CHICAGO — They say all politics is local. Although the Iraq war policy is played out on a federal level, the war spending and lives lost come back to a local level here.

Alderman Ricardo Munoz of the 22nd Ward is running for Democratic state central committeeman of the 4th Congressional District — quite a local office — on a program to bring the troops home and that “people matter more than profits,” and “invest in Chicago, not Iraq.” He points out that the failed war in Iraq has cost $400 billion with tax cuts for the rich at $90 billion and $1 billion in tax cuts for big oil companies. As Democratic state central committeeman, a volunteer position, Munoz plans to work with congressional Democrats to fight George W. Bush and roll back the president’s tax cuts for the wealthy.

Each state pays for the cost of war. According to National Priorities Project, taxpayers in Illinois will pay $17.7 billion for the cost of war in Iraq, yet for the same amount of money, more than 2 million people statewide could have received health care.

As alderman, Munoz represents a majority Mexican American ward in the city. Latinos represent 11 percent of the U.S. military but an estimated 20 percent of the fallen service members in Iraq. Munoz is an independent voice in the Democratic Party who co-authored the City Council ordinance calling for a rapid end to the war.