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Ward 33

Alderman Richard Mell

Alderman Mell's Biography

Date of Birth: May 5, 1938

Place of Birth: Muskegon, Michigan

Martial Status: Married to Marge

Children: Patricia Blagojevich (Rod), Deborah Mell and Richard Mell and one granddaughter, Amy Blagojevich

Richard F. Mell was raised in Muskegon, Michigan and attended both high school and college there. He moved to Chicago in the Logan Square area after meeting his soon to be bride Marge. Following in his father's footsteps, he opened a spring manufacturing company in Chicago and soon became active in Chicago politics. He started as a precinct captain with the 33rd Ward Regular Democratic Organization under Committeeman John Brandt.

After serving the Organization for several years, Mr. Mell believed that more could be done for the 33rd Ward by a more aggressive local Democratic Organization. In 1972 Mell ran for Ward Committeeman as an Independent with the backing of neighborhood people from various community groups. The election results were close, he lost by some 500 votes. He remained active in the ward and worked with community organizations such as the Logan Square Neighborhood Association, Logan Square Lions Club, Northwest Community Organization, Fraternal Order of Eagles, the Polish American Alliance, and became a member of the Young Democrats of Cook County serving two terms as Chairman. In 1975 Mell ran for Alderman and soundly defeated the Regular Democratic candidate. In 1976 he successfully ran for Ward Committeeman and took his seat on the Democratic Central Committee of Cook County.

Alderman Richard F. Mell has always taken pride in representing a multi-ethnic, multi-racial community which keeps striving for a better way of life for all it's residents. He has remained open to the people by attending community meetings and maintains an open door policy, by making himself accessible to everyone who wishes to see him. He has consistently fought slum landlords while encouraging rehabilitation of homes along with social programs to help the needy.

In 1979 and during his second term as 33rd Ward Alderman he was elected Vice Mayor of the City of Chicago by his colleagues in the City Council, an office he held under Mayor Harold Washington until April 1987.

Alderman Mell currently serves as Chairman of the Committee on Committees, Rules and Ethics and is a member of the Committees on Budget and Governmental Operations, Finance, Health, Housing & Land Acquisition, Human Relations and Traffic Control and Safety.

Some of Alderman Mell's accomplishments are:

  • Help set up pilot program for Graffiti Court at Belmont and Western.
  • Initiated Adjacent Neighborhood Program to rid the city of vacant lots; put into force by former Mayor Jane Bryne.
  • Passed ordinance for introducing Community Service Work for graffiti vandals.
  • Was the first Ward to introduce a Graffiti Van.
  • Passed ordinance allowing individuals to sue parents for damage done by their children.
  • Banned spray paint.
  • Constantly fights absentee slum landlords in housing court.
  • Set new city ethnic codes for elected officials.