, safe and off-the-streets.
I also grew up playing sports at Smith Park. I practically lived at that park. During my teenage years at Gordon Tech High School, I completed 40 community service hours per year to fulfill the annual community service requisite by the school. I volunteered at the local park (Smith Park) - refereeing hockey in the winter and umpiring baseball during the summer. My involvement at the park led to a job with the Chicago Park District as a Summer Camp Counselor (Summer of 2000 & 2001). While at Gordon Tech, I played clarinet within the school band. I’m a strong advocate and believer in the power of athletics and the arts as after school programs for our youth. We should encourage our children to develop their creativity at all our schools.
I attended Loyola University Chicago where I graduated with double majors in economics and finance. After graduating, I joined the world of finance gaining more than 18 years of industry experience. I left the corporate sector to pursue entrepreneurial opportunities closer to home. I’ve always been fascinated with architecture, so I developed Chicago’s first all co-living building - a form of affordable housing sometimes referred to as approachable housing, on Chicago Avenue, just a few blocks from where I grew up. I’m a housing advocate and intend to continue working closely with community-driven developers to make sure we can provide a balanced mix of housing for our growing community.
The Chicago I remember growing up was a post-World War II economic beacon, beaming with opportunity and optimism; a progressive Chicago that attracted immigrants from far and wide. As alderman, I want to restore Chicago’s place as an economic powerhouse brimming with opportunities for good jobs, housing and schools where we all feel safe.
Serving as the Treasurer of the Ukrainian Village Neighborhood Association from 2017-2018 having joined in 2016.
Regular attendee and participant of several of the neighborhood groups over the years:
East Village Neighbors Association (2016 - Present) - East Village
Ukrainian Village Neighbors Association (2016 - Present) - Ukrainian Village
West Town Neighbors Association (2017 - Present) - West Town
United Blocks of Humboldt Park (2018-2020) - West Humboldt Park
Humboldt Park Advisory Council (2018-2020) - Chicago Park District
Polish Triangle Coalition (2019-2020) - Wicker Park
Regularly attended CAPS meetings for beats in both the 12th and 14th Districts from 2016-2020, when they were in-person.