Guzman for Aurora: Leverage and Opportunity

guzman-for-auroraBelow are links to articles and videos on this site about Rick Guzman and Guzman for Aurora, the organization promoting his run for mayor of Aurora, Illinois, the state’s second largest city.  A biographical sketch also appears below.

But before the links and bio, some words from his campaign website, words which capture my eldest son so well, I’ll just add the following for now.  In our family we’ve often laughed at Rick for being so cheap, and marveled at how he’s able to find the best deals for everything…always! From tooth paste to mortgages he’s always turning a dime into a dollar. In an executive position, that translates into being able to do more with less, one of the big themes on the campaign website.  Another of Rick’s favorite words is “leverage.”  He’s always leveraging this to get that, making the most of every opportunity, so that even if the opportunity is small, many small ones eventually start adding up to something big, even huge.  For example, go to the first link below to find out how he got a 70 to 1 return on investment for Aurora city funds.  But while he’s “cheap” with money, he’s expansive with people.  He values every person’s life and human potential.  This has made him a brilliant bridge-builder and collaborator who turns the cliche “Bringing Us Together” into powerful realities.  Professor Tom Cavenagh, one of his college mentors, has said, “He was a splendid student, and is now, as he was then, a man of principle and conviction. Any city would be blessed to have him as its leader.”

Guz4Aurora-MORE2The Guzman for Aurora website says, in part:  “Rick Guzman’s campaign for Mayor of Aurora is about what happens when the limited resource of local government meets the unlimited potential of community…It’s about recognizing that every resident is a resource and every voice is valuable.  We’re voting for more progress and more participation. We’re voting to make Aurora more itself.

WHY RICK?   Doing more—with less. That’s been his focus for 15 years of executive leadership.  As Assistant Chief of Staff to Mayor Tom Weisner since 2011, Rick’s creative solutions have been behind many of the city’s most successful campaigns and development initiatives.  He’s a big-picture thinker who specializes in listening well, understanding deeply—and then finding creative ways to leverage little opportunities to create big results.  Rick’s not a legislator; he’s an executive.  And his specialty isn’t talk.  It’s action.”

  Go to Endorsements for Rick Guzman.

 Go to “How to Turn 500k into 35mil” to learn how Rick Guzman leveraged opportunities to turn $500,000 into a $35,000,000 development commitment.  And read more about Arts and Economic Development.

 Go to “If Mayors Ruled the World” for the importance of executive vs. legislative leadership, a major theme on the campaign website and campaign literature.

  PARADES!  Go to a highlight video from Aurora’s Memorial Day Parade, where Guzman for Aurora was the entire parade’s largest contingent, and to videos of the July 4th Parade (featuring the Rick Guzman cardboard cutout!), and Guzman for Aurora in the Fiestas Patrias Parade.


About Rick Guzman: Upon graduating from North Central College in 1999, Rick Guzman became a Mikva Fellow, then special advisor to the Governor of Illinois on issues of housing and anti-hate.  He also helped run the committee which led to Illinois’ historic moratorium on the death penalty, and later helped create projects such as Sweet Beginnings, designed to help released prisoners re-enter society and avoid re-arrest.  In memory of his brother Bryan Emmanuel (1985-2006), he and his wife Desiree founded Emmanuel House, an organization helping refugees and the working poor lift themselves out of poverty.  He directed Community Christian Church’s Lighthouse Project, an effort to develop the East Aurora community, and then became assistant chief of staff to Aurora Mayor Tom Weisner, specializing in community development.  In this role he has had tremendous impact on the city—developing stronger relationships with community groups, pursuing policies to strengthen both neighborhoods and the downtown, and bringing in over $70,000,000 in development money in just five years.  He was given the Learners to Leaders award by his high school alma mater, and, upon graduation from Northern Illinois’ law school, the Thurgood Marshall Award, given to the student who “best epitomizes Justice Marshall’s deep understanding and commitment to equal justice under law, his dedication to the rule of law in a just society, and his use of the law as an instrument of social change.”  His law school monograph “An Argument for a Return to Plessy vs. Ferguson” was both a work of scholarship and a radical re-visioning of how to make Illinois schools more equal.  In 2016 Emmanuel House was named one of the “Top 100 Most Innovative” social change organizations in the world.  In the same year Guzman also announced his candidacy for mayor of Aurora.

♦♦♦  Return to the Lead Post on this site for the Guzman for Aurora campaign.

This entry was posted in Social Change and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *