Angela Clay was born and raised in Uptown, and her multi-racial family goes back 80 years in the neighborhood. She grew up in affordable housing and attended local public schools, before earning a degree in public policy from DePaul. She has been active in the neighborhood since she was a teenager, sits on a local school council, and has been a leader in local organizations focusing especially on education and housing issues.

  • She is a community organizer, a committed neighbor, and a mom
  • She grew up in an affordable home in the 46th ward and was a student leader at the ward’s only high school, Uplift Community High School
  • She earned her degree in public policy from DePaul University to develop her ability to create public policy that improves our lives
  • She was the youngest-ever President of Voice of the People Uptown, a 51-year-old affordable housing non-profit in the 46th ward
  • She serves as an Elected Local School Council member at her former elementary school, Brennemann Elementary

Angela’s Story: From Teen Activist to Community Leader

Angela was born and raised in the 46th Ward, where her family has lived for over 80 years. Her Irish, German, Black, and Native American grandparents raised their multi-racial, multi-generational family in an affordable home on Hazel and Sunnyside. Angela attended Joseph Brennemann Elementary School, where she’s now an elected member of the Local School Council. She graduated from Uplift Community High School, the only high school in the 46th Ward. At Uplift, Angela was a student leader and founding member of Voices of Youth in Chicago Education (VOYCE), researching the high school dropout rate. Recommendations that she and her peers made are still being used by CPS to this day.

Committed to developing policy solutions that would have a positive effect on the lives of ward residents, she went on to earn a degree from DePaul University in public policy. At 22, she became the youngest ever president of Voice of the People in Uptown, a non-profit with over 51 years of work in the community protecting and providing affordable housing. Angela managed the budget and made decisions that improved the lives of hundreds of residents in the community.

Angela ran for Alderperson four years ago and came close to making the runoff. In the years since her first run, she hasn’t stopped working for our communities. Angela took leadership to ensure our neighborhood schools utilize the resources and connections available to them, laying the groundwork for a Sustainable Community School village in the 46th Ward.

After giving birth early in the pandemic, Angela organized mutual aid in the community, ensuring that everyone had the resources they needed during a moment of crisis, all with a new baby on her hip. Living here her whole life, Angela has a deep understanding of the diverse communities across this ward and has been working since she was a teenager to bring people together and implement policies that improve the lives of neighbors all across the ward. 


“I’ve known Angela since she was a teenager, and I took notice in her because of her kindness and leadership, her orientation to the community, and ability to communicate with people of all nationalities and backgrounds. I saw her ability to bring people together from all parts of the neighborhoods and city and how she went out of her way to make everyone feel accepted. She respected older people and wasn’t intimidated to talk to the elderly or young, effortlessly communicating to everyone.  Angela grew up here and represents stability in this community”

Aqueela Ali, Uptown Resident of 44 years and former Local School Council member at McCutcheon Elementary, Arai Middle School, and Uplift Community High School

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