From Ald. Cappleman's newsletter, sent out this morning:
It is with mixed feelings that I am announcing I will retire after the end of my term in May 2023. Being the 46th Ward Alderman has been an incredible experience for me and it’s something I will always treasure. I ran for Alderman to interrupt the trajectory of the ward because our community demanded more.
From my work with many of you, we surpassed many people’s dreams for this ward’s improvement. I feel fortunate to be doing work that I enjoy every day, but I also know it feels right for me to move on to another adventure with the assurance that our community is now in a good place to keep moving forward to accomplish more.
From the very beginning, my goal was to help make this ward become a place where any mother with a young child would feel comfortable walking down any street in the ward. When I was elected in 2011, the 46th Ward was plagued with gang conflicts and early on in my first term, 10 people were shot within a span of 6 weeks.
It was then that I started a safety task force made up of CPD, the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office, local businesses, the chamber, and dedicated residents. It was our work together that helped violent crime begin its descent to today’s dramatic lows. A few years ago, I heard from a young mom who told me for the first time ever, she finally felt safe walking her kids to school. It was a major milestone!
In those early days, people were frustrated about the horrible condition of the Wilson CTA Station and there were discussions about the need to demolish the historic Gerber Building on the 4600 block of N. Broadway given the extensive costs to repair it. Through my work with others, the CTA station is one of the best in Chicago, and the historic Gerber building is now utilized as Chicago Market's Community Co-op, a prime example of our reinvigorated business community and diversified commercial storefronts and entertainment district.
While other wards have struggled to keep affordable housing, the 46th Ward gained, with two more 100% affordable residential buildings starting construction this year. Dilapidated buildings have become restored historic structures and vacant lots have new residential developments that offer a wide range of rents, including affordable housing. Our Entertainment District has blossomed in ways we never imagined, and more is coming our way.
Residents are now able to access the best of housing, entertainment, dining, and shopping throughout the ward. Others outside the 46th Ward have also recognized the incredible turn around, including TimeOut Magazine when they named Uptown as the 24th coolest community on the planet back in October 2020. While teaming up with many of you, we have accomplished more in the last decade than I ever thought possible. For that, I am truly thankful!
Please know that my staff and I are still here to support you until my last day in office. Later this summer, there will be some exciting announcements about more plans for the 46th Ward. This means I will have to work double time to get these final commitments done, but again, it’s the help that I get from so many of you that will make it possible.
As for the future, my husband Richard and I have no plans to leave this community when I retire. We will do what we’ve always done since we met one another over 30 years ago; we will keep giving our time to endeavors that will make our planet better for everyone.
The work isn't done: let's continue to work together for all our neighbors in the 46th Ward and beyond!
My best to all of you!
* For those wondering about the graphic, it's a companion piece to the graphic in our 2010 post about former alderman Helen Shiller telling the Sun-Times -- not her constituents -- that she'd be hanging it up after her term ended. Grease is the word, y'all.