Emanuel names five to panel to vet Sandi Jackson successors

Clout Street

A pastor who protested in favor of Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s push for a longer school day, a community activist and a businesswoman are among five people picked to sit on a panel that will narrow the field of applicants to replace former 7th Ward Ald. Sandi Jackson.

The committee is tasked with selecting “three or more” finalists from among more than 40 people who submitted online applications to replace Jackson, according to the Emanuel administration. She resigned this month amid ongoing controversy surrounding her husband, former U.S. Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr.

The panel includes:

*Rev. Marrion Johnson Sr. of Come Alive Ministry of Faith in the 7th Ward's South Shore neighborhood. Johnson's church participates in the city-funded Safe Haven program for school children. In 2011, Johnson joined other faith leaders and parents of Chicago Public Schools students for a rally in front of Chicago Teachers Union headquarters, where he said schools should adopt longer school days as Emanuel wanted.

*Susan Motley, a community activist and 7th Ward resident.

*Echelle Mohn, founder of image consulting firm EMUJ Network.

*Ald. Michelle Harris, 8th, who represents the neighborhoods just west of the 7th Ward. Harris is Emanuel's City Council president pro tempore and a reliable supporter of the mayor's agenda.

*Felicia Davis, executive director of the Mayor's Office of Public Engagement. Davis joined the mayor's administration in 2011 as his deputy chief of staff for public safety before Emanuel moved her to a new post last summer. Davis now helps organizations around the city figure out how to get aid from various agencies.

Emanuel will select Jackson's replacement after the panel vets the applicants. The mayor's office initially closed the online process last Friday, announcing 42 people had completed applications by the deadline. Then the administration then decided to continue accepting applications until 5 p.m. Monday because of a glitch that caused the application page to be “offline for a brief period of time.”

This will be Emanuel's first aldermanic appointment. He hopes to complete the process in time for the new aldermen to be seated for the next City Council meeting Feb. 13.
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