|Name||Mary Ann Smith|
Chicago, Illinois , United States
Mar 18, 2006 02:01pm
|Info||Mary Ann Smith brings to her position as 48th Ward Alderman more than 25 years of dedicated public service particularly in public safety, community directed redevelopment, traffic management, lakefront planning and public sector accountability. |
Her work on behalf of her community, one of the most diverse in Chicago, and for all the people of Chicago earned her an unprecedented honor: She ran unopposed for her second term as Alderman in a Ward where as many as a dozen contenders have vied for the office in a municipal primary election. She recently was re-elected with an overwhelming majority of the vote to a third term.
Alderman Smith is known for her concern for the environment and particularly Chicago's lakefront. She is chairman of the City Council Committee on Parks. Formerly she served as vice-chair of the City Council Subcommittee on the Chicago Lakefront, as a vice-chair of the Lake Michigan Federation, and a founding member of PCB's Gone. Her leadership on environmental issues earned a United Nations Environment Programme Award for Citizen Action to Protect the Global Environment. She also serves on the city's Advisory Council on Chicago Green Development.
As chair of the Chicago Committee on Parks, Alderman Smith worked to restructure the Chicago Park District and its management, to improve programming, secure the parks, and increase access to recreation for all Chicagoans, with an emphasis on teenagers,youth and seniors. She worked with the Chicago Park District to expand Senn Park and procure the magnificent statue of Abraham Lincoln as a youth, which now graces the new park addition. Recently, she has added two new parks to the Ward's lakefront at Thorndale and Sheridan, and the last piece of open lakefront property at 6151 N. Sheridan.
In her neighborhood, she has sparked residential and economic development, securing more than $105 million in funding for community improvements, spearheading the designation of three National Register Historic Districts, Bryn Mawr, Uptown Square and Lakewood Balmoral. The Uptown Entertainment District was the subject of a recently published report and recommendations from the Urban Land Institute (ULI).
Alderman Smith has significantly improved public safety and was an early supporter of the Chicago Alternative Policing Strategy (CAPS) program. She is unsnarling long-standing traffic and transportation problems in her community. She was instrumental in helping to organize state's first city/suburban traffic and transportation study, now in progress, and in gaining funding for a project to improve pedestrian safety and neighborhood walkability.
Her willingness to employ new alternative energy and flood control technologies in her Ward have contributed to a reputation for innovation. The city's first water-permeable alley was installed in the 48th Ward last fall. The alley has earned awards from engineering and environmental groups. This spring, rain gardens, which will divert water from the sewer system, will be installed.
She works closely with neighborhood schools to improve education and educational facilities. New additions opened at Swift School and Pierce School, and a new campus for Goudy School, with privately financed public art, will soon be under construction. This represents nearly $62 million in school improvements.
She closely monitors the performance of the U.S. Post Office in her area. She was instrumental in bringing the Postmaster General of the United States to Chicago to appear at a City Council inance Committee hearing on poor Post Office performance held in the Ward.
Alderman Smith is a champion of human rights and has worked to integrate the variety of immigrant groups in her community into the mainstream business, financial and social structure of the neighborhood. An early supporter of the Human Rights Ordinance, Transgender, and Domestic Partner Ordinances she is seen as a champion of the LGBT community in the City Council.
Her campaign for a Walkable Edgewater, funded in 2000, earned an award from the Chicago Civic Federation and a Soles and Spokes award from the Chicago Area Transportation Study.