Loading...
Meet The Candidate2019-01-30T17:58:12+00:00

Bio

Born in the Englewood Community and raised in the Arburn Gresham Community. I am the founder and CEO of Gathering Point Community Council, a nonprofit organization focusing on building safe communities and healthy families, stimulating economic development, and helping at-risk youth avoid the temptations of the streets. After serving 23 years in Law Enforcement I retired a distinguished Chicago police officer who was a beat liaison officer under the Community Alternative Policing Strategy (CAPS) program, and a member of tactical units. I joined the CPD following a successful, decorated career in the U.S. Army, which I credits for cultivating my leadership skills and stoking my desire to be a fighter for the community. He achieved the rank of sergeant during my 6 ½ year stint, serving in Germany and in Iraq during the Desert Storm War. Because of my Military and Law Enforcement experience I am a successful entrepreneur in the Security Industry; Statewide Security & Safety Group.

Richard A. Wooten Sr.

I earned a bachelor’s degree in Law Enforcement Management from Calumet College of St. Joseph in Whiting, Ind., by taking night classes while working on the police department.

I served as associate pastor at Faith Walk International Church in Chicago before be elevated to Pastor of Gathering Point Universal Ministries in Chicago. My community and civic participation includes membership in the Omega Psi Phi Fraternity and Past Master King David Lodge 100 of Prince Hall Free and Accepted Masons, President for the 600 East 89th Place Block Club, and Vice President of the Greater Chatham Alliance Community Organization.

Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Business Alumni Cohort 22.

Richard Wooten, the Founder of Gathering Point Community Council, is known as the “Crime Agitator” because he is passionate about seeking solutions and making communities safer. He always strives to halt violence and crime, and empower residents in his neighborhood and community.

Whether it is patrolling some of the city’s most dangerous neighborhoods, pursuing elected office, counseling families in crisis or driving economic development, and helping at-risk youth avoid the temptations of the streets.

Wooten spearheads two major security and crime prevention initiatives – I Refuse to be a Victim and Crime Agitators- under Gathering Point. I refuse to be a Victim is a home, travel and personal safety education workshop highlighting use of the latest technology and security tools, reducing vulnerability and interacting with police. Crime Agitators is an awareness education program that teaches residents to become more observant, report unfamiliar activities, and build stronger relationships with neighbors.

He draws upon a 24-year law enforcement career from which he retired a distinguished Chicago police officer who was a beat liaison under the Community Alternative Policing Strategy (CAPS) program, undercover and plainclothes officer and member of tactical units. His accomplishments include disrupting drug rings in Englewood and solving numerous cold case robberies in Auburn Gresham. Wooten, along with several officers rescued primarily disabled and wheelchair-bound senior citizens trapped in a burning building on the South Side.
Wooten joined the CPD following a successful, decorated career in the U.S. Army, which he credits for cultivating his leadership skills and stoking his desire to be a fighter for the community. He achieved the rank of sergeant during his 6 ½ year stint, serving in Germany where he provided security for an air defense site and fighting and commanding six soldiers in Iraq during Desert Storm. Wooten was honored for his leadership skills, receiving a Service Ribbon, a Good Conduct Medal, and a Non-Commissioned Officer Professional Development Ribbon. He also received the National Defense Medal, acknowledging his bravery and service in the Gulf War.

The Chicago native attended Loop College, now Harold Washington College, and UIC before joining the military. He earned a bachelor’s degree in Law Enforcement Management from Calumet College of St. Joseph in Whiting, Ind., by taking night classes while working on the police department. Wooten’s commitment to create economic opportunities for 6th Ward residents and business owners prompted his run for alderman and State Representative, 34th District. During the aldermanic race, he advocated responsive leadership that provides needed services and programs in the ward.

As a successful entrepreneur, Wooten leads A-Plus Security and Safety Training. The business offers comprehensive security and safety workshops and training for unarmed and armed security, concealed carry certification, CPR, and First Aid. He is an associate pastor at Faith Walk International Church in Chicago. His community and civic participation includes membership in the Omega Psi Phi Fraternity and Past Master King David Lodge 100 of Prince Hall Free and Accepted Masons, President of the Greater Chatham Alliance and Block Club President.

Why I’m Running

The reality is our community isn’t any safer than it was 8 years ago.  The reality is, yes, we are attracting new businesses, but they are the wrong types of businesses. The reality is that our community is no better off than it was 8 years ago.  I am running to change that.

So, what do I stand for?

I am a man of integrity. Unlike our current alderman, I side with what is right, not with what is safe.  Alderman Sawyer voted with the current mayor 100% of the time, oftentimes against the best interest of our community.

I am a working man.  I am a proud retired police officer for the City of Chicago.  I have worked to keep our community safe and protect our youth.   I fought for police reform – organizing community meetings with the Department of justice in the awakening of the Laquan McDonald shooting.  I’ve lobbied for a better expungement process, because again as an officer, I know most of our kids get caught up in a system and need a second chance.

I am a successful business owner. I am proud to be the owner of a successful security company that employs over 15 individuals.   As an entrepreneur I understand the leadership it takes to build something from the ground up and that is what our community needs, a leader who organize, lead but still roll up his sleeves and get to work!

I am a community servant.  One of my favorite quotes is you judge a man by his actions and not his words.  For years, my actions have spoken loudly on passion for improving the 6th Ward.  I started my non-profit, Gathering Point here, Elected President of the Greater Chatham Alliance (GCA) to enact change and run my ministry, Gathering Point Universal Ministries, in the surrounding community.  I am a firm believer that we are all put here to be agents of change and I live my life every day to serve others.

How will I be different?

Simply put, you can’t fix what you won’t face. I’ve been an advocate for this community for over 20 years. I recognized crime was a major issue, so I started the Gathering Point, an organization that focuses on community safety and neighborhood watch training. I know our schools matter, which is why as president of the Greater Chatham Alliance I’d have helped organize community members to engage with local school districts to address ways to improve our school systems. Finally, I know we need an economic agenda to grow our community. Under my leadership we have gotten rid of unsavory businesses that only attracted more crime into our neighborhood and I am currently lobbying for a major business to develop within the 6th Ward. We need a comprehensive plan to bring jobs and resources back to our community.

I am ready to work and get the 6th Ward back on track. I don’t need the backing of the machine, I just need the backing of you. Together we are unstoppable.