July 24, 2013

Mayor Emanuel Names Deborah Mell New 33rd Ward Alderman

Choice of Mell Comes at Conclusion of Process That Involved 12 Applicants

Mayor's Press Office    312.744.3334

Today, Mayor Rahm Emanuel announced that Deborah Mell will be the new alderman representing Chicago’s 33rd ward.

“After a thorough process, I am pleased to announce that Deb Mell will be the new Alderman representing the 33rd ward,” said Mayor Emanuel. “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.”

The selection of Mell came after a thorough process in which 12 candidates were reviewed by a five-member selection committee. Three finalists met with the Mayor last week and he made his final decision over the weekend.

“I am excited to take on this challenge and responsibility, and look forward to working directly with the residents of the 33rd ward as their alderman,” said Mell. “There is much work to be done to make Chicago a better city for all, and I look forward to getting started.”

Deb Mell has served the 40th district in the Illinois State House of Representatives since 2009. She has been a leader on LGBT issues in the state house, as well as critical issues such as gun control, housing, and environmental protection. 

Mell has received a number of recognitions for her efforts as a legislator, including the Civic Leadership Award from Erie Family Heath Center/ Centro de Salud Erie, NOW (National Organization for Women) award for her activism, the Howard Brown Cornerstone Award for community excellence, and the Albany Park Community Center 2010 Appreciation Award.

Mell grew up in Chicago. She attended Cornell College and graduated with a double major before earning a culinary arts degree from California Culinary Academy.

“We are pleased with the Mayor’s selection and appreciative of the opportunity to meet the candidates for this position,” said Ald. Michelle Harris (8th ward), who sat on the selection committee. “I look forward to working with Deb to make sure that the needs of the 33rd ward’s residents are met." 

Mayor Emanuel thanked the selection committee for their efforts on behalf of the city of Chicago. The members of the committee, who interviewed candidates and sent the Mayor a list of finalists, are:

  • Felicia Davis, Executive Director, Mayor’s Office of Public Engagement
  • John Friedmann, Vice President, North River Commission, Longtime 33rd Ward Resident
  • Michelle Harris, City Council President Pro Tempore Iliamar Isaac, Community Activist
  • Ricardo Trujillo, Principal, Roosevelt High School

“It is important to have a thorough process for selecting an Alderman, and these committee members did a great service to the city of Chicago,” said Mayor Emanuel. “I thank them for their efforts on behalf of all Chicagoans.”

Mell will appear in front of the City Council’s Rules Committee prior to a confirmation vote by the City Council on Wednesday, and then, once approved, will be sworn in as part of the full meeting of the council.

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