Nancy Wade has been an activist since the mid-70s when the feminist movement had a major resurgence. Women were advocating for reproductive, social, and economic rights. She became a community activist in 1992 when she joined her neighborhood watchdog group, the Horner Park West Neighborhood Association. Her advocacy is guided by the principle that while we may not be able to change the whole world we can work to change our piece of it, and as citizens in a democracy we must try.
Her leadership in the neighborhood association resulted in significant improvements for the community. The most outstanding of these were: winning community down-zoning to protect our neighborhood from predatory developers, winning a park and playground for our neighborhood school, and closing down a drug house on Wade’s block.
During the years of her leadership in the Horner Park West Neighborhood Association her two children were growing up and Wade had her own home daycare business. In 2005 she earned a Masters of Teaching Language Arts from Northeastern Illinois University and taught in the Chicago Public Schools. Currently, she teaches Spanish to preschool-aged children.
When her family moved to the Lincoln Square neighborhood in 2008 Nancy Wade stepped up to become a volunteer organizer with MoveOn.org. As the MoveOn 5th District Council Organizer from 2009 to the fall of 2011Wade organized actions each month to advocate for progressive political solutions. With her leadership attendance at demonstrations grew from three people at the beginning of her tenure to over three hundred at the last action she organized on October 14, 2011. The 5th District Council grew from one hundred fifty members to two hundred eighty-five. The Council citizen lobbied Senators Durbin (D-IL), Kirk (R-IL) and Representative Quigley (D-5th) on issues ranging from healthcare to a progressive jobs program.
The Occupy movement began in October 2011 and Wade became focused on protection of first amendment rights in Chicago. She organized the group First Amendment Freedom Chicago. With her leadership First Amendment Freedom Chicago citizen lobbies Mayor Emanuel and the City Council to respect the first amendment rights of Occupy Chicago and all protest groups in Chicago. We have met with Felicia Davis, First Deputy Chief of Staff of the Mayor’s office, to present a petition with 13,000+ signatures in support of Occupy Chicago’s First Amendment rights. Currently, we are proposing to the city a seminar entitled Chicago: World Class Democracy, designed to bring police and activists together with neutral facilitators in advance of the NATO summit.
Now, with a lifetime of activist experience, Nancy Wade is running for congress in the 5th congressional district in Illinois. Wade seeks to give the voters of the 5th District a progressive champion to fight for real solutions to the challenges we face. She believes that in our current economic, social, and environmental crisis we must all be Super Citizens and answer the call to do everything we can to correct the course our government is taking.
Wade resides in Chicago with her husband Frank Scott. She has two children, Eli and Nathan Wade-Scott. In 2005 she earned a Masters of Teaching Language Arts from Northeastern Illinois University and graduated in 1978 with a Bachelor of Arts in Speech and Communication from the University of Minnesota.