Chicago City Council: Mary E. O'Connor

Mary O'Connor brings her experience as Edison Park Chamber of Commerce president to city council

By Michael Kaplan
|  Tuesday, Dec 6, 2011  |  Updated 3:46 PM CDT
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Chicago City Council: Mary E. O'Connor

O'Connor edged out Maurita Gavin in a May runoff.

The first woman to represent the 41st Ward, Mary E. O'Connor replaced 20-year incumbent Brian Doherty. But it wasn't easy. O'Connor eeked by her challenger,  Maurita Gavin, in a May runoff. Gavin had the endorsement of Doherty, too.

Now the restaurant-owner-turned-alderman has taken her experience as head of the Edison Park Chamber of Commerce to City Hall.

Background:
The 53-year-old alderman grew up on the Northwest Side and graduated with a business degree from Eastern Illinois University. As former six-term president of the Edison Park Chamber of Commerce, O'Connor presided over the rejuvenation of the community's downtown. She was elected 41st Ward Democratic Committeman in 2008 and also owns an Edison Park catering company and deli.

The Ward:
A sprawling ward in the most northwestern part of the city, the 41st wends its way from I-94 to O'Hare. It includes Edison Park, Norwood Park, and Edgebroook, but the ward's most dominant institution is the airport itself. Chock-full of leafy middle class neighborhoods, the ward is home to a population with a strong Irish ancestry.

The Office:
O'Connor has pledged to fight plans to relocate Chicago police officers from the 41st to areas with higher crime. Her other priorities include more money for schools and encouraging travelers to take advantage of the restaurants and businesses near O'Hare.

Committees:
Aviation
Budget and Government Operations
Committees, Rules and Ethics
Education and Child Development
Housing and Real Estate
License and Consumer Protection
Public Safety
Transportation and Public Way

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