Other Group

50th Ward Green Party




Chicago, IL


Political Party

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The 50th Ward Green Party is the division of the Green Party of Illinois organized in the 50th Ward of the City of Chicago.  The party is affiliated at the state level with the Illinois Green Party and the Green Party of the United States.

The 50th Ward Green Party is one of eleven local affiliates of the Illinois Green Party; affiliate chapters exist at ward, precinct, county, and city levels. 1


The 50th ward of Chicago is a political division of Chicago City located in its far north side. Historically, the 50th Ward is strongly Democratic and has a colorful history in Chicago politics due to the long tenure of Alderman Bernard Stone (D), who served on the Chicago City Council from 1973-2011. 2

With the Democratic Party dominating Chicago city politics, the Green Party in Cook County often runs candidates who finish in a distant second place, since there is often no Republican candidate. 3

The 50th Ward Green Party, while supporting many of the same left-of-center policies of the Democratic Party, often opposes the Democratic Party establishment, especially the well-known and controversial Democratic Organization in Cook County, which has a long history of alleged corruption.

Currently, the Democratic Party in the 50th Ward is led by Alderman Debra Silverstein4  and former State Senator Ira Silverstein (D-Chicago),5 who serves as the ward committeeman. Debra Silverstein was elected Chicago alderman in 2011 when she defeated Stone. Ira Silverstein served in the Illinois Senate from 1999 until he lost a primary in 2019 amid allegations of sexual harassment that were later dismissed by an inspector general. 6

A blog highlighting the influence of the Silverstein’s and Democratic Party in the 50th Ward titled “50th Ward Follies” frequently reports on alleged corruption among the Aldermen in Chicago and the outsized influence of Debra and Ira Silverstein. 7


Since the Illinois Green Party often fails to meet the statewide threshold of earning 5% in the most recent gubernatorial race, the 50th Ward Green Party and the state party often lack automatic ballot access.

The Illinois Green Party enjoyed statewide ballot access after candidate Rich Whitney garnered 10% of the vote in the 2006 gubernatorial race, but lost access in after Whitney garnered less than 3% in the 2010 race. Whitney later publicly suspected the Democratic Party played a role in supporting a spoiler candidate to ensure the Green Party lost ballot access after 2010. 8


The leader of the 50th Ward Green Party is George Milkowski, who is often a candidate for various offices including 50th Ward Alderman of the Chicago City Council, and the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago, one of the few races for which the Green Party enjoyed automatic ballot access in Illinois. Milkowski is also the Ward committeeman for the Green Party in the 50th Ward. 9 Milkowski is only one of just 14 Green Party ward or precinct committeemen in the entire state. 10


  1. “50th Ward Green Party”. Illinois Green Party. Accessed July 1, 2019.  http://www.ilgp.org/50th_ward_green_party
  2. Dumke, Mick. “Council Follies: Committee of One”. Chicago Reader. December 14, 2006. Accessed July 1, 2019. https://www.chicagoreader.com/chicago/council-follies-committee-of-one/Content?oid=923872
  3. “Home Page” Cook County Green Party. Accessed July 1, 2019. http://cookcountygreenparty.org/
  4. Sun-Times Editorial Board. “50th Ward candidate for alderman: Debra Silverstein”. Chicago Sun-Times. January 27, 2019. Accessed July 1, 2019. https://chicago.suntimes.com/2019/1/27/18357525/50th-ward-candidate-for-alderman-debra-silverstein
  5. Garcia, Monique. “After sex harassment allegation, Silverstein’s grip on state Senate seat slips away; Burke trails in bid to retain post in Illinois House”. Chicago Tribune. March 21, 2018. Accessed July 1, 2019. https://www.chicagotribune.com/politics/ct-met-illinois-legislature-roundup-20180320-story.html
  6. Munks, Jamie. “In response to #MeToo, state lawmakers approved sweeping legislation to fight sexual harassment in Illinois”. Chicago Tribune. June 7, 2019. Accessed July 1, 2019. https://www.chicagotribune.com/politics/ct-met-illinois-legislature-sexual-harassment-metoo-bill-20190607-story.html
  7. “Debland”. 50th Ward Follies. Accessed July 1, 2019.  https://50thwardfollies.com/tag/debland/
  8. Kwiatkowski, Maximilian. “Green Party had, lost coveted statewide ballot access”. State Journal Register. March 26, 2018. Accessed July 1, 2018. https://www.sj-r.com/news/20180326/green-party-had-lost-coveted-statewide-ballot-access
  9. “50th Ward Green Party”. Illinois Green Party. Accessed July 1, 2019.  http://www.ilgp.org/50th_ward_green_party
  10. “George Milkowski”. Ballotpedia. Accessed July 1, 2019 https://ballotpedia.org/George_Milkowski
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50th Ward Green Party

Chicago, IL