CHICAGO, August 30, 2022 - After nearly two decades of dedicated public service on the Chicago City Council, 44th Ward Alderman Tom Tunney today announced that he will retire at the end of his term in May of 2023.
"I have always strived to do my best for the residents and businesses in the Lakeview community and have been honored by the remarkable opportunity to serve the residents of the 44 th Ward for almost twenty years," said Alderman Tunney. "I am grateful for the trust they put in me to help lead Lakeview forward in ways that benefited residents, businesses and visitors, alike. I will continue to work tirelessly for the ward through my last day on the City Council. As I look ahead, I see so many great ways in which I can continue to give back to the city I love."
During his tenure on the City Council, Ald. Tunney served under three mayors. Under the Richard M. Daley and Rahm Emanuel mayoral administrations, he was chair of the Committee on Special Events, Cultural Affairs and Recreation, and the Committee on Economic Development, Capital and Technology, respectively. During Mayor Lori Lightfoot's administration, Ald. Tunney has served as chair of the Committee on Zoning, Landmarks and Building Standards and chair of the Special Committee on the Chicago Casino. He also served as chair of the LGBTQ+ Caucus as queer representation increased on the City Council.
In addition to City Council responsibilities, Ald. Tunney also serves on the Chicago Plan Commission, AIDS Garden Chicago and Chicago Sculpture Exhibit. He is founder and former president of the Lakeview Central Business Association, past chair of the Illinois Restaurant Association, and founding board member and former chair of the White Crane Senior Center.
Notable accomplishments by Ald. Tunney during his tenure representing the Lakeview community include:
- Secured funding for construction of the 19th District Police Station, which ensured this vital public safety facility remained in Lakeview.
- Supported the development of the Center on Halsted and the Town Hall LGBTQ+ senior housing projects as important community institutions for Chicago's LGBTQ+ community.
- Spearheaded AIDS funding and LGBTQ+ support services on the City Council.
- Advocated for funding and other support to ensure schools in Lakeview became and remained among the best in the City, including securing a $20+ million renovation of Lakeview High School.
- Preserved and expanded the number of affordable housing units in the 44 th Ward to more than 800 units.
- Secured a $7 million grant for the complete renovation of the Merlo Chicago Public Library.
- Ensured completion of AIDS Garden Chicago which opened in Spring 2022. Envisioned during Ald. Tunney's first campaign, this park honors those who live with and have died from AIDS.
- Managed the preservation and redevelopment of Wrigley Field helping to ensure this important business and entertainment venue remained in Lakeview without the expenditure taxpayer funds.
- Supported developments that improved local hospitals, Advocate Illinois Masonic and Ascension Saint Joseph, so they could better meet and plan for the future health care needs of the community.
- Championed economic and community development improvements throughout the ward to bolster the Northalsted, Wrigleyville, Southport and Broadway business and entertainment corridors.
- Expanded and enhanced the public art and sculpture program that began in the 43 rd Ward to what is now a city-wide program with murals and temporary and permanent art installations throughout the community and city.
- Established and supported three community gardens in the 44 th Ward.
- Navigated public transit improvements throughout the ward and northside which has led to notable capital projects that enhanced service and accessibility.
- Championed small business interests and issues advocating for a balance of economic needs for both businesses and their workers to ensure the Chicago economy remains strong and competitive.
In addition to serving on the Chicago City Council, Ald. Tunney has owned Ann Sather Restaurants for the past 41 years.