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Covering Chicago's nine political influencers

Dick Mell Is Old, Has Been An Alderman Forever

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The political powerhouse shares stories about his long career and answers questions about his daughter.

When Ald. Richard Mell retires, he'll take a lot of Chicago history with him. Mell is one of only two remaining aldermen to have served under Mayor Richard J. Daley. (The other is Edward Burke.) And he's one of only three remaining veterans of Council Wars. Mell, Burke, and Patrick O'Connor were all members of The 29, the coalition of white aldermen who opposed Mayor Harold Washington on the Council. 

The 74-year-old Mell has sat on the Council for 38 years, the second-longest current tenure, after Burke, and one of the longest in Chicago history. To put Mell's service in perspective, here's how the City Council's seniority will look after he leaves. More than half the aldermen have joined the council since 2007. Six years is only 15 percent of the time Mell served.
 
1. Edward Burke, 14th -- 1969
2. Patrick O'Connor, 40th -- 1983
3. Joe Moore, 49th -- 1991
3t. Ray Suarez, 31st -- 1991
5. Ricardo Munoz, 22nd -- 1993
6. Margaret Laurino, 39th -- 1994
7. Carrie Austin, 34th -- 1994
8. Walter Burnett Jr., 27th -- 1995
8t. Michael Zalewski, 23th -- 1995
10. Daniel Solis, 25th -- 1996
11. James Balcer, 11th -- 1997
12. Anthony Beale, 9th -- 1999
12t. Leslie Hairston, 5th -- 1999
12t. John Pope, 10th -- 1999
15. Emma Mitts, 37th -- 2000
16. Latasha Thomas, 17th -- 2000
17. Tom Tunney, 44th -- 2002
18. Howard Brookins, Jr., 21st -- 2003
18t. George Cardenas, 12th -- 2003
18t. Rey Colon, 35th -- 2003
18t. Ariel Reboyras, 30th -- 2003
22. Michelle Harris, 8th -- 2006
23. Lona Lane, 18th -- 2006
24. Willie Cochran, 20th -- 2007
24t. Pat Dowell, 3rd -- 2007
24t. Bob Fioretti, 2nd -- 2007
24t. Toni Foulkes, 15th -- 2007
24t. Brendan Reilly, 42nd -- 2007
24t. Joann Thompson, 16th -- 2007
24t. Scott Waguespack, 32nd -- 2007
31. Roberto Maldonado, 26th -- 2009
32. Deborah Graham, 29th -- 2010
33. Proco "Joe" Moreno, 1st -- 2010
34t. Timothy Cullerton, 38th -- 2011
34t. Jason Ervin, 28th -- 2011
36. John Arena, 45th -- 2011
36t. Will Burns, 4th -- 2011
36t. James Cappleman, 46th -- 2011
36t. Michael Chandler, 24th -- 2011
36t. Mary O'Connor, 41st -- 2011
36t. Matthew O'Shea, 19th -- 2011
36t. Harry Osterman, 48th -- 2011
36t. Ameya Pawar, 47th -- 2011
36t. Marty Quinn, 13th -- 2011
36t. Roderick Sawyer, 6th -- 2011
36t. Debra Silverstein, 50th -- 2011
36t. Michelle Smith, 43rd -- 2011
36t. Nicholas Sposato, 36th -- 2011
49. Natashia Holmes, 7th -- 2013
50. Yet to be named, 33rd -- 2013

Related Topics Ed Burke, Richard Mell
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