On consecutive days, Mayor Rahm Emanuel has tapped two names—one from inside the administration, and the other from Washington, D.C.—to positions in his administration.
On Thursday, Emanuel announced the appointment of Maria Guerra Lapacek to be the new commissioner of the Chicago Department of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection (BACP).
Guerra Lapacek presently serves as the First Deputy Director of the Office of Legislative Counsel and Government Affairs for the Mayor’s office, organizing city council meetings, soliciting input from aldermanic, business and community groups, and helping draft legislation.
She replaces current BACP Commissioner Rosemary Krimbel, who has been asked by the Mayor to launch a new effort to modernize the city code.
On Friday, Emanuel appointed Ken Bennett as Deputy Chief of Staff and the Director of the Mayor’s Office of Public Engagement. Bennett comes from the Obama administration, where he served as Presidential Appointee and Regional Representative for the U.S. Secretary of Labor in the Midwest Region.
Bennett also has deep roots in Chicago and Illinois, having served in the past as Director of Field Operations for an Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan campaign and Chicago Regional Director for the Democratic Party of Illinois.
Emanuel created the Mayor’s Office of Public Engagement in June of 2013 to connect city departments directly with the Chicago neighborhoods they serve. Felicia Davis served as the office’s first director, but was recently named the Commissioner of the Department of Buildings.