I can hear my children's voices laughing and playing as I type this. I come to this campaign keenly aware that whatever we do, whatever next steps we take as a city, it will impact my children, you, children in your life and futures that are deeply meaningful to all of us. This is serious. Lives are at stake. Communities are at stake. Dollars are at stake. We cannot afford to pass up the opportunity to intervene on improving our conditions and making this a more inclusive place for all of us to live. It cannot be a place where only a few are invited to the table. It won't work. These issues are central to creating a stronger community, a stronger South Shore, a stronger 5th Ward and a stronger Chicago.
Every Block, Every Voice, Every Need.
Shelly Quiles grew up in Chicago and has lived in the 5th Ward for 11 years. She was a “Lifer” at the Lab School and graduated with a degree in Business Administration from the University of Illinois @Urbana-Champaign. She moved to New York to pursue theater interests after a year of working at CBS in Chicago and quickly gravited to the world of social work while living in Brooklyn. She returned to Chicago and spent a full decade working in mental health, growing a performing arts organization which created arts classes to support mental health interventions for youth. During that time, she returned to school to pursue a Master’s degree at the University of Chicago School of Social Work Administration. She continued to work in residential treatment for children, the Cook County drug courts, and the pediatric unit of RIC, now renamed the Shirley Ryan Ability Lab. She has since worked as a psychotherapist to children in foster care. Her commitment to children and families and reuniting relationships remains steadfast. She was instrumental in creating the Foodbox project for Black Lives Matter Chicago and dedicated to providing resources to supply free food to the box for families who struggle to make ends meet. Shelly is a proud Black woman who understands the ways that erasure and anti-blackness easily creep into the conversation of providing resources and opportunities in an inequitable way. Working in Brooklyn, she helped to develop a GED program and support teens and immigrants in the greater New York area, understanding that writing and voicing individual stories builds the collective. She project planned, designed, and facilitated the publishing of 6 books of the stories of hundreds of students at the Downtown Learning Center in Brooklyn. As a therapist she understands the importance of focusing on mental health and strengthening communities through psychological, emotional, spiritual and physical health. She is now pursuing an election bid in the 5th Ward.