Chicago's 7th Ward lost two of its main leaders in the less than three months.
Sandi Jackson's resignation from the South Side ward took effect Tuesday after her announcement last week via a formal letter to Mayor Rahm Emanuel. Her husband, Jesse Jackson Jr., stepped down from the 2nd Congressional District, which includes the 7th Ward, in November amid a federal probe and health concerns.
They leave behind chiefs of staff in place of elected officials to take residents' calls and handle requests, from things like street cleaning on the city level to state-level fundraising and representation.
Staffers told Ward Room Monday that former Ald. Jackson's constituents still can get services from the ward office during the transition to a new alderman.
"The office will remain open, and we'll be here to address all constituents' concerns," Chief of Staff Kienna Barret said. "In addition to 311, we know constituents many times contact our office directly and we want them to continue to do so."
Emanuel said the process to find a replacement for Jackson, who was elected to the City Council nearly six years ago, will begin this week. The post will be filled through a mayoral appointment and would be Emanuel's first.
Ald. Bob Fioretti (2nd) said Monday he'd like to see a more transparent process and recommended public involvement.
"I think it ought to be an open interview process; maybe a panel set up, let the panel make decisions, submit two or three names to the mayor," he said.
Meanwhile a special primary to replace the former congressman will be held Feb. 26 with the General Election following on April 9. Last week 22 candidates filed for Jackson Jr.'s old seat.
But rumors surrounding resignations aren't the only thing the couple faces.
Federal authorities have been looking into whether Jackson Jr. used campaign funds to decorate the couple's Washington, D.C. home. Additionally, Sandi Jackson recently was asked by Illinois' State Board of Elections to explain a $69,000 discrepancy between her campaign finance reports and those of her husband.