Trevor Grant is a statistician and “data scientist” by trade. He’s lived in the First Ward since 2013, originally living in Wicker Park and then buying a home in Logan Square. Prior to moving to Chicago, Trevor grew up and went to college in Illinois. He served in the Illinois Army National Guard as a combat medic where he served in Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan from 2008-2009.
Trevor has the “right stuff” in terms of relevant life and professional experience to serve the First Ward and work with residents to affect the change that they want to see in their neighborhoods.
Trevor’s professional life has taught him about the power of communities working together. He has worked in statistics and computer science in Chicago since 2013, upon graduating with two advanced degrees in Applied Mathematics and Business Administration. He currently is a statistician, public speaker, and Open Source “Evangelist” at International Business Machines Corporation (IBM). You can find a full list of his talks and blog posts here.
In addition to passionately caring about Open Source Software, he’s also a leader in several communities including Apache Mahout and Apache Streams. Trevor believes Open Source Software is relevant to civics, because people are doing for free, what they might normally get paid for. The dynamics of these digital forums have informed Trevor’s views about community building and have taught him lot of practical lesson in consensus building that he believes will support him in fulfilling the duties of Alderman.
As an extension of these open data movements, Trevor strongly support’s Chicago’s initiatives in Open Government and Open Data programs. He believes in these initiative because they are lead by community members interested in collaborating, helping to identify, and proposing solutions to city problems. Trevor believes that these types of civic engagement should be fostered as they will continue to be a force for good in the city’s future.
Trevor went to college at Illinois State University where he earned two Master’s degrees in Applied Mathematics (emphasis on statistics) and Business Administration, e.g. MBA), as well as a Bachelor’s degree in Economics. While pursuing his academic career, Trevor also had a myriad of rich extracurricular life experiences: he opened a breakfast delivery restaurant at the age of 19; he became a Leasing Manager of a large apartment complex in Normal, Illinois; and he also joined the Illinois National Guard as a Combat
Serving in Afghanistan while in the National Guard, Trevor developed a sincere appreciation for the freedoms of America and the profound responsibility of those entrusted to protect those freedoms. He will bring this sense of responsibility to the role of Alderman in the First Ward. In the Army, Trevor learned several practical lessons, including that that the world is not always black and white, and how badly corruption can devastate an area when left unchecked. An example of this is when Trevor’s unit was
assigned to a Police Mentoring Team whose primary goal was to train the local Afghan Police how to conduct themselves more as professional police force. The team was located West outside of Kandahar city in a district known as Zhari . While in Zhari, Trevor went on patrols where he was surprised to find that the local police team did not burn or confiscate large fields of marijuana or poppies. As Trevor learned, this was a direct result of the person in charge of paying police being too corrupt. This person insisted on exceptionally large bribes to release the police force payroll. As a result, the local Police Captain felt compelled to maintain illegal fields so that he could pay his men. Trevor and his team realized there were limits to their ability to improve a situation
marred by institutionalized corruption.
This is a bizarre case illustrates a serious point: corruption drains citizens of their resources and moral dignity. While Chicago politics has a reputation for corruption as well, as Alderman, Trevor will contribute to the First Ward by leading the change he believes the residents of this community deserve.
As an aside- if you want to see me looking like a shell-shocked dummy while a Canadian tells jokes please check out the Louie Palu’s Free-On-Amazon-Prime Kandahar Journals at time 46:10. (Actually, watch the whole movie).