Alex Linares is an Economic Development Planner at the Great Cities Institute (GCI) at the University of Illinois Chicago where he works on reports, fact sheets, and engagement with community and nonprofit organizations. He most recently contributed to producing the Latinos in the Western Suburbs of Chicago microsite, Who Lives in Pilsen? The Trajectory of Gentrification in Pilsen in the Last Two Decades, and Latinos in the Suburbs: Challenges & Opportunities in collaboration with the Latino Policy Forum and the Metropolitan Planning Council.
As part of GCI’s Neighborhoods Initiative, he provides technical assistance to Chicago’s Wards for Participatory Budgeting Chicago, a project that allows community residents to decide how to spend part of a public budget. Before joining GCI, he worked in the nonprofit sector including the Working World, a nonprofit specializing in the financing and development of worker-owned businesses; Casa Central where he assisted interim homeless shelter residents reenter the workforce; and the Working Hands Legal Clinic, where he worked as a paralegal and conducted know your rights workshops throughout Chicagoland including Waukegan, Joliet, Melrose Park, and the Mexican Consulate.
He holds a BA in Sociology from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, and a Master in Urban Planning and Policy from the University of Illinois Chicago.