Who We Are

ASE represents a breadth of organizations, civic leaders, members, and allies, all committed to reinvesting in the families and neighborhoods of Chicago’s Southeast Side. Together, we are making our communities stronger, safer, healthier and more powerful. (Interested in joining us? Go to our Member Page for more info!)

Amalia NietoGomez, Executive Director

Amalia was a board member of both the Alianza Leadership Institute and the Alliance of the SouthEast for three and a half years, before becoming the executive director of ASE. She has experience organizing a coalition and producing results. She has organized around predatory lending, abandoned buildings, immigrant rights, and education. She has 13 years of housing and banking experience, and community outreach. One of her main accomplishments was directing the Illinois Anti-Predatory Lending Coalition and coordinated all aspects of the campaign, including directing, fundraising, and organizing the Coalition. Results:

  • the City of Chicago passed first anti-predatory lending city ordinance in the U.S.
  • Illinois became only the ninth state to pass a strong anti-predatory lending law.
  • Protected assets: Two year decrease in foreclosures started in the City of Chicago– the first decrease in home foreclosure starts in over a decade (before the housing bubble burst).
  • Produced public policies that served as model for organization’s CRA agreements and national anti-predatory lending campaign.

Board of Directors
Major Kenneth Wilson, President
Senior Army Instructor, Bowen High School

Andrea Porter, Secretary
Associate Director, Claretian Associates

Vanessa Schwartz, Treasurer
Executive Director, Metropolitan Family Services– Southeast Chicago site

Mary Claire Schmit
Associate Director, Centro de Trabajadores Unidos

Estela Nava (Member at large)
Owner, Estela’s Hair Care Studio and Member, Immaculate Conception Catholic Church

Fr. Hector Navalo
Pastor, Our Lady of Guadalupe Catholic Church

Joyce Coffee
Executive Director, Family Rescue

Kayla Hearon
Member, Youth Leadership Council

Mery Mercado
Member, Germano Millgate Leadership Team

Director, St Augustine College

Other Community Partners inclde:
Black United Fund of Illinois (BUFI)
Blacks In Green
Calumet Area Industrial Commission (CAIC)
The Community Law Project
Crossroads Collaborative
ETHOS (Environment, Transporation, Health, Open Space)
Heartfield Chicago
Manufacturing Renaissance
Jeffery Manor Community Revitalization Council
New Sullivan Elementary School
Olive Harvey City College
Pilgrim Baptist
Southeast Side Block Club Alliance
Southsiders Organized for Unity and Liberation (SOUL)
St Michael the Archangel Catholic Parish
Trees R Beautiful
Veteran’s Park Improvement Association
and more!

Please click here for partners involved through the Coalition for a South Works CBA

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