|Corey Hardiman by DNA Info Wendell Hutson|
"I know people may think I am too young and inexperienced and that I won't be able to raise enough money to put fourth a good fight but that's what they said (in 2008) about President Barack Obama," Hardiman told DNAinfo Chicago Monday. "If he was able to do it then so can I."Here's an FB page if you wish to follow his campaign for 9th Ward Alderman.
The aspiring politician, who is a member of Salem Baptist Church, said he is scheduled to speak at 6 p.m. Monday to residents at the Altgeld Gardens public housing complex on the far South Side, which is part of the 9th Ward.
"I am going to speak to residents to let them know their opinion matters to me and I want to hear their concerns regardless if they are a registered voter or not," Hardiman said. "Ever since I graduated from high school I have always wanted to enter politics to make a difference in my community."
In 2010 after graduating from George Corliss High School as a Gates Millennium Scholar, where Beale is also an alumnus, Hardiman predicted at Mayor Richard M. Daley's annual interfaith breakfast at U.S. Cellular Field that he would run for mayor after finishing college.
"Well, maybe I was aiming too high at the time," Hardiman said. "But I certainly think it is a realistic goal."
Among the biggest issues facing the ward, Hardiman said, is public safety, education and economic development. While he praised Beale, 46, for "finally" getting a Walmart store in the ward, he said much more needs to be done on an economic level.
"If we could get President Obama's library to the far South Side that would create unlimited opportunities economically," Hardiman said. "Gone are the 'ma and pa' businesses in the 9th Ward and we need to bring back those small, family-owned businesses."