My name is Sean Flynn, and I’m a south side-based public servant, and youth mentor.
I feel my purpose in life is to help people who need assistance accessing resources or representation when feeling unheard. I know I am making a difference in their lives when I listen, collaborate, and problem-solve with them.
My life started a little rough, as the youngest of four boys in a single-parent home on the south side. We moved around a lot, at various times residing in West Pullman, Roseland, Chatham, and Grand Boulevard.
I dropped out of high school, and became a young father to three children, working low-skill jobs for more than a decade. I eventually got a barber's license and worked as a licensed barber for about eight years.
It was around this time that I became more sensitive to the crime and violence I saw in the city, especially involving teens. As a father, I worried about the risks and the impact on my teenage children. I felt compelled to give back to my community by being a positive role model to youth in disenfranchised neighborhoods. I switched career paths and began working in the community mentoring at-risk youth.
The more I served in the community, the more I became aware of the systematic barriers that negatively impacted these families. My new enlightenment led me back to education, first at Olive Harvey City College, and later at the University of Illinois at Chicago, where I was an honors student. It’s one of my proudest achievements that I went from a GED to a master's degree, with several fellowships, internships, and jobs along the way.
I began working in city government, first for Alderman David Moore and then for Alderman Leslie Hairston. All of these experiences have brought me to this point in my life where I can be an effective servant leader in the community.
Today, my wife Shirino and I live in the Calumet Heights neighborhood because of its beautiful homes, peaceful atmosphere, community orientation, and accessibility to downtown.
It was only because of God’s mercy that I was fortunate to have a loving family and friends that became my support system. If certain aspects of my life now can be perceived as being successful it's because of the love and support I received from my village years ago. I have tried to give back by embracing that role for vulnerable youth, and plan to continue that work as the next Alderman for the 8th Ward.
My top issues in office will be reducing crime in the community, enabling economic development, increasing traffic safety, and encouraging community engagement.
The community service experience I have gained as a youth worker opened my eyes to the realities of the people who live in underserved neighborhoods. My educational background provided me insight into government processes and networks that can help a community run efficiently. The work experience I acquired in city government gave me the practical tools needed to service the constituents of a Ward, and allowed me to collaborate with other city service departments to solve complex problems residents may face.
I plan to listen to the concerns and ideas of the community residents. It's important to be a voice of the community by communicating the needs and wants of the constituency which I would represent. It's necessary to collaborate with community residents to achieve positive results. If the city and its people are going to succeed, we have to get there together.
My campaign is focused on:
Outside of my work for the city, my experience includes mentoring at-risk teens in working-class South Side neighborhoods like Altgeld Gardens, Englewood, and Morgan Park, pouring into teens who needed love and support, meeting families in need where they were, and finding solutions. I developed a deep understanding of the systematic barriers that prevent them and their families from accessing resources and would carry that knowledge with me into the Aldermanic office of the 8th Ward.