Meet Robert Murphy
Robert has been fighting for our communities.
In 2016, I was elected to be the 39th Ward Democratic Committeeman by a wide margin. As Committeeman, I continue my efforts to bring democracy and a community voice back to our ward and keep my promise to run fair elections, raise turnout in the ward and foster open dialogue on the issues and with elected officials.
I am a father, husband, architect, and community organizer who was raised to believe that public service is the most important of human endeavors. I was raised by a single mother who worked her way through nursing school while supporting five children. She believed in the power of the human spirit, her right to be treated equally, and to not be ignored. She would not be bullied or forced to accept the status quo simply because of “how things have always been done.” She taught me that if the world you want to see does not exist — then you must work to create it.
When times were really tight for our family we needed government assistance. This taught me how a responsive government can make a difference in people’s lives. It also taught me the importance of managing a limited budget and fighting through adversity to come out stronger on the other side. My mother taught me to always stick up for myself and stand up for what is right. That is why I am unafraid to take on the status quo and speak truth to power. This is what I have done as your committeeman, by standing up to powerful people like former Cook County Democratic Chairman Joe Berrios and fighting against corruption.
I live in Forest Glen with my wife and our daughter, Neela, who attends 2nd grade in Chicago Public Schools. We are avid gardeners, composters, and recyclers. I have been a professional architect for over 25 years with experience in public-works and civil engineering projects. The importance of planning, leading, collaborating and listening, are keys to being an architect and something I see lacking every day in our ward.
I have been actively involved in my community for over ten years. From the start I became involved in the Forest Glen Garden Club and attended the community association and CAPS meetings regularly. I became known, along with one of my neighbors, for all the work we did tending rose bushes around the Metra station and in keeping the burning bushes pruned and shapely year in and year out. I was honored to be elected President of the Forest Glen Community Association three years in a row between 2011-14.
During my tenure as President, we secured infrastructure improvements around the Forest Glen Metra stop, expanded the Forest Glen Garden Club’s beautification agreement with Metra, raised the bar on what is possible in the community by raising thousands of dollars for a new mural, and sponsored the 1st Annual Forest Glen Garden Walk. In addition, I stood up for the bike trail extension and lead the effort to organize surrounding community associations to be sure that neighborhood concerns were heard and addressed. Following my strong belief in community participation, I increased the number of association meetings to broaden neighborhood input. We worked to bring in speakers from every branch of government so that residents could meet their elected and appointed officials that represent them and ask them questions.
I was a co-founder of the Jefferson Park Sunday Market in 2011 and co-founded and lead the Fair Allocation in Runways (FAiR) Coalition from 2013-14. It was this community work that led me into the political sphere where so many of our community goals, concerns, and opportunities were unmet due to neglect or indifference from our elected officials.
Since being elected 39th Ward Committeeman in 2016, we have initiated several much-needed reforms. For example:
- First-ever open endorsement process in the history of the 39th Ward.
- Hosted over 26 open community forums about issues important to our ward and holding our elected officials accountable.
- We greatly improved voter turnout and participation in the ward.
- We helped to deliver the 39th Ward for many new exciting candidates who share our values, including Fritz Kaegi who ran against machine boss Joseph Berrios.
I love my community dearly — I would never dream of raising my family anywhere else — but for too long it has felt like our city government is getting in our way rather than providing us the services we deserve. From a very early age I saw how amazing things can happen when neighbors work together. I am running with a proven track record for leadership and holding true to our values of accountability and putting an end to corruption. Now, I need your help to continue this important work. I look forward to earning your support in the coming weeks and months and working together to accomplish great things.