Mayor Rahm Emanuel responded to a Chicago Sun Times story on Thursday by Mary Mitchell. Mayor Emanuel told reporters that any applicant for the aldermanic seat vacated by former 7th Ward Alderman Sandi Jackson has "got to live in the ward."
That statement by Mayor Emanuel clearly eliminates Sandi Jackson's choice to succeed her, Keiana Barrett. The Chicago City Hall Examiner reported in a story headlined "I'm picking my own replacement." However, Mayor Emanuel is reminding readers (and Sandi Jackson) that the authority to name an alderman are in the hands of Mayor Rahm Emanuel.
The statement by Sandi Jackson surely offended Mayor Emanuel when she said that “from an insider’s point of view, Mayor Rahm may say he wants to have interviews. The people he will interview will be the people I am suggesting,” former Alderman Jackson told the gathering made up mostly of political workers.
“They are interviewing people in the community, but they do that to calm people down. People want to have their input. But for the most part, they turn that matter over to the alderman.”
Not true as Mayor Emanuel's office issued a press release this morning announcing the process to identify a replacement for Alderman Sandi Jackson to serve and represent the residents of Chicago’s 7th ward.
“There will be a comprehensive process to identify a replacement to serve the residents of Chicago's 7th Ward,” said Mayor Emanuel. “I am looking for a candidate with a strong record of community engagement and involvement throughout the ward who is ready to work on day one. The process I have devised is a transparent, open process that will allow any eligible resident of the 7th ward to present their qualifications and will ensure the residents of this community get a strong representative on City Council.”
A website is active at http://cityofchicago.org/ward7application. On that site, interested candidates can download a PDF of the application, submit it online, ask questions, or even check their residency status to ensure that they are eligible candidates for the 7th ward. Beginning Monday morning, interested candidates will be able to apply, and applications will be accepted through Friday at 5 pm.
Next week, the Mayor will appoint a commission with community representation to review the applications and submit a list of three finalists for him to choose from. There will be four members on that commission, and they will be asked to forward at least three candidates to the Mayor for his consideration.
The Mayor expects to have the new alderman sworn in by mid-February so the residents of the 7th Ward will be represented in City Council for the next meeting.
In the column posted by Mary Mitchell, Sandi Jackson noted that all of the furnishings for her ward office at 71st and Exchange were bought with campaign dollars.
“That means the city does not own any of the furniture that you are currently sitting on, any of the furniture that is in the campaign office, any of the furniture that is in the aldermanic office. I bought every item personally, and if the mayor upholds my wishes, everything in that office will stay the same. Keiana will inherit everything,” Jackson said.
I think whether an office is furnished or unfurnished is the least of the Mayor Emanuel's worries in appointing the next 7th Ward alderman.
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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: How Barack Obama, Two Bookstore Owners, and 300 Volunteers did it. 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