Ward Room
Covering Chicago's nine political influencers

Dick Mell Is Old, Has Been An Alderman Forever

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    NEWSLETTERS

    The political powerhouse shares stories about his long career and answers questions about his daughter. (Published Friday, Jul 5, 2013)

    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