January 28, 2013

Mayor Emanuel Names Members of Seventh Ward Candidate Screening Committee

Mayor to Meet with Committee on Monday; Evaluation Process to Begin Tuesday

Mayor's Press Office    312.744.3334

Mayor Rahm Emanuel today named the five members of the 7th ward candidate screening committee that will examine the candidates for 7th ward alderman.

“The five men and women who are serving on this committee have an important obligation to the 7th ward and the entire city of Chicago,” said Mayor Emanuel. “I am confident they will take their duty seriously and present me with strong choices for this important position. This method for selection will ensure that the best possible candidate is selected for the residents of the 7th ward.”

The Mayor will meet with the 7th ward candidate screening committee members later in the morning on Monday. He has charged them with narrowing the eligible applicants to a small group – three or more – that he can interview himself before making a selection.

The committee members will have the opportunity to review the applications submitted by members, as well as interview them by phone or in person, if necessary. They will then deliberate and send the Mayor their selections.

The members of the committee are:

  • Susan Motley, Community Activist
  • Rev. Marrion Johnson, Sr., Founding Pastor, Come Alive Ministry of Faith
  • Echelle M. Mohn, Founder of EMUJ Network, Longtime 7th Ward Resident
  • Michelle Harris, City Council President Pro Tempore
  • Felicia Davis, Executive Director, Mayor’s Office of Public Engagement

The committee members were chosen because they bring to bear a wide range of experiences and perspectives on the committee, as well as strong ties to the 7th ward community, including strong background supporting the community in public safety, education, faith, and the promotion of arts, culture, and other neighborhood development activities.

As of Friday evening, 42 applications had been received. The deadline for applications has been extended to Monday, Jan. 28 at 5 pm, due to some technical difficulties experienced by the City’s website.

Mayor Emanuel expects that the new 7th ward alderman will be in place prior to the next City Council meeting.



Susan Motley, Community Activist

Susan Motley has spent her entire life focused on her communities, and community building is the common cord that links each of the diverse leadership roles where Susan Motley has served over the course of her distinguished career. Whether as a project director for the Ford Foundation, as director of housing at Princeton University, or as a program officer for the MacArthur Foundation, Susan has demonstrated a talent for building partnerships and engaging communities. As a veteran of both the New York City Planning Commission and Human Resources Administration, Susan also knows how to navigate city government and deliver results for residents. She will bring this vast experience to this process.

Rev. Marrion Johnson, Sr., Founding Pastor, Come Alive Ministry of Faith

Rev. Marrion Johnson, Sr. is the founding pastor of Come Alive Ministry of Faith.  He has served in this capacity since 1986 in the South Shore community.  In addition to caring for souls at Come Alive Ministry of Faith, he has great concern for the total wellbeing of society.  Thus, his ministry has provided social services to the HIV/AIDS population for over16 years through case management, Pastoral Care, and Prevention Education.  Seeing the needs of the children of South Shore, he has participated as a site for the CPS Safe Haven program since its inception.  Rev. Johnson serves on various committees including CPD 3rd District Clergy Sub-Committee, 7th Ward Clergy Committee, Pastors United for Change, Jesus Christ’s Servants, and the United American Progress Association.  He is a product of the Chicago Public School system and Chicago City Colleges.  He is a married to Rev. Vickie D. Johnson (parents of 6) who serves as Co-Pastor with him.

Echelle M. Mohn, Founder, EMUJ Network, Longtime 7th Ward Resident

Echelle Mohn was born and raised on the South Side of Chicago. Upon graduating from Academy of Our Lady High School, she went on to attend Columbia College in Chicago to study Fashion Design and Business Administration, before leaving Chicago to attend Andrews University in Berrien Springs, Michigan. There she would continue her studies in fashion and graphic arts. Upon her return to Chicago, she joined the Women’s Self Improvement Project and the Women’s Business Development Center. These two entities assisted her in forging what she would call a “self improvement” and image consulting firm, EMUJ Network. Throughout her career, in addition to teaching, Echelle has launched a number of businesses, including a design firm and a teaching program called The Substitute. She is a long-time resident of the 7th ward with a strong and distinguished history of community involvement and will bring the perspective of the ward’s residents to the committee.

Michelle Harris, City Council President Pro Tempore

Alderman Michelle Harris serves as President Pro Tempore of the City Council.  She has a long-standing history of community involvement, stemming from the influence of her parents, who were stewards of their neighborhood.  She has been Alderman of the 8th ward since December of 2006.  Prior to that, she served in a variety of capacities serving the public.  From Chief of Staff to an Alderman, to Streets and Sanitation Ward Superintendent to the Cook County Board of Commissioners, Harris has found success employing her strong community roots, and excellent work ethic.

Felicia Davis, Executive Director, Mayor’s Office of Public Engagement

Felicia Davis joined Mayor Emanuel’s Administration in 2011 as his First Deputy Chief of Staff, where she managed the City’s Public Safety portfolio and served as the Mayor’s lead advisor on public safety policy.  In June 2012, Felicia was named the Executive Director of the Mayor’s Office of Public Engagement. In her new role, Felicia is tasked with connecting community members to resources across City government to help them serve and celebrate their communities; and collaborating with neighborhood and civic organizations, nonprofits, policy advisory groups and various city agencies to inform and engage citizens for the betterment of their communities and the city at large.  Felicia also serves as the City’s lead for CARE (Community Anti-Violence and Restoration Effort), which is a collaborative effort between the City and the County to promote accountability, dialogue and cooperation among diverse stakeholders, and develop initiatives and policies that reduce violence and support community stabilization. Prior to joining the Emanuel Administration Ms. Davis was the Vice President of Administration at Kendall College, where she oversaw the College's operations and administration and she previously served the Chicago Police Department, with distinction, for 10 years. Felicia is a Chicago native and life-long resident; she resides on the City’s South Side with her family