Illinois State Rep. Deb Mell has been chosen to succeed her father as an alderman on the Chicago City Council, according to the Chicago Tribune. Mell, who will represent the 33rd Ward, will be the first out lesbian to serve on the council. Two out gay men currently serve as aldermen.
Mell was chosen by Mayor Rahm Emanuel with the help of a five-person panel he appointed to review applicants for the post. The seat is being vacated by Richard Mell, who was first elected to it in 1975.
“Deb brings a strong legislative and voting record and a unique level of experience to the role, which separated her from other candidates for the position, and will allow her to immediately able make a strong impact on behalf of the residents of the 33rd ward. She is a proven legislator and will be a great addition to the City Council,” said Emanuel, who also noted that her appointment would break glass ceilings for out women.
Chuck Wolfe, president and CEO of the Gay & Lesbian Victory Fund and Institute, congratulated Mell, saying, “Deb’s appointment gives Chicago another strong voice for the city’s LGBT community, and a real fighter for the people of the 33rd Ward.”
Mell married her wife, Christin Baker, in Iowa in 2011.