July 11, 2013

Mayor Emanuel Names Members of 33rd Ward Candidate Screening Committee Set to Evaluate 33rd Ward Aldermanic Candidates

Mayor's Press Office    312.744.3334

Mayor Rahm Emanuel today named the five members of the 33rd ward candidate screening committee that will examine the candidates for 33rd ward alderman.

“The five men and women serving on this committee have an important obligation to the 33rd ward and the entire city of Chicago,” Mayor Emanuel said. “I am confident the committee members will commit themselves to their responsibility and offer a strong group of candidates for the position. This method ensures the residents of the 33rd ward are represented by the best possible candidate.”

The Mayor will meet with the 33rd ward candidate screening committee members prior to the evaluation process. He has charged them with narrowing the eligible applicants to a small group that he can interview himself before making a selection.

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

  • The members of the committee 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

The committee members were chosen because they bring a wide range of experiences and perspectives to the committee. Furthermore, they have strong ties to the 33rd ward community, including backgrounds supporting the community in public safety, education, the environment, local business, the promotion of arts, culture and other neighborhood development initiatives.

Mayor Emanuel expects that the new 33rd ward alderman will be in place prior to the next city council meeting.



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 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. Prior to joining the Emanuel Administration Ms. Davis was the Vice President of Administration at Kendall College, 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.


John Friedmann, Vice President, North River Commission, Longtime 33rd Ward Resident

John Friedmann has raised his family and has been a committed member of the 33rd Ward community for over four decades. Much of John's community engagement has focused on environmental issues and in particular, the fight to save Ash trees. He is founder and executive director of the Save the Ash Tree Coalition, a group that brings community organizations from across Chicago together to promote the preservation of the Ash tree. John also serves as the Vice President for environmental issues on the North River Commission, an organization that brings together residents and community partners to promote the strength of neighborhoods on the northwest side. He is a former president and long-term member of the Horner Park West neighborhood association, and currently serves as its Vice President. A lifelong-resident of Chicago, John Friedmann is devoted to the life of the 33rd Ward and its future vitality.


Iliamar Isaac, Community Activist

As a small business owner, community leader, architect and mother, Iliamar Isaac's roots in the 33rd Ward are both broad and deep. Whether at Mexique, the Michelin Star restaurant she designed and opened with her husband in 2008, or in serving children and families as a founding member of La Casa de Dios Church, Iliamar has been a catalyst for her community's growth. The healthcare clinic she helped to establish at La Casa de Dios and drive to provide school supplies from the church have helped to make it a cornerstone of the community. The entrepreneurial spirit Iliamar and her husband showed in launching a thriving restaurant has created both opportunity and a culinary magnet in their community. For nearly two decades, Iliamar has demonstrated great leadership and love for her community. The 33rd Ward is stronger because of Iliamar's diverse experiences and determined efforts.


Ricardo Trujillo, Education Leader, Principal, Roosevelt High School

Ricardo Trujillo was born in Smithtown, NY and moved to Chicago at the age of one.  He is a first generation American, his family emigrating to the U.S. from Cuba in 1966.  He is also the first in his family to receive a college and graduate degree.  Mr. Trujillo attended Chicago Public Schools in his youth, graduating from Lane Technical High School in 1989. He believes very strongly in public school education. Ricardo Trujillo is the principal of Theodore Roosevelt High School. He is one of a handful of principals to come into the role directly from teaching.  He is a graduate of Loyola University in Chicago where he attained an undergraduate degree majoring in Biology.  He then went on to receive a graduate degree in education from DePaul University in Chicago, where he also completed his administrative licensure.  Prior to serving as Roosevelt’s Principal, Mr. Trujillo was a science teacher at Taft High School, where he taught Chemistry, Biology and most notably developed their robotics program.  He also coached various sports and was a member of the principal’s leadership team. 


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.

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