"I was born and raised on the north side of Chicago. My father, Carlos Rosa, migrated to Chicago from Puerto Rico in his early 20s. My mother, Margarita Ramirez, immigrated with her parents from northern Mexico to Chicago when she was five years old. My parents met, fell in love, became public school educators and small business owners in this city.
Carlos Ramirez-Rosa is a lifelong Chicagoan who has worked to put our neighborhoods and working families first by building coalitions and bringing people together. Carlos has done so as a community organizer, congressional caseworker, and now as Chicago's 35th Ward alderman.
Serving as Chicago's 35th Ward alderman since 2015, Carlos has worked to deliver for 35th Ward and Chicago families — he's led successful legislative efforts to win property tax relief for working-class homeowners, historic city investments in violence prevention and social services, paid sick leave and protections for Chicago workers, equality and protections for LGBTQ Chicagoans, accountability and transparency on municipal financial transactions, and protections for historic two- to four-flats — the single biggest source of naturally-occurring affordable housing in our neighborhoods.
By building citywide coalitions and working hand-in-hand with grassroots community organizations, Carlos also recently led successful efforts to ensure (1) Chicago is an actual sanctuary city for immigrants where local police do not work with ICE, and no one is afraid to call 9-1-1, (2) Chicagoans have a real say over policing in their neighborhoods via one of the nation's strongest civilian oversight ordinances, and (3) that Chicago is a sanctuary for abortion care seekers and providers.
Before being elected to the Chicago City Council, Carlos worked as a deportation defense organizer with the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights (ICIRR) and as a congressional caseworker in the office of then-Congressman Luis Gutierrez. As a deportation defense organizer, Carlos worked to keep families safe from deportation. As a congressional caseworker, Carlos helped seniors, veterans, and families cut through government red tape, and he streamlined the delivery of constituent services. At ICIRR, Carlos served on the bargaining committee of his union — the National Organization of Legal Service Workers (NOLSW), UAW Local 2320.
Carlos is a proud product of our Chicago Public Schools. He received his high school diploma from Chicago's Whitney M. Young Magnet High School and his Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Carlos has been recognized by Chicago Magazine, Chicago Reader, Jacobin, and The Nation for his work bringing neighbors of diverse backgrounds together to transform their community for the better. Carlos lives in Avondale with his partner Bryan and their rescue pit, Itztli. Carlos is a National Writers Union (NWU) member, and you can read some of his opinion pieces here.
What others have said about Carlos:
- "Chicago Socialists Led the Way in Expanding Undocumented Immigrant Protections," Jacobin (2021)
- "Chicago Alderman Uses Old Fashioned Way To Get Information Out On COVID-19," CBS 2 (2020)
- "Who Tops the 2019 'Nation' Honor Roll," The Nation (2019)
- "Carlos Ramirez-Rosa's Fight for Affordable Housing," Bias Magazine (2019)
- "How One Alderman Is Working to Demystify Redevelopment," Chicago Magazine (2018)
- "This Chicago Politician Is Showing How To Govern From The Left," The Nation (2017)
- "This Chicago Politician Is Ready to Resist Donald Trump's Deportation Fervor," Mother Jones (2017)
- "Emerging Power Players: Carlos Ramirez-Rosa, The Organizer," Chicago Magazine (2017)
- "20 in their 20s: Why Carlos Is Someone To Know," Crain's Chicago Business (2016)
- "Chicago's youngest alderman is a Millennial, backs LGBT agenda - and isn't hanging with Rahm," Chicago Tribune (2015)
- "Meet Carlos Ramirez-Rosa, the 26-Year-Old Who Stormed Onto City Council," DNAinfo Chicago (2015)