Chicago City Council: JoAnn Thompson

Alderman of the 16th Ward

By Jessica Guido
|  Thursday, Dec 8, 2011  |  Updated 3:05 PM CDT
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Chicago City Council: JoAnn Thompson

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JoAnn Thompson won the alderman's seat during a run-off election in 2007. She says her philosophy, "the prosperity of a community is expressed by the advancement of its people," is what drives her work for the people of the 16th Ward.

Background: JoAnn Thompson was born on the South Side of Chicago. She has lived in the Englewood community for over 40 years. She attended school in the area and later went to work for the Cook County Sheriff's Department in 1995. She was promoted to Lieutenant in 2006. She was elected 16th Ward Alderman in 2007 after Shirley Coleman.

The Ward: Parts of Englewood, Back of the Yards, Gage Park and Chicago Lawn make up the Southwest Side area. The 16th Ward is diverse with high populations of African Americans and Hispanic Americans. The area was once made up of Eastern European communities. The ward is mostly residential and is plagued with surges of violence, poverty and crime.

The Office: Thompson promises to focus on revitalizing education, economic development and housing. She has been successful in securing grants for low-income residents for vital home repairs, upgrading street lights and installing security cameras at Gage Park High School. She created the REAP (Resorting, Elevating, Advancing and Promoting) program that helps transition former criminal offenders back into the community. She had a complicated last election against opponent Hal Baskin. Fliers were released that suggested she was in a romantic relationship with a former gang member.

Committees:
Aviation
Budget and Government Operations
Committees, Rules and Ethics
Finance
Health and Environmental Protection (Vice-Chair)
Housing and Real Estate
Human Relations
Joint Committee on Economic, Capital and Technology Development and Health and Environmental Protection

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