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Deb Mell replaces father as alderman
2013-07-31

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New Ald. Deb Mell (right) and wife Christin Mell. Photo by Kate Sosin


State Rep. Deb Mell has replaced her father, Richard Mell, has alderman of the city's 33rdWard.

In a statement released to media, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel said, "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."

"Just personally and professionally, I think the alderman has a more direct impact and can see results, and it's more hands on," Mell told Windy City Times before the announcement. "In that respect, I feel it's a better fit for me."

Mell is the first out lesbian alderman in the city. Chicago has two gay aldermen—Tom Tunney and James Cappleman.

A five-member selection committee selected Mell. Members included Felicia Davis, executive director of the mayor's office of public engagement; John Friedman, vice president of the North River Commission; City Council President Pro Tempore Michelle Harris; community activist Iliamar Isaac; and Roosevelt High School Principal Ricard Trujillo.

Richard Mell told reporters at a July 5 press conference that he thought the young Mell would pursue his seat and that he hoped she would be considered.

Mell's resignation took effect the day of the announcement (July 24). She will serve out remainder of the term, which ends in 2015.

The 33rd Ward includes parts of Ravenswood Manor, Albany Park, Irving Park and Avondale.


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