43 - Michele Smith.jpg

Michele Smith

Ward 43


Campaign donations since 2015, mapped.

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Knows the fundraising game

Michelle Smith spends her time catering to the wealthy Gold Coast elite, while ignoring the working people of the 43rd ward.[1]

Most of her donations come from large sums from very wealthy donors like Melvin Berlin, JB Pritzker, Helen Meier, Richard Melman and Lettuce Entertain You Enterprises.[2] Smith’s rich friends have not only maxed out their contributions to her aldermanic campaign, they’ve also made hefty contributions to a secondary fund that Smith created while serving as 43rd Ward Democratic Committeeman.[3] She has been loyal to Rahm Emanuel, who gave her campaign a last minute infusion of cash to help her very narrowly defeat her opponent in 2015.[4]

On August 4th, 2016, Smith gave herself a huge boost in cash on hand after closing this secondary fund, transferring a remaining balance of $102.2k to her aldermanic campaign. Since the last election, 86 percent of campaign donations have come from gifts over $1,000. [2]

Some of Smith’s top donors include Richard Melman and Lettuce Entertain You Enterprises, who own and operate a string of upscale restaurants in the 43rd ward that have also made significant contributions to Smith’s campaign. JB Pritzker is a long time supporter of Alderman Smith.[2]

Smith is also loyal supporter of Rahm Emanuel, endorsing him in the 2015 Mayor’s race stating, “I endorse Mayor Emanuel and he endorses me because we agree on the critical steps that need to be taken to solve the city’s financial crisis.”[5]

Smith has long supported racist policing policies, including the Illinois Senate anti-carjacking bill, which was fiercely opposed by progressives and the Black Caucus.[6]