Chicago Alderman JoAnn Thompson, 58, passed away suddenly on Monday, February 9, 2015 of heart failure, two weeks after surgery. The 16th Ward alderman was elected to the Chicago City Council on April 17, 2007. According to the Chicago Tribune, she was known widely “for her efforts to bring a Whole Foods and an annual music festival to Englewood.” Born on the South Side of Chicago, she lived in Englewood for 40 years.
Dorothy Brown, clerk of the Circuit Court of Cook County, issued the following statement:
I am greatly saddened by the news that very dear friend JoAnn Thompson passed away last night. We have lost an outstanding individual whose potential for improving the lives of others was only beginning to be realized.
JoAnn was a warm and giving person, who card deeply for the community and the people of the 16th Ward. She was passionate about bringing positive change to her ward and the surrounding neighborhoods. She coined the phrase: “The Prosperity of a Community is Expressed by the Advancement of its People,” and she worked tirelessly to ensure that social and economic progress was made more attainable for her constituents.
She secured funding for school improvements, and street, sidewalk, and home repairs; brought college students into the 16th Ward to help clean-up vacant lots; and co-sponsored the building of Access Health Medical Campus to be located at 52nd and Ashland. I had the pleasure of working with JoAnn on an Expungement Seminar she hosted at Kennedy-King College. And, one of her most well-known accomplishments is her role in bringing a future Whole Foods store to Englewood.
JoAnn was a South Side native and longtime resident of Englewood, and her love of and dedication to her community was obvious to everyone who met her.
My thoughts and prayers are wtih JoAnn’s family at this time. I will dearly miss her exuberant present, as will the many people whose lives she touched.
Thompson was seeking a third term in a heated election against fellow alderman Toni Foulkes. The election is scheduled for February 24, 2015.