NORTH LAWNDALE — Ald. Michael Scott Jr. (24th) will lead the committee charged with filling the seat on the Cook County Board of Commissioners left vacant by the death of Robert Steele, officials said.
Robert Steele, 55, died June 19 after a long illness. Steele had served as the commissioner of the 2nd District, which includes the West Loop, South Loop and the West Side, since 2006.
The committee is made up of all the Democratic ward committeemen within the county's 2nd District, which includes parts of the city's 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 6th, 11th, 15th, 16th, 17th, 18th, 20th, 22nd, 24th, 25th, 27th, 28th, 29th an 42nd wards.
Steele's successor must receive a simple majority of votes, which will be weighted according to how much of each ward is included in the 2nd District, according to the rules.
"I am looking forward to an open and fair process," Scott said, who was elected 24th Ward committeeman in 2015. "The committee will be respectful of Commissioner Steele's legacy while charting a new direction for the 2nd District of Cook County."
Those who wish to be appointed to the seat held by Steele — and before him, his mother — can apply by sending their resume, a copy of their voter registration and voter history from the Chicago Board of Election Commissioners and any letters of recommendation to firstname.lastname@example.org, officials said.
The committee that will pick Steele's replacement will meet from 9 a.m. to noon Thursday at The Lofts on Arthington, 3301 W. Arthington St. Applicants will be invited to address the committee and make their case on why they should replace Steele.
Mayor Rahm Emanuel remembered Steele as "a passionate and committed Chicagoan who dedicated his life to public service and strengthening communities."
"From his tenure as community outreach manager of the Chicago Park District to his time as a Cook County commissioner, Robert was a proven advocate for the city's health services," Emanuel said in a statement. "While he hailed from North Lawndale, Robert was deeply devoted to Chicago’s West and South Sides."