Ald. Harry Osterman (48th) announced Friday he will not seek re-election to the North Side ward he’s served for the past 11 years.
“I feel that the time is right to make this transition,” he said in a newsletter emailed to constituents Friday morning.
“I just did a lot of reflection,” he told the Sun-Times, noting he served 11 years as a state representative before being elected alderman and is proud of his work as an elected official.
“It wasn’t an easy decision. I’ve got 10 months left and I’m going to work my a– off.”
He said he’s making the announcement early to allow potential candidates enough time to step forward for next year’s Chicago City Council elections.
“There’s no heir apparent. There’s no handoff. I have confidence there will be a robust amount of people who want to run,” he said.
“I gave every ounce of energy 24/7. I poured my heart and soul into the work here and it’s been great,” he said.
The communities of Edgewater, Andersonville and Uptown are in Osterman’s ward.
His announcement comes on the heels of Uptown Ald. James Cappleman (46th) announcing earlier this month he would not seek re-election next year.
The city council has seen a number of other changes recently and may be due for more.
Indicted Ald. Carrie Austin (34th), who gave up her council seat to make it easier to redraw Chicago’s ward boundaries to accommodate the 2020 US Census amid an 85,000-person decline in Chicago’s Black population.
Ald. Howard Brookins (21st) is awaiting an Ethics Board ruling on conflicts posed by his law practice before deciding whether to seek re-election after losing a judicial race.
Alderpersons Roderick Sawyer (6th) and Ray Lopez (15th) are giving up their council seats to run for mayor. Ald. Sophia King (4th) may do the same. Ald. George Cardenas (12th), Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s deputy floor leader, is leaving after winning a seat on the Cook County Board of Review.
A handful of veteran council members may join the exodus, including indicted Ald. Edward Burke (14th), dean of the council.
Lightfoot already has made two aldermanic appointments — after the conviction of Ald. Patrick Daley Thompson (11th) and then after the resignation of Ald. Michael Scott Jr (24th).
The mayor has said she the amount of council turnover, doesn’t surprise her, especially considering the pandemic.
“It’s not a surprise that this is … coming after what we’ve been through,” Lightfoot said earlier this month. “I think we’ll see some others who may also say, ‘It’s time for me to move in a different direction.’”