The rumors were true after all that have circulated Chicago’s city hall over most of this past year that longtime Alderman Dick Mell of Chicago’s 33rd Ward would resign, and then pass off his seat to his daughter. On Wednesday, at the regular City Council meeting, Deb Mell’s name was submitted by Mayor Rahm Emanuel to become the 33rd ward alderman. Deb Mell was approved overwhelmingly by the council and immediately took the oath of office.
That slap shot and a goal by now former Alderman Dick Mell came with a big assist from Mayor Rahm Emanuel. Another assist by a committee of five hand-selected by Mayor Emanuel.
The choice of Deb Mell to succeed her father as alderman, however, is a very popular choice in many circles, particularly with the progressive community and with the LGBT community. Deb Mell is a proponent of expanding rights for women, LGBTs, and minorities. Deb Mell is also a political ally of Mayor Rahm Emanuel, independent of her father, so the choice made political sense.
“After a thorough process, I am pleased to announce that Deb Mell will be the new Alderman representing the 33rd ward,” said Mayor Emanuel. “Deb brings a strong legislative and voting record and a unique level of experience to the role, which separated her from other candidates for the position, and will allow her to immediately able make a strong impact on behalf of the residents of the 33rd ward. She is a proven legislator and will be a great addition to the City Council.”
In a press release announcing the choice of Deb Mell said that “the selection of Deb Mell came after a thorough process in which 12 candidates were reviewed by a five-member selection committee. Three finalists met with the Mayor last week and he made his final decision over the weekend.”
“I am excited to take on this challenge and responsibility, and look forward to working directly with the residents of the 33rd ward as their alderman,” said Deb Mell. “There is much work to be done to make Chicago a better city for all, and I look forward to getting started.”
One of the members of the committee, Alderman Michelle Harris, said that “We are pleased with the Mayor’s selection and appreciative of the opportunity to meet the candidates for this position. I look forward to working with Deb to make sure that the needs of the 33rd ward’s residents are met.”
Mayor Emanuel thanked the selection committee for their efforts on behalf of the city of Chicago. The members of the committee, who interviewed candidates and sent the Mayor a list of finalists, are:
Felicia Davis, Executive Director, Mayor’s Office of Public Engagement
John Friedmann, Vice President, North River Commission, Longtime 33rd Ward Resident
Michelle Harris, City Council President Pro Tempore
Iliamar Isaac, Community Activist
Ricardo Trujillo, Principal, Roosevelt High School
Deb Mell has served the 40th district in the Illinois State House of Representatives since 2009. She has been a leader on LGBT issues in the state house, as well as critical issues such as gun control, housing, and environmental protection.
Deb Mell has received a number of recognitions for her efforts as a legislator, including the Civic Leadership Award from Erie Family Heath Center/ Centro de Salud Erie, NOW (National Organization for Women) award for her activism, the Howard Brown Cornerstone Award for community excellence, and the Albany Park Community Center 2010 Appreciation Award.
Deb Mell grew up in Chicago. She attended Cornell College and graduated with a double major before earning a culinary arts degree from California Culinary Academy.
Mell will appear in front of the City Council’s Rules Committee prior to a confirmation vote by the City Council on Wednesday, and then, once approved, will be sworn in as part of the full meeting of the council.
The 33rd ward includes parts of Ravenswood Manor, Albany Park, Irving Park and Avondale.
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John is the author of an award-winning book, the 2010 Winner of the USA National Best Book award for African American studies, published by The Elevator Group, Mr. and Mrs. Grassroots. Also available an eBook on Amazon. John is also a member of the Society of Midland Authors and is a book reviewer of political books for the New York Journal of Books. John has volunteered for many political campaigns. John is an unpaid volunteer and social media advisor at Robin Kelly for Congress.