Alderman Carrie M. Austin
The Honorable Carrie M. Austin, the 5-term 34th Ward Alderman of Chicago’s far southside community, accepted appointment by Mayor Richard M. Daley on Thursday, August 5, 1994 to fulfill the unexpired term of her late husband Lemuel Austin, Jr. Henceforth Alderman Austin continues to carve a distinct brand that’s earned her the esteemed political moniker of “Power Broker”. By advocating “I had rather do and not promise, than promise and not do,” she obligates delivery of equitable city services as a precise rule rather than exception, option or favor. All the while maintaining accountability and accessibility to the public she serves, despite the variable challenges, expectations and criticisms.
As testament to Austin’s respectable work ethic, on Wednesday, May 23, 2007 Mayor Daley awarded Chairmanship of the powerfully prestigious Committee on the Budget & Government Operations, the second largest committee after the Committee on Finance to the Honorable 34th Ward Alderman. A seat which was also previously held by her late husband Lemuel Jr. In such capacity, Chairman Austin “has jurisdiction over the expenditure of all funds appropriated and expended by the City of Chicago. The Committee also has jurisdiction over all matters concerning the organization, reorganization and efficient management of City government, and federal and state legislation and administrative regulations in which the City may have an interest.”
With the departure of long-time Mayor Richard M. Daley, ushering in the distinguished Mayor Rahm Emanuel, Chairman Austin reins a notably accomplished veteran of the evolving 2011 Class of the Chicago City Council. Madam Austin proves key to affecting a favorable climate amongst her peers and freshman alike, the Chicago Aldermanic Black Caucus and across Council Committees. She is committed in her various capacities to be vigilant in laboring a progressive, vested interest for the benefit of all of Chicago’s citizenry, while maintaining the City’s world class status by promoting economic growth, excellence in public education, tourism, local commercial and housing development, job creation and achieving cost effective delivery of equitable city services.
The Alderman also Vice Chairs the Committee on Committees, Rules and Ethics and has membership in the Committee on Health & Environmental Protection, the Committee on Finance, the Committee on Housing & Real Estate, the Committee on Public Safety, Committee on Workforce Development & Audit, and the Committee on Zoning, Landmarks & Building Standards. She’s a former Chair of the City of Chicago Black Caucus and now currently serves as its Secretary. She is also the 34th Ward Committeeman, State Central Committeeman and was a Barack Obama Delegate. Austin is affectionately called “Chairman” by colleagues and staff.
Prior to and separate from the unfortunate and unprecedented rise in violence and youth crimes plaguing Chicago’s urban communities, this Alderman has consistently maintained close relationships with her Area Police Commanders (5th and 22nd Districts, respectively), Chief Deputies, Beat and School Officers, Tactical Sergeants and Officer Teams, as well as former Superintendent Weis. She relished a mutually respectable relationship with Interim Superintendent Hillard and the First Deputy and a vast number of Senior and Field CAPS Officers and Staff across the City. Chairman Austin likewise anticipates cultivating strong bonds with the new appointed Superintendent McCarthy.
Despite the Chicago City Aldermanic job classification being designated as a part-time position, this Alderman keeps an ongoing full-time schedule. The dictates of Carrie Austin as Alderman, Committeeman, City Executive Chair of Cook County Democratic Party of Illinois, State Central Committeeman 2nd Congressional District, Chairman of the Committee on Budget & Government Operations, community leader, advocate and other apropos representations in between are quite demanding, but met with Austin’s consistent fervor and commitment to public service. And she emerges to meet the many calls to speak, panel and/or participate in public and private venues as humanly possible, always striving to meet the diverse obligations of officiating duties of her office.
The Alderman stays connected to public pulse by hosting weekly ward nights every Tuesday, monthly town halls every third and fourth Thursdays, and attending community-driven forums and activities. She regularly appears on local television and radio talk formats discussing the current events and issues affecting both her ward and community at-large. Also as a trendsetting proponent of quality in public education, Austin stays involved and available to area principals, as well as, CPS CEO and Departmental Central Office Personnel to facilitate student, family and school community needs. She delights in promoting community partnerships that build upon community-based resources. A prime example of such powerful display of human resource can be discerned in the deployment of community lobby to advocate for the closing of an infamous 24-hour liquor store, which was replaced by a new state-of-the-art public library. One of many successful village-driven outcomes. Other acquisitions include a new Roseland Hospital Emergency Room and clinic facilities, new Davis/Langston Hughes concept school of mixed disabled and typic student population among other retail, commercial and real estate developments. Alderman Austin has Chaired the 2007, 2008, 2009 and 2010 Chicago Football Classic. This year alone, she has officiated grand openings of the ward’s new Roseland Medical Center, new suburban-style Marshfield Plaza Shopping Mall, new Exelon City Solar Installation and ground breaking for the Ray & Joan Kroc Corps Community Center. Present and prospective development progressively increases the ward’s economy, creating ongoing job opportunities, reticulating local revenue and increasing incentives for TIFs and NIFs.
This Alderman’s certainly a green advocate too and encourages adopting such applications in all existing, where applicable, new and prospectus developments. This can be evidenced in green application observances at Marshfield Plaza and, most notably, by her current lobby to bring a “waste-to-energy” biomass system plant facility to her beloved part of the city.
Alderman Carrie’s love for the Lord is quite evident in all she does! A former member of Messiah Temple under the leadership of Reverend Barney Saulsby, she willfully served on various committees. Her current spiritual servitude at Logos Baptist Assembly is under the formidable leadership worship of the distinct Reverend Donald Parson. And she openly espouses to freely pass on the good news and prosperity of the Gospel to all persons willing to listen.
The Honorable Alderman Austin is a noble mother of 7 children, grandmother of 28. So when she’s not being a diligent shepherd, soldier, and servant, she likes to take time to relax and enjoy family and friends.
Lastly, the honorable Alderman graciously appreciates her community’s support. She welcomes all residents of the 34th Ward to join with her in making their community a safe, prosperous place to live, work and play!! And is as committed to excellence in her service as Chairman of the Committee on Budget..