Tomorrow is the last day Sandi Jackson will represent the 7th Ward in Chicago’s city council and some residents say the community should have a voice in the replacement process.
Jackson abruptly announced her resignation Friday in a letter to Mayor Rahm Emanuel saying she couldn’t balance her responsibilities with her family and representing the people who live in the 7th Ward.
“I am unapologetically a wife and a mother and I cannot deny my commitment to those most important personal responsibilities,” Jackson wrote in a letter to Emanuel.
She also said that the mayor, constituents of the 7th Ward and her fellow aldermen “deserve a partner who can commit all of their energies to the business of the people.”
Emanuel has 60 days to name a replacement, according to the Chicago Sun-Times. In a statement after her announcement Emanuel said he would outline a process this week to find someone to fill her seat.
“I was happy because she made the right decision for both family and residents,” 7th Ward resident Mia Henry told The Chicago Reporter today of Jackson’s resignation. “She wasn’t able to represent the residents of the ward.”
It is vital for ward residents to be involved in the replacement process, said Henry, who works for Safe Places for the Advancement of Community and Equity, a social justice organization.
Emanuel should hold candidate forums and listen to residents’ concerns to find the best person to represent them, she said.
Jackson was first elected in 2007 to the city’s 7th Ward, which covers the South Shore neighborhood among others.
Her resignation announcement came after weeks of rumors about her stepping down and months after her husband Jesse Jackson Jr. resigned from his congressional post he held for 17 years. Jackson Jr. had been temporarily away from his post as he battled depression and a bipolar disorder.
There is also an ongoing federal ethics investigation into his campaign finances, the Sun-Times reported.
A message left today by The Chicago Reporter at Sandi Jackson’s 7th Ward office was not immediately returned.