Michele Smith, Ald. of Lincoln Park Ward, resigns


Associated Press

Chicago 43rd Ward Alderman Michele Smith speaks during a City Council meeting, Wednesday, June 22, 2016, in Chicago.

Michele Smith, Alderman of Ward 43, announced Thursday that she will resign from office next month.

The abrupt announcement comes after more than a decade of Smith’s service as a member of Chicago City Council representing Ward 43. The boundary is home to the Chicago neighborhoods of Lincoln Park, Gold Coast and Old Town, and contains DePaul’s Lincoln Park campus.

In the emailed announcement, Smith said her resignation will officially take effect August 12. Smith cited personal reasons and “deepening responsibilities” towards her family as the cause for her stepping down. 

Smith was one of seven aldermen who voted against Lightfoot’s River West casino plan in May. 

During her tenure, Smith was well-known for her active presence as a community leader in Ward 43, voicing citizen concerns on a variety of issues. Smith held community safety meetings and organized neighborhood walks to combat crime in Lincoln Park and its surrounding neighborhoods in recent years. 

Smith listed her work with local public schools as a major accomplishment in her retirement announcement, pointing to the more than $20 million addition to Lincoln Elementary in 2014. The project was met with a mix of support and opposition at the time. 

“Every improvement ever made in our community started with neighbors,” said Smith in her announcement. “I’ve been proud to help many of these dreams come true.”

The Alderman said she expects Mayor Lightfoot to select an interim candidate to fill the role until the Chicago aldermanic election in 2023.