Former TV Reporter and Army Reservist, Milly Santiago, Announces Challenge to Vice Mayor Ray Suarez for the 31st Ward

Milly’s popularity on TV and as an active leader in Chicago’s North Side has many volunteers joining the movement to bring the first Latina Alderman into City Hall in over a decade

Wednesday, January 7, 2015 (CHICAGO) — Milly Santiago formally announced her candidacy for the 31st Ward Aldermanic seat. 1st Ward Alderman Proco Joe Moreno and 8th District Cook County Commissioner Luis Arroyo Jr., also announced their endorsement of Milly for Alderman.

Milly Santiago is a popular figure and celebrity in Chicago’s Hispanic community. Milly has lived in the 31st Ward for 31 years. She has been able to assemble an army of volunteers that collected over 4,500 petition signatures. Milly has already knocked on doors in every precinct in the 31st Ward.

“As a former news reporter for Telemundo and Univision, I tackled issues of accountability and transparency. I will continue to do this in City Hall. Our residents deserve to be represented with honesty and integrity,” said Milly Santiago. “While circulating petitions, I along with my volunteers spoke to over 5,000 residents in the 31st Ward and our residents have spoken loud and clear, they want change and the type of leadership that I know I can deliver. Because for far too long the residents of the 31st ward have been bullied by an alderman that consistently puts his interest before those of the community. As alderman his corruption tax on businesses has helped him amass over 3.6 million dollars for his political war chest. 3.6 million in his political fund and businesses are leaving the ward?”

“Milly Santiago is an institution in our community, She exemplifies the strong spirit of Latina leadership in Chicago. We need this energy in City Hall. The Suarez / Berrios machine needs to step aside and let new leadership shine in the 31st Ward. ” said 1st Ward Alderman Proco Joe Moreno.

“Milly has excited a base of voters that were very unmotivated to get involved in Chicago politics. Im my district everyone is talking about Milly, City Hall has gone too long without a Latina amongst the 50 siting alderman.” said 8th District Cook County Commissioner Luis Arroyo Jr.

Due to the number of complaints that businesses and residents have made about being harassed for contributions by Alderman Suarez, Milly announced a 31st Ward Concerned Citizen Hotline number for people to call and give their story of incidents that they want to report.

Ray Suarez has been alderman since 1991. His closest ally, Joe Berrios, has made the 31st Ward organization ground zero for his political machine operation. That organization witnessed its biggest defeat this year when Will Guzzardi soundly defeated Berrios’ daughter, Toni Berrios, for Illinois State Representative. The district includes most of the 31st Ward.

About Milly Santiago

Milly Santiago came to Chicago in 1976 and started working as a bilingual clerk for Chicago Public Schools in the Department of Bilingual Education. Santiago decided to join the U.S. Army Reserves, which would give her the opportunity to go to college. She completed her training in Fort McClellan, Alabama in 1979 and was assigned to a military base in Fort Sheridan, IL. After the birth of her first daughter, Milly decided to attend college full time at Northeastern Illinois University where she attained a bachelor’s degree in Communications in 1986.

Santiago’s voice was soon popular through radio stations in various commercials and as a program announcer. She also collaborated with various Spanish publications in Chicago as a columnist. Milly was hired as a news reporter by Telemundo, where she soon gained popularity and respect as an aggressive reporter covering breaking news, politics, education, health, community issues and elections. She later worked as a news anchor for Univision.

Milly became the first chief of staff for former Alderman Billy Ocasio. Eventually Milly would go back on TV as a reporter for Telemundo. After over 20 years in the media industry, Milly left the television screen to join the press team for the Governor’s Office in 2008. Milly currently holds the position as Communications Manager for state agencies under the Central Management Services.

Milly Santiago’s popularity in the community also stems from her involvement in issues surrounding the immigration debate, seniors and education.

Milly is very involved is issues that empower women. As someone who was personally impacted by issues of domestic abuse, she is currently involved in the group, “Ni una víctima más – Not one more Victim”, formed by women who have experienced domestic violence as a way to empower individuals to tell their story.

Milly has lived in the 31st Ward for 31 years and lives in the 31st precinct. She serves in various boards for community organizations and is a proud mother of two beautiful daughters, Julissa and Giovanna Cruz. Both daughters are graduates from the University of Illinois in Champaign Urbana.

For more information about Milly Santiago, or to request an interview, please contact Xavier Nogueras at 773-593-1345 or


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