Thursday, August 5, 2010

Alderman Smith Won't Run Again in 48th Ward Chicago

So long to Ald. Mary Ann Smith. She won't run in the February, 2011 Chicago aldermanic election. Ald. Mary Ann Smith (48th) acknowledged Thursday that she would not seek re-election, reported the Chicago Sun-Times on Aug. 5, 2010. Smith, chairman of the Parks and Recreation Committee, is the second longest-serving woman on the City Council. She was elected in 1989, the same year Mayor Daley took office, and has “never lost a precinct.” But, Smith said Thursday that “after 21 years of trying to be all things to all people,” the current term would be her last. Update, August 6: Ald. Smith sent this email to 48th Ward constituents: Dear Friends, It is with mixed emotions that I have decided not to run for re-election in February. My 20 years as Alderman of the 48th Ward have been the most productive and fulfilling of my career. I am so proud of what we have accomplished together to improve the quality of life in our community. Despite the continuing challenges, our streets are safer, our schools are better, our housing has improved and our businesses are strong. But I believe it is time I move to a new phase in my life. I want to focus my energy on environmental issues, especially climate change and the health of the Great Lakes; mental health and nursing home reform, and animal welfare. I believe I can do this more effectively as a focused advocate for these causes. Thank you for your help and support. It has been my privilege to serve you. And I pledge to devote my full energy to working on behalf our community as your Alderman until my term expires next May. With warmest regards, Mary Ann Smith Ald. Smith is one of a handful of aldermen to whom we would extend best wishes for success, and we do. But isn't it always amusing to hear an elected official say that they are leaving their position of great influence and power so that they can be, well, influential and powerful? What is it about being a Chicago alderman that Mary Ann Smith thinks is limiting her ability to affect "environmental issues, especially climate change and the health of the Great Lakes; mental health and nursing home reform, and animal welfare?" Just asking. Now, let's continue the northward trend of incumbent aldermen deciding not to run. Recently, 46th Ward Ald. Helen Shiller of Uptown infamy announced her decision to not run again. Retiring in Edgewater is Smith in the 48th, just north of Shiller's 46th Ward. Can we pleeeeeeeease hear a similar announcement soon from the 49th Ward, just north of Edgewater, where Ald. Joe Moore has annoyed developers and imported thousands of Section 8 vote slaves into Rogers Park since 1991? Please?