Today, I would like to share some news with you.
For the last 22 years, I have had the distinct honor and privilege to serve our diverse and phenomenal communities of Edgewater, Andersonville and Uptown in public office, first as State Representative of the 14th District, and for over the last 11 years, as Alderman of the 48th Ward. I have decided that I will not be seeking a fourth term as Alderman of the 48th Ward in next year’s municipal election. As someone who deeply loves this community this was not an easy decision. However, I feel that the time is right to make this transition. I will continue to serve and work on behalf of our community as Alderman for the remainder of my term, which will end next May.
Thank you for the support you have shown me throughout the years. I want to thank you for your input, ideas, feedback, participation, engagement, hello’s and questions on the street, and deep commitment to our community that has guided me in the work that I have done and decisions I have made as your Alderman.
I make this announcement with confidence of the path we are on as a community. Over the last decade, we have moved our community forward in positive and transformative ways. Together, we have improved safety in our community, invested in our local schools - including our four incredible public elementary schools and Senn High School - expanded park programs and options for our youth, supported our local businesses and added many new businesses throughout the neighborhood, transformed our infrastructure to serve future generations, expanded the arts and theater community, and cared for and supported each other as neighbors, helping us navigate a pandemic.
The new Metra station and the CTA RPM project when completed will give our community vastly improved public transportation options. This important work was done in collaboration with you, fellow neighbors, block clubs, chambers of commerce, community organizations, and my local elected colleagues.
I will use the remainder of this term to continue the critical work we have started, including bringing pedestrian and safety improvements along Broadway, moving forward with the development of the Bickerdike 100% affordable building on Broadway, and bringing new businesses and increased safety along Bryn Mawr. On the citywide level, this will include ensuring the establishment of the urgently needed Community Commission on Public Safety and Accountability.
I make this announcement at this time to enable those who want to step forward and lead our community the time to prepare to seek your support. You will decide who our next Alderperson will be and that person will have my full support for a seamless transition. The success I have had as Alderman was built on the foundation of three amazing women who preceded me: Marion Volini, my mother Kathy Osterman and Mary Ann Smith. For 44 years, the 48th Ward has had community minded, result-oriented, independent leaders serving as Alderman, which has served our community well. I am proud to have done my part to serve our community and move it forward. Now is the time for others to step forward and take on the responsibility to lead our community.
I want to thank the many volunteers, interns and staff who have worked with me throughout the years, including my staff: PC Gooden-Smiley, Ginger Williams, Jerry Goodman, Emily Volini, Adam Glueckert, Olivia Simon, and Alan Oviedo. I have been very fortunate to have Dan Luna as my Chief of Staff and Conrad Suerth as our Ward Superintendent. They are the best in the City at what they do and each day they go above and beyond to serve you and our community.I want to thank my wife Peggy and kids Jack, Harry and Katie for their love and support, which allow me to do the job I love.
As a lifelong resident of Edgewater who grew up on Rosedale, lived in Andersonville, and raised a family in Edgewater Glen, I want to thank you again for giving me the opportunity to serve our community as your Alderman. My lifelong pride for and service to this community and the City of Chicago will remain strong and steadfast.
Alderman, 48th Ward"
UU Note: Coming on the heels of Ald. Cappleman's announcement that he is retiring, this is starting to remind us of the election of 2011, which took place all three long-established Uptown aldermen had announced their retirements: Helen Shiller (46th), Gene Schulter (47th), and Mary Ann Smith (48th). Gonna be an exciting election season! Petitions for candidates to get on the ballot begin circulating in September.