James Cappleman has lived in Chicago since 1986 and in the 46th Ward since 1999. For over ten years, James was on the board of directors for the Uptown Chicago Commission (UCC), and served two-terms as board president. Through his work as president of UCC, James helped strengthen block clubs, organized service projects, and created open access to needed information for area residents. Before his election as Alderman, James had an extensive history of working with state elected officials, area police commanders, CAPS, and community organizations to address public safety concerns.
In addition to his work in the 46th Ward, James continues to advocate for families throughout the city as an active board member of Annie’s Legacy, a Southside not-for-profit organization that empowers women who have experienced abuse and poverty . In 1987, he co-founded a homeless shelter that provided care for people living with HIV/AIDS and for three years served as chair of the Illinois’ National Association of Social Workers’ HIV Task Force. A licensed clinical social worker, James has worked in the healthcare field to improve communication among doctors, patients, and families. He also has had training in research that focused on improving the delivery of healthcare. His past experience in hospice work led him to write a book for individuals with chronic illness entitled, Asking the Right Questions to Get the Health Care You Need.
James has received numerous awards for his advocacy for others, including for people experiencing HIV/AIDS, homelessness, and domestic violence. His husband, Richard Thale, is chair of the 19th Police District’s Court Advocacy Committee and serves as one of the CAPS beat facilitators for Beat 1914.