Mayor Ruben Pineda’s record of public service began in 1998 when he was appointed to fill a vacant seat on the City Council in West Chicago’s Third Ward. He has been Mayor since 2012.He was the first Hispanic alderman in the City of West Chicago, and is now the City’s first Hispanic Mayor. He has contributed to such initiatives as the state-of-the-art water treatment facility, the waste transfer station, Educare, Habitat for Humanity, several annexations and the establishment of the Quiet Zone through a negotiated agreement with the Canadian National Railroad. Mayor Pineda, with his fellow Aldermen, advocated for the Kerr McGee Superfund site to be remediated to the strictest standards ever before imposed by the EPA and ensured that the project stayed on track, despite the many obstacles that arose. As of November 2015 the last railcar carrying thorium left West Chicago.
Additionally, West Chicago has a strong history of fiscal responsibility and the City Council has held the line on property taxes and other revenue sources for the last six years.
Mayor Pineda formed a coalition of more than 40 city stakeholders from the public and private sectors including FORWARD DuPage and Northwestern Medicine to spearhead a citywide health initiative, Healthy West Chicago, which focuses on helping residents to make the healthy choice the easy choice regarding nutrition and physical activity. He has since garnered support from several key health partners including the American Heart Association, the American Cancer Society, and the American Diabetes Association, as well as the United Way.
Mayor Pineda leads by example and has created a community walking group, Team Pineda, which walks weekend 5Ks from April through mid-November. His walking program caught the attention of the National Forum for Heart Disease and Stroke Prevention, and West Chicago was invited to be one of five other national cities to participate in a Move with the Mayor Challenge in September 2016. The 30-minute weekly walks activated hundreds of participants including school children through senior citizens, and its success was celebrated on World Heart Day, September 29th with a community party held at a West Chicago elementary school. Attending the event was a representative of the National Forum who invited Mayor Pineda to be the keynote speaker at its 14th Annual Conference in Washington, D.C. in October, 2016.
Since the formation of Healthy West Chicago, Mayor Pineda has served as a champion for a sustainable, healthy community through his support of a community garden project, and the ReThink Your Drink campaign, which encourages the elimination of sugar sweetened beverages through education and awareness. He also serves as a role model to other elected officials looking to create a culture of health in their own communities. He is eager to share his insights and experiences and has recently presented Healthy West Chicago at the Metropolitan Mayors Caucus’ Environment Committee Meeting.
Most recently, Mayor Pineda signed the National Wildlife Federation’s Mayors’ Monarch Pledge as a means to bring awareness and to promote action in West Chicago to save the butterfly.
Mayor Ruben Pineda has lived in West Chicago for over 50 years. He is one of four sons born to Julian and Juanita Pineda, migrant workers who picked cotton in Texas and moved north to Illinois for more work in the corn, bean and tomato fields in the DeKalb and Morris areas. Illinois gave Julian and Juanita a family and many opportunities for a better life, so they stayed. Recognizing the value of an education, Juanita made sure her children were bilingual in reading and writing before starting school.
Mayor Pineda has been married for over 25 years to his wife Julie, and credits her with encouraging his active involvement in the community. Mayor Pineda, Julie and their two adorable Jack Russell terriers, Vivian and Tabatha, enjoy the natural beauty, abundant recreational options and most especially, the strong spirit of community found in West Chicago.
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