Larry Svabek is Running for Alderperson in the 48th Ward

University of Chicago Lecturer and Organizer Seeks City Council Seat

Kyle Palmer
6 min readFeb 1, 2023


Larry Svabek tells me on Thursday, January 19th, that he first canvassed with his mother in Orland Park, Illinois. It was 2003, and Kathie Svabek was running for an executive board position for their local school district. If you were to ask Kathie today — as Larry now lectures at the University of Chicago — she might find her time on the board well spent. But the experience also came with an unexpected cost. Midway through her term, Kathie went public about hiring practices within the district.

“It was a tough trial for my mom. She had never run for office before. She won. She got elected to the school board and found out that there had been some violations of transparency laws and ended up being a whistleblower and received death threats for it. That really unsettled me as a kid.” — Larry Svabek

Southtown Star News Article Dated Thursday, March 23, 2006

“It was a scary moment [as a kid]. Why were people doing this and why are they so angry? I think at that moment I learned that we need to elect leaders like my mom who are courageous, who do the right thing, even when the…