NBC Chicago and Ward Room bring you profiles on the 18 wards heading into a runoff election April 7. In this profile, learn all about the 41st Ward.
41st Ward – Mary O’Connor (incumbent) vs. Anthony Napolitano
Issues at Stake in Runoff:
A 41st Ward aldermanic candidates forum hosted by the Foster Harlem Property Owners Association on Feb. 20 addressed issues such as the air noise, pollution and flight pass at O’Hare International Airport; red light and speed cameras; promoting local business growth (especially along Higgins Avenue, Harlem Avenue, and the Harlem Foster Shopping Center); an appointed or elected school board; city services; and whether or not changes are needed to the Chicago Police Department system.
Education: Eastern Illinois University (B.S., nutrition), Resurrection High School
Occupation: 41st Ward Alderman
Endorsements: Chicago Tribune, Chicago Sun-Times, Chicago Federation of Labor
Key Issues: Local economic growth, neighborhood schools, community service, recycling, infrastructure, parks and recreation, ethics reform in city council, pensions, reducing aircraft noise from O’Hare
Education: Calumet College of St. Joseph University (B.A., criminal justice)
Occupation: Chicago firefighter
Endorsements: Illinois Herald
Key Issues: Opposing property tax increases, neighborhood participatory budget process, reduce aircraft noise from O’Hare, police accountability, open door policy with weekly ward night, senior services, resources for veterans
Voter Turnout on Feb. 24: 44 percent
How did they vote in the mayor’s race?
- Rahm Emanuel: 47 percent
- Jesus “Chuy” Garcia: 30 percent
- Bob Fioretti: 17 percent
o Total population: 55,991
o White: 82.34 percent
o Black: 1.19 percent
o Hispanic: 9.99 percent
o Asian: 5.82 percent (Source: WBEZ)
Neighborhoods: Edison Park, Edgebrook, Norwood Park and O’Hare
Adjectives that Describe the Ward: Residential, quiet, safe and family-oriented. This ward is known to be the home of many police officers, firefighters and other city employees.
How Ward Typically Votes: Mary O’Connor was first elected alderman of the 41st Ward in 2011. Before her, Brian Doherty was alderman from 1991 to 2011. He was the only republican on City Council at that time. In 2007, Doherty won 73 percent of the vote, defeating Don Markham (16 percent) and Michael Hannon (11 percent). In 2011, O’Connor won 50.9 percent of the vote, defeating Maurita Gavin in a runoff.