Eleanor Revelle appointed new 7th Ward alderman

Eleanor Revelle

Source: City of Evanston

Eleanor Revelle

Robin Opsahl, Assisstant City Editor

Eleanor Revelle will replace Jane Grover as 7th Ward alderman, Mayor Elizabeth Tisdahl announced Tuesday afternoon.

City Council will vote on Revelle’s appointment Jan. 25, and if approved, swear her in at the Feb. 22 Council meeting, according to a news release from the city. Revelle was chosen from 10 candidates who submitted their names to fill Grover’s seat after she left to serve as an outreach principal for the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning.

Revelle has lived in the 7th Ward for 12 of her 42 years in Evanston, and she has served in leadership positions in multiple local civic organizations, including as president of the League of Women Voters of Evanston, and board chair of the Evanston Community Foundation. In addition, she currently serves as president of Citizens’ Greener Evanston, working to make the city more sustainable.

“Eleanor is committed to improving the social and environmental well-being of our community, and will be a dedicated and enthusiastic alderman for 7th Ward residents,” Tisdahl said in the release.

Revelle said she already attended many Council, committee and board meetings during her time working for city organizations, and she has a sense of what issues have been central to Evanston residents. Most of her work with city officials in the last few years has been on environmental initiatives on behalf of Citizens’ Greener Evanston, but Revelle said she hopes to branch out.

“While these issues are very important to me, I want to broaden my focus from sustainability,” she said.

Among her goals as alderman are improving options for affordable housing, reducing gun violence and creating more room for economic opportunity in the city. Revelle said she wants to highlight initiatives that are already underway but focus on issues that Evanston still needs to work on.

“Looking at the city as a whole, there are some big challenges that I’d like to address,” Revelle said. “While Evanston is always getting better, there are areas where I’d like to work with my colleagues on the council that need serious improvements.”

Ald. Donald Wilson (4th) said having a new voice on the council will be helpful in moving forward on issues including affordable housing and economic growth. He said a diversity of voices is needed in making these decisions, and the new alderman will be able to bring a new perspective.

“I’d say if anything, getting new opinions on these issues gives more credence to what we’re doing,” Wilson said. “Eleanor has been active in the community and will bring in a good perspective, especially having lived in the (7th) Ward so long.”

At a meeting with 7th Ward residents last week, Revelle and other aldermanic candidates discussed the sorts of issues the community wanted addressed. Revelle said she was pleased that most of the topics people brought up concerned a larger scope than just one ward.

“People were really looking for an alderperson who was not just going to represent the interests of the 7th Ward but really try to make a difference for the whole city,” she said. “I was really heartened by how many people’s comments addressed bigger issues in Evanston.”

Revelle said she looks forward to working on tackling local issues, but acknowledged that many problems are already being worked on in the community. Revelle said she hopes to bridge the gap between community and city efforts.

“The more I’ve started getting into these issues, I’ve found there are a lot of good stuff already happening,” Revelle said. “Evanston is in a good place. We just need to support these already wonderful initiatives that are underway and collaborate.”

Alice Yin contributed reporting.

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