So you think you can be a Chicago alderman?
Beginning at 9 a.m. Monday, City Hall began accepting applications from those who hope to succeed former 7th Ward Alderman Sandi Jackson on the City Council.
The application, due by 5 p.m. Friday, is rather brief, fairly straightforward and -- aside from requiring three letters of recommendation -- arguably less involved than, say, an application for an entry-level retail position at a Best Buy store.
After the Sun-Times reported that Jackson, who abruptly resigned from the council earlier this month, had told supporters that her successor would, ultimately, be of her choosing and that City Hall was opening up the application process to "calm people down," Mayor Rahm Emanuel on Friday assured that the process to replace Jackson will be an open one and that a four-member, mayor-appointed commission will help him choose Jackson's successor, whom he hopes to have ready to go by mid-February.
"I am looking for a candidate with a strong record of community engagement and involvement throughout the ward who is ready to work on day one," Emanuel said in a statement Friday. "The process I have devised is a transparent, open process that will allow any eligible resident of the 7th ward to present their qualifications and will ensure the residents of this community get a strong representative on City Council."
Sandi Jackson's resignation came after months of speculation related to Jackson missing a number of City Council and committee meetings, including the important vote on Emanuel's 2013 budget proposal.
Jackson's husband, Jesse Jackson Jr., also resigned last fall from Congress shortly after an easy reelection despite not campaigning amid his being on medical leave since June. The congressman had sought treatment for bipolar disorder and is the subject of an ongoing federal investigation into his campaign spending -- a probe that reportedly includes Sandi.