Voting rights activist, small business owner, and local community organizer Maggie O'Keefe has served as our independent 40th Ward Democratic Committeewoman in her first term, building a deep bench of committed volunteers, expanding our voter turnout and making the 40th Ward the 8th highest turnout ward in the city of Chicago.
Maggie’s run for Committeeperson upended a 36-year reign of one elected official holding the title of both Alderman and Committeeperson. Her progressive leadership has increased voter turnout and youth engagement in our elections, ensured fair and accessible elections despite the pandemic and a ward remap, and brought thoughtful and creative programming for neighbors to learn more about the election process, our elected officials, and how to build a grassroots organization that put 40th Ward on the map as one of the most progressive northside communities in Chicago.
Maggie serves as President of the Lincoln Square North Neighbors Association and President of the Gross Park Advisory Council. She remains a Chair for the Save Your Ash Coalition. In 2017, Maggie organized deputy voter registrar training for over 500 Cook County residents, together registering thousands of new voters before the 2018 midterm elections. As a small business owner, she has helped candidates like Cook County Assessor Fritz Kaegi, Supreme Court Justice Mary Kay O’Brien, and Lake County’s first LGBTQ+, first Latino Countywide candidate, Clerk Anthony Vega win their elections to serve broad populations, as well as small businesses and non-profit organizations. Maggie has also served as Chief of Staff to Illinois State Senator Sara Feigenholtz.
The 40th Ward has the opportunity to elect a Committeewoman who is independent from the Alderman. The Democratic Committeewoman is responsible for upholding a strong democracy in our ward – this means ensuring fair and accessible elections, increasing voter turnout, and supporting progressive candidates up and down the ballot. As a voter registration expert and active community leader, Maggie is the right candidate to expand access to our democracy and build civic engagement into the fabric of the 40th Ward.