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Uptown, Edgewater, Rogers Park

Ald. Harry Osterman Won’t Seek Reelection After Three Terms As Edgewater, Uptown Alderman

Ald. Harry Osterman was elected to the City Council in 2011 after time spent as a state representative. He announced Friday he will not seek another term as alderman.

Ald. Harry Osterman (48th) speaks at a City Council meeting on Jan. 26, 2022.
Colin Boyle/Block Club Chicago
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EDGEWATER — Ald. Harry Osterman (48th) announced Friday he will not seek another term as Uptown and Edgewater’s alderman, ending a three-term run as a powerful North Side official.

Osterman said he will continue to serve out his term in office but wont seek reelection. The decision ends a more-than-20-year run in elected office for Osterman, the son of a former alderman.

“As someone who deeply loves this community, this was not an easy decision,” Osterman said in an email to constituents. “I make this announcement with confidence of the path we are on as a community.”

Osterman won election to the City Council in 2011 after serving in the state House of Representatives since 2000. He easily won two reelection campaigns for alderman.

In an email to constituents, Osterman touted accomplishments, including reduction of crime, investment in local schools including Senn High School, infrastructure updates including the Asian on Argyle shared street design and a thriving storefront theater and local business community.

The announcement came as Osterman has undertaken major initiatives in the 48th Ward, which covers Uptown and the northern portion of Uptown. Those projects include a proposed major redesign of Broadway and the building of an all-affordable housing complex on a Streets and Sanitation garage site.

Osterman was chosen by Mayor Lori Lightfoot to be the chairperson of the City Council’s committee on housing and real estate. In the position, Osterman played a large role in affordable housing initiatives and conversations over renter protections during the pandemic.

Since Osterman’s last election, he has seen increased progressive organizing in his ward that has challenged him on issues of police reform and affordable housing.

“I will use the remainder of this term to continue the critical work we have started,” he said in the email. “I make this announcement at this time to enable those who want to step forward and lead our community the time to prepare to seek your support.”

Osterman is the second North Side alderman to announce this month he won’t seek reelection.

Fellow three-term Ald. James Cappleman (46th) also recently announced his retirement. The 46th Ward covers the southern half of Uptown and portions of Lakeview.

The 48th Ward already has one candidate running in next year’s race. Uptown resident Nick Ward announced his campaign early this year.

Osterman said he will work with his successor to ensure a smooth transition of officials in the ward.

“I make this announcement at this time to enable those who want to step forward and lead our community the time to prepare to seek your support,” he said in the email. I am proud to have done my part to serve our community and move it forward. “Now is the time for others to step forward and take on the responsibility to lead our community.

Osterman’s mother, Kathy Osterman, served two terms as Edgewater’s alderman in the 80s before being appointed as Mayor Richard M. Daley’s director of special events.

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