CHICAGO — Ald. Margaret Laurino, who has served the city’s 39th Ward for 24 years, announced Friday she won’t seek reelection next year.
The 39th Ward encompasses all or parts of Albany Park, North Park, Hollywood Park, Mayfair, Sauganash, Edgebrook, Old Edgebrook, Gladstone Park, Indian Woods and Forest Glen.
Laurino, 66, said she will serve out her term, which ends next year.
“I have reviewed my professional commitments,” she wrote in an email to constituents. “I have reflected on my personal life changes, such as my husband Randy retiring and my grandchildren Oliver and Emma. And I have decided that it is time to scale back my schedule.
I will therefore not be seeking re-election as alderman of the 39th Ward.”
A Laurino has served the ward for decades. Her father, Anthony, was the ward’s alderman for nearly three decades before retiring in 1994. Margaret Laurino was appointed by then-Mayor Richard M. Daley to replace her father, who was later indicted in a ghost payroll scandal.
Mayor Rahm Emanuel praised her work in the City Council.
“She’s never been shy in making it clear that her community is her priority, and that passion for public service can be seen in the Albany Park Stormwater Tunnel, in the new annexes at Sauganash and Palmer elementary schools, in the new science labs at Von Steuben high school, in the new Albany Park and Independence libraries, on the roads, in community parks, at neighborhood businesses and so much more,” she said.
“Marge works her fingers to the bone, stands up for what she believes in and calls it like she sees it. In my eyes, there’s no higher praise.”
Here’s the full text of her statement:
Serving as 39th Ward Alderman has always been my dream job.
I never took that role lightly. Whether it was the years of pain and planning that led up to the ribbon cutting for a $70 million tunnel to prevent flooding or getting a pothole fixed, I gave it my all. In return, I have been blessed with the 39th Ward residents who have given me the opportunity to serve them for 24 years.
Together we’ve opened a new police station, two new schools, two new libraries and made significant investments in existing schools and parks. What was once a dilapidated motel and car wash on Peterson and Cicero is now home to a Whole Foods Market and condominiums. A shuttered Dominick’s at Lawrence and Pulaski was replaced with a busy retail development. Soon we will be breaking ground on a new shopping center with national retailers.
In the Chicago City Council, I have successfully sponsored measures which assist in making government more responsible, such as requiring sexual harassment and ethics training for all city employees as well as the video streaming of council meetings.
In my role as President Pro Tempore, I transformed the Legislative Reference Bureau into a pro-active office for researching and developing legislation for aldermen.
I’ve worked with some great people over the years from international experts to neighbors. I have served under two Chicago mayors, three city ward maps and in half a dozen city councils.
However, I have reviewed my professional commitments. I have reflected on my personal life changes, such as my husband Randy retiring and my grandchildren Oliver and Emma. And I have decided that it is time to scale back my schedule.
I will therefore not be seeking re-election as alderman of the 39th Ward.
It has been decades since I was a young girl at St. Edwards, but my love for the 39th Ward has only intensified. Improvements have been significant under my leadership during the past 24 years. It is one of the safest in the city with a flourishing quality of life.
For that reality, I would like to thank the residents, businesses, organizations, city employees and my staff which was ranked by a media watchdog group as one of the best in the city.
It’s been said that the measure of any great city is its neighborhoods. The 39th Ward stands as a great neighborhood.
I have been proud to serve it and will leave office at the end of my term with only the fondest of memories.